How Do You Become an Auditor?

Many students often wonder how one can become an auditor. The truth is there are many paths to becoming an auditor in the US. Some of these paths are long while others just take a couple of years. This post will give you tips on the shortest and most convenient path you need to take to get a job as an auditor.

Understand What an Auditor Does

As an auditor, you will be required to do the following:

  • Examine an organization’s financial control systems and accounts.
  • Check, analyze and collect spreadsheet data.
  • Examine financial records to ensure they are reliable and accurate.
  • Prepare financial statements, commentaries and reports.
  • Review employee wages.
  • Ensure policies and procedures are properly followed.
  • Check the level of financial risks within an organization.

Earn a Degree

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, those who want to work as auditors should have at least a bachelor’s degree in economics, accounting, mathematics or finance. The courses covered in these programs will expose you to useful topics, such as financial forecasting, income tax accounting and business law.

You can also choose to pursue a graduate degree to gain specialized knowledge and acquire advanced skills. The graduate degree program can be Master of Accountancy or Master of Science in Forensic Accounting. These degrees will equip you with the knowledge you need to perform functions such as government budgeting, risk analysis and information systems auditing.

Enroll in a Training or Internship Program

You will need to join a training program to enhance your skills and gain practical experience. Institutions such as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offer training programs for students and recent graduates. If you are still in college, you may choose to work during summer holidays or participate in a co-program within the school. If you have already graduated, you can apply for the IRS management internship program.

Become a Certified Public Accountant

Auditors and accountants perform almost similar roles. Obtaining a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential will help validate your competency as an auditor, resulting in more job opportunities. All states require aspiring CPAs to sit for and pass the four-part Uniform CPA Examination. The exam is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Become a Certified Auditor

In addition to a CPA credential, you might need to consider auditing certifications. Common certifications include Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Financial Services Auditor and Certified Government Auditing Professional. All these certifications are offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). They require at least two years of experience and the right academic credentials. Once you obtain a certification, you will be required to complete continuing education to maintain it.

Acquire Essential Skills

Auditors need certain skills in order to be successful. These include impressive organizational skills, ability to multi-task, natural affinity and passion for problem-solving and good communication skills. Auditors must also be able to think outside the box, analyze things critically and demonstrate thirst for knowledge.

Auditor Salary and Employment Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, auditors earn an average salary of $68,150 per year. The bureau also projects the employment rate to grow by 10 percent in the next ten years.

Related Resource: What is a Treasury Analyst?

Auditors work to ensure an organization follows the procedures put in place and does not lose money through fraudulent processes and mistakes. If you want to become an auditor, then you need a relevant degree, some work experience, a CPA credential and the right auditing certification.