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How to Become an Auditor

Career News September 3, 2013

An auditor and an accountant have similar job duties. However, the difference is the auditor reviews the work of an accountant providing an objective analysis, ensuring that there are not mistakes. The auditor is responsible for catching mistakes and bringing it to the attention of the company and or accountant, or fixing the error in some cases.

Naturally, this means having an understanding of accounting and mathematics. You will be ensuring the accuracy of financial records, while also assessing the way financial operations are run by a company. This is a high-paying position with a median wage of $61,000 yearly. As a whole, the profession is set to grow about sixteen percent over the next decade. This is becoming an increasingly important job, in lieu of many companies going bankrupt, undergoing scandals, and facing tighter pressure from new government laws.

Educational Path for an Auditor Career

CPAs or Certified Public Accountants can be hired for this position, but qualifying for the exam is no easy feat. You will have to study finance and business and fulfill all work experience requirements before being issued the test. After completion, you can apply for a CPA license. Economics and finance should be your subjects, though you should also try to study subjects that will be directly related to your career field. A bachelor’s degree is minimal, and an MBA or master’s degree is the norm. However, you won’t have to go too much out of your way; the CPA requirements for most states are simply beyond a bachelor’s degree level, and finishing up an MBA is not too much of a stretch by that point.

Training for Auditing Jobs

Training will cover auditing methods, as well as attestation, which is reporting on a specific subject. You will also be studying financial accounting and reporting, including FAR standards and GAAP standards, which will prepare you for the methods of most businesses. Another element of study will be taxation, federal and state laws, and ethics on a company culture-level, adhering to the philosophies of the brand. Lastly, BEC, or Business Environment and Concepts will be reviewed, which is a focus on business transactions and organization.

You can decide whether you want a company position or to work as a consultant. For a position at a major firm, or even to work with large companies on a contract basis, you will need more experience to complement your studies. Take an entry-level position when you’re ready and qualified, which could be an internal auditor job within a small to mid range company.

While this isn’t a job that requires a lot of negotiation or management skills, you will still need some degree of people skills, especially if you will be representing yourself to high-profile clients. You will have to report data accuracy and respectfully recommend changes when you notice a problem. Your objectivity is key since companies pay you for services rendered, you are not tied down to a certain agenda, but have a responsibility to present a complete picture to a company, making recommendations when requested, and presenting accurate analysis of financial statements. This is a stable job and one that will keep you employed, well-taken care of in pay, and gives you the respect you deserve throughout your community.

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