As you look into the many potential career paths of the world, you should be taking a look at your specific skill sets, personal interests, and the kinds of companies that you’d like to work for.
It can sometimes be difficult to figure out which direction to go in, whether you’re new to the workforce, heading into college, or rebooting a work-life after shifting away from an unpleasant job. But if you take into account the talents, skills, and desires you’ve got, you may discover that a job you’ve never thought of may be absolutely perfect for you.
Today, we’re examining the role of one of the jobs most people don’t understand, with a thorough look at the Auditor job description.
What Exactly is an Auditor?
An auditor is someone who does a variety of verification jobs within the financial realm of any industry.
They identify situations where over-payments may have been made, underpayments have been overlooked, and check that all accounts are properly dealt with immediately. Auditors must form an objective opinion that all accounts are clear and properly taken care of.
Auditors also add value to their company operations by taking a systematic approach to risk management, control, and governing processes while examining the various accounts they manage.
Other Job Titles for Auditors
There are a few titles that may be assigned to this position in different companies. If you see these titles while job hunting, you’re safe to assume it’s the position you’re aiming for:
- Senior Auditor
- Healthcare Claims Auditor
- Internal Auditor
- Accounts Auditor
Duties and Responsibilities of an Auditor
Every company, organization, or corporation you could become the auditor for will have some different responsibilities placed on their auditors. But for the most part, these are the basic things you can expect to do in the role:
- Collect and analyze data to find deficient controls, extravagance, fraud, theft, duplicated effort, or non-compliance with regulations, laws, or management policies
- Report to management about asset utilization and audit results, and making recommendations for change in financial activities or operations
- Review data about material assets, liabilities, capital stock, network, surplus, income, and expenditure
- Examine and evaluate financial and information systems, and recommend controls to ensure data integrity and system reliability
- Prepare detailed reports on the findings during audits
- Inspect account books and accounting systems for effectiveness, efficiency, and use the accepted accounting procedures to record transactions
- Prepare, analyze, and verify annual reports, financial statements, and other records, using accepted accounting and statistical procedures to assess financial conditions
- Facilitate proper financial planning
- Supervise auditing of establishments, and determine the scope of investigation required
- Inspect cash on hand, notes receivable and payable, negotiable securities, and any canceled checks to confirm that all records are accurate
- Advise company officials about regulatory and financial matters of the company
- Evaluate taxpayer finances to determine tax liability, using knowledge of interest and discount rates, annuities, valuation of stocks and bonds, and amortization valuation of depletable assets
- Examine inventory to verify all ledger and journal entries are accurate
- Examine whether the organization's objectives are reflected in its management activities, and assess whether employees understand the objectives
- Interview workers to ensure recording of transactions and compliance with laws and regulations
- Examine all additional records to verify they are accurate
- Produce up-to-the-minute information, using internal computer systems, to allow management to base decisions on actual data, instead of previous data
- Review taxpayer accounts and conduct audits on-site, by correspondence, or by summoning taxpayer to the office
- Direct employees on correct procedures for filing, recording, compiling, submitting, and transmitting financial records
- Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops
- Reviewing professional publications on auditing-related topics on a regular basis
- Establish personal networks within auditing and accounting
- Participate in professional societies
- Complies with the state, federal, and local security legal requirements by studying existing and new security legislation and implementing these changes in the workplace
- Enforces adherence to legal requirements
- Advises management on needed actions and changes for meeting compliances
- Verifies assets and liabilities by comparing documentation with items on hand, or inventory
- Appraises adequacy of internal control systems by completing audit questionnaires
- Completes audit paperwork completely by documenting audit tests, and all findings, including any anomalies or overages
Qualifications for Auditors
Auditors must meet a variety of qualifications and have a broad spectrum of precise skills. These skills and qualifications will generally be required across the board.
Proven Experience in Auditing
This is one of those positions where it’s generally difficult to get a job straight out of college. Most companies will require a number of years’ experience in auditing. Often their minimum is 5 years’ time.
Software Skills in Multiple Programs
You’ll need a comprehensive understanding of specific software programs, medical codes systems, and other related fee schedules to succeed in the role. There is training available for these, but you’ll also gain a stronger understanding of these by working in lower level positions within these systems prior to taking on the role of a senior auditor.
You’ll also need to be strongly proficient in basic computer software, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook, databases, and other email programs and spreadsheets.
Exceptional Attention to Detail
While any job within a corporation requires attention to detail, and auditor job description will always be focused around the concept of this skill as a key factor to hire-ability. The details are the literal job, as you will need to notice every discrepancy, any fine details that are even slightly off.
Any company will have the auditor job description requirement of being able to manipulate large amounts of data and compiled data reports on a regular basis.
Sound Independent Judgment
One of the critical roles of an auditor is making a lot of objective decisions and judgments without the influence of outside thoughts.
Other Skills That May Be Required
There are some other general requirements which will vary from position to position, but any of these may be a part of an auditor job description:
- Legal compliance
- Documentation skills
- Reporting research results
- Presentation skills
- SFAS Rules knowledge
Education and Training for Auditors
Being an auditor requires graduation from programs like accounting, finance, or a related field.
Because auditors require mathematical skills, analytical training, and, of course, accounting training, the easiest way to gain the proper training is through a Bachelor’s degree. Some companies, however, may require a Masters in one of these fields.
Where Might an Auditor Work?
Auditors will be able to find work at a number of companies and corporations around the United States or even world:
- Large corporations
- Fortune 500 companies
- Small businesses
- Non-profit organizations
- Auditing agencies
- Retail corporations
- City, county, state or federal government departments
Basically, every company requires either an in-house auditor or one from an agency that can come in regularly and review the accounts. So, whether you want to work in big business or with a non-profit organization that helps those who live on the streets, you can apply your skills to this job.
Potential Salary of an Auditor
The average salary for an auditor in the United States is just shy of $63,000 per year. The lower end of the auditor job salary range is $45,000, and the high end is $84,000 per year.
With about $20,000 difference either side of the average range, this means that the options for positions for auditing are fairly wide open. The differences are, of course, due to things like the size of the corporation or company, the area in which the job is located, and similar factors.
Most typically, higher paying jobs in this field will be with larger corporations, but the demands of the job are likely to be much higher as well. If you decide the stress of a higher paying position is worth it, you’re likely to be hired if you have more experience and a higher education than the competition.
Finding Your Ideal Auditor Job
If you’re analytically minded, work well with numbers, and have a great eye for fine details, you’re very likely well-suited to the role of an auditor. You’ll be able to use all these skills, along with training in various auditing and accounting programs to work and use a valuable degree in higher education.
If you do wish to consider using your skills in this way, be sure to check out programs at local universities and colleges to make sure you gain the required education to successfully land jobs, especially in the higher paying jobs as an auditor with top-paying companies and corporations.