What does an auditor do?
As an auditor, your primary responsibility will be to ensure that your organization's financial statements comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This involves examining the organization's books and records, testing internal controls, and making recommendations for improvements. Auditors also help organizations prevent fraud. You will do so by performing risk assessments and designing and implementing internal controls. There are other tasks that auditors are often engaged in.
Other tasks to expect
You will assist in investigations of potential wrongdoing as necessary. This could involve reviewing documents, interviewing employees, and testifying in court. As an auditor, you’ll often consult on a variety of accounting and finance issues. For example, you will provide advice on the tax implications of a new business venture or help management develop budget projections. You will also be analyzing data, preparing charts and tables, and writing narrative explanations. For instance, it’s possible that you will write a report on the financial health of a company if it is considering going public.View Jobs
What is the average salary of an auditor?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for auditors is $77,250 in 2022. This translates to $37.14 per hour. The salaries often vary depending on certain factors, one of which is experience. For example, auditors who work in finance and insurance earn more than those who work in other industries. According to the BLS, when working in this field, you will earn $79,310 a year on average.
As with most professions, salaries for auditors tend to increase with experience. Employers often expect candidates to have at least four years of experience in public accounting or auditing. Senior-level positions often require eight years or more of experience. Entry-level auditors earn as little as $50,000 while more experienced professionals make upwards of $120,000.
Salaries in New York, Connecticut, and Washington, DC, tend to be higher than the national average due to the high cost of living in these places. For instance, an auditor in New York City would likely earn more than one employed in a small town in Texas.
The size of the company you work for also affects your salary. Companies with more than 500 employees tend to pay more than smaller organizations. The reason for this is that larger companies often have more complex financial statements and require more experienced auditors.
Working as an auditor
Being an auditor means making inquiries regarding an organization’s finances for its safety, efficiency, and healthy continuity. It also means ensuring that the statements comply with the law and that they reflect the current position of the company in question. As you can imagine, that’s no easy task, especially for someone without the right training, and that’s why employers deem it important to get the best person for the job. The good news is that this job is in high demand, and with the right skills, you will succeed in it without much difficulty.
What are the responsibilities of an auditor?
As an auditor, you’ll have several important responsibilities regardless of the size or type of company you’ll be working for. Some of an auditor’s common responsibilities include the following:
Preparing financial reports
If you’ve been yearning to have an important role in the appraisal of the financial position of a company, then this is likely the job for you. As an auditor, you will be assessing your company’s financial statements and preparing audit reports based on your findings. You’ll also be maintaining account books per the relevant guidelines and ensuring that the statements comply with the relevant laws.
Reporting fraud and helping in its investigation
When conducting your duties as an auditor, chances are you’ll have suspicions regarding one or more forms of fraud in your company. As such, you’ll need to take the right steps to report the issue to the relevant authorities. When the company begins investigating the issue, you’ll assist the investigating officers by providing and interpreting audited financial statements.
Making comprehensive inquiries
As an auditor, one of your main jobs will be to access vouchers, books of accounts, and other information regarding issues, such as whether your company’s loans are properly secured as well as whether the loans’ terms and conditions are fair. If necessary, you’ll also check whether your company’s transaction report book entries are right and whether the company has actually received any cash that’s meant for shares.
What type of equipment do auditors use?
In your day-to-day work as an auditor, you will work with various types of office equipment. Having a working knowledge of the following equipment will help you succeed in this field.
Computers and software
As an auditor, you’ll be using computers for a wide range of activities, including evaluating financial records, creating presentations, and using software to conduct audit processes. Having good, appropriate software will help you streamline your audit processes, check the efficiency of internal controls, and identify errors.
Just like the businesses you will audit, you will need proper document management to find it easy to assess information. Document scanning makes this task easy. It also works as a great information backup.
During the audit process, you’ll likely need to create copies of original financial statements. Photocopies make it easy to share records with other professionals or company officials, especially during presentations and meetings.
What is the work environment of an auditor?
When you become an auditor, expect to have an average level of social contact. You will be interacting or working with other professionals. Expect to interact with customers more than an average accountant would. Additionally, you’ll be working within a team and performing most of your tasks indoors. Given the nature of your job, you’ll also be working in a moderately competitive workplace environment. Keep in mind that your environment will be busier than usual during tax season. Lastly, depending on the company you’ll work for, it's possible that you'll work from home or adopt a hybrid work structure.
Who are your colleagues as an auditor?
As an auditor, expect to work with different types of professionals or staff members in your company. They include the following:
- Accountants – In most cases, you’ll be verifying the work accountants do. You'll examine the financial statements that your company’s accountants prepare and make sure that they accurately reflect your company’s financial health. This means that you’ll interact with accountants on a regular basis.
- Managers – Those involved in the management of any company are typically involved in governance matters, and they are senior to the auditor. You will communicate with these managers on a regular basis on matters regarding financial statement audits that are relevant to their responsibilities.
- IT professionals – In many cases, auditors examine and evaluate the information technology infrastructure, operations, and policies of organizations. This is important to determine whether the IT controls are protecting corporate assets and whether data integrity is still sound and aligned with the company’s overall goals. To achieve this, auditors work closely with IT experts or engineers within the company in question.
What is the work schedule of an auditor?
Auditors generally work the usual business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday through Friday. In this position, you’ll also work full time to achieve your work goals. In certain situations when the workload is high, such as tax season, you will need to work more than 40 hours a week. You will also need to travel from time to time, especially if you work for a public accounting firm that has clients outside your city or state. Additionally, if you work for a large corporation or the government, you should expect a flexible work schedule. This means that your employer will likely take into account your personal needs and allow you to sync your work hours to accommodate them.
What is the career outlook for an auditor?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of auditors will grow 7% by 2030. The BLS projects roughly 135,000 job openings each year. Clearly, most of these job openings will result from many auditors retiring or otherwise exiting the labor force. This is a great indication that this position is valuable, and many industries are still expected to consider it as such over the course of this decade.
The growing demand
An ever-growing economy and globalization are the primary reasons why auditors will continue to be in demand in the private and public sectors. The American economy is growing, and that means that the number of organizations requiring the services of auditors will keep increasing.
Becoming an accountant
One of the most exciting parts about being an auditor is the fact that it’s possible to easily change your career to accountancy or start a consultancy firm that includes accounting services. Just like an auditor, an accountant handles a business’ financial statements. You will not have a hard time getting used to preparing balance sheets, cash flow statements, and income statements, as well as handling bookkeeping and other primary accounting tasks.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as an auditor?
If you are looking to secure a position in a rewarding field, Spherion is the resource you need. One of the reasons people like you choose to work with Spherion as auditors is that workers often receive their pay on a weekly basis. However, there are many other benefits:
- A flexible schedule
- Your own helpful contact person
- Great training opportunities
- Various job opportunities in your area
What education do you need as an auditor?
To become an auditor, you will need to meet certain educational requirements. You'll also have the option to continue your training while on the job.
First, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field. If you have a master’s degree in business administration (with an accounting focus) or accounting, you’ll gain favor among certain employers who prefer hiring applicants with a master’s degree. Just remember that the relevant coursework, in this case, includes auditing, financial accounting, business law, taxation, and business communication.
Completion of in-house training
Besides the basic education requirements, expect to receive on-the-job training either as an internship or entry-level instruction. During this time, you’ll learn all the necessary procedures and processes that you'll need to handle the basics of auditing.
Certifications and licenses
While they are not generally required, certifications and licenses will definitely give you an advantage over your competitors in the job market. This is because they show that you’re a level higher in auditing proficiency. For instance, many employers don’t ask their applicants to provide a CPA license to join their team. However, candidates who have this license always have higher chances of landing the job compared to their counterparts who lack it.
Skills & competencies
To succeed as an auditor, you need to be adept at handling financial calculations. You will also need other hard and soft skills to find success and advance in your career.
Strong communication and interpersonal skills
Among other things, demonstrating strong communication and interpersonal skills means being able to convey your thoughts and suggestions clearly during meetings, interviews, presentations, and negotiations. People skills are also important. For instance, having empathy will allow you to understand your clients’ perspectives during the audit process, increasing its likelihood of success. Additionally, being able to listen well will make it easy to help a client in a way that works for them.
Critical thinking skills
You will have to be able to step out of your own biases and judgments and consider every perspective to reach a sound conclusion. Many experts consider critical thinking the most important skill among internal auditors, and it’s clear that even tech advances, including AI, cannot replace it.
As an auditor, it’s your job to have a critical and questioning mind and remain alert to conditions that often indicate misstatements as a result of errors. You will start every process of reviewing financial documents by trusting nothing. Maintaining a high level of vigilance is also essential to succeed in this job.
Auditors play a critical role in businesses and other organizations throughout the United States. The following covers some frequently asked questions pertaining to this position.
What’s the difference between an auditor and an accountant?
It’s true that auditors usually perform many tasks that accountants perform, and vice versa. However, there are differences between the two professions. For one, the jobs that accountants do are often subject to international accounting standards, while auditing standards generally govern the tasks of auditors. Also, accountants are the ones who come up with business financial statements that paint a picture of the organizations’ financial status or health. The auditor usually comes in to assess them and determine their accuracy.
Is there a major difference between an internal auditor and an external auditor?
Yes. Internal auditors often assess matters related to the business practices and risks of a company. In other words, they often deal with non-financial information. On the other hand, external auditors assess financial documents before issuing independent opinions concerning the company’s financial statements.
How do I apply for a job as an auditor?
Applying for a job as an auditor is easy with Spherion. You can search for auditor jobs on Spherion.com. If you don’t see the perfect role, you can submit an open application. Once you submit your contact information and resume through Spherion’s open application, a recruiter from the office closest to you will reach out with details about potential auditor roles that fit your skill set and professional goals.