So, who is an accounting auditor?
An accounting auditor essentially is a finance professional. The job of an accounting auditor revolves around examining and verification of a company’s financial records to ensure that all financial information represented in the books is both fair and accurate. Additionally, they are also required to assess whether businesses
- pay their taxes
- run their operations efficiently and
- meet all their financial obligations
Skills needed to succeed as an accounting auditor
Over the years, technology has gone leaps and bounds, replacing tasks that were previously done manually. This resulted in making a lot of jobs redundant. Despite all the advancements, when it comes to the job of an accounting auditor technology can make their jobs easier but cannot replace the unique skills, judgment, and leadership that accounting auditors possess.
According to Forbes Magazine, to be successful at this job, an accounting auditor must have the following core competencies:
Adept Communicational Skills:
Gone are the days when all an auditor had to say was “You are in compliance.”Having strong communication skills is one of the top skills that companies seek in an auditor today. As an accounting auditor, one is expected to communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally. This includes the ability to articulate a clear point of view on the financial issues at hand. Additionally, you must also clearly convey thoughts, ideas, and suggestions especially during meetings, presentations, and negotiations and even during interviews
Critical Thinking Skills:
Being a sound critical thinker is one of the most sought-after skills when looking to hire an accounting auditor. Although this is mostly learned through on-the-job training and feedback one must have the innate flair to think critically and rationally. Part of being effective at this job requires one to keep their judgment and bias aside and consider all perspectives, question the validity of each decision, and then reach a conclusion.
Along with being a critical thinker, one must also have professional skepticism to see things for what they are. It is important to have the strength of character and the ability to examine different facets of an audit. This helps in determining the accurate picture no matter how tough or arduous it might be is crucial to the job. You must be able to question your clients in an objective and constructive way without any hesitation.
Strong Interpersonal Skills:
Empathy and the ability to listen are two important qualities that all accounting auditors must possess. This allows them to understand their client’s perspective as the audit operation progresses.
Other qualities that are helpful in the job of an accounting auditor include:
- A polite and professional demeanor
- Strong time management skills
- Painstaking attention to details
- The ability to work under pressure
- Proficient with technology and other related accounting software such as Sage, SAP, Pastel
- An eye for detail
- Ability to work in teams
- Have in-depth knowledge of financial legislation, risk, compliance, etc.
Duties and Responsibilities
Irrespective of the organization they work for, an accounting auditor has a specific set of duties and responsibilities which they must carry out to fulfill their job requirements. The job of an accounting auditor includes:
- Examine all the assigned financial statements, records, and other related data to check for accuracy
- Study these documents in detail to scrutinize for any discrepancies.
- Analyze financial data and make appropriate recommendations to increase the organization’s efficiency as well as reduce overall costs
- Presenting their findings to senior members of the team in both written and verbal form,
- Inspection of budgets and ledgers of various departments
- Ensure that they have enough funds and are utilizing these funds in the best possible manner.
- Provide accurate records and findings to federal state as well as other relevant personnel
- Assist in other accounting duties
- Compute taxes owed by companies and assist in preparing tax returns
- Work alongside the compliance managers to bill and administer claims.
- Analyze claims and ensure funds for each claim
- Identify and recommend updates for accounting systems as well as other related procedures.
- Assist stakeholders in determining valuations, figures, and projections. This includes advising and making any necessary recommendations if and when required.
- Help in preparing the annual financial reports.
- Assess core competencies and valuations of the business.
Educational Requirements for the job as an accounting auditor
The educational requirements for the job of an accounting auditor may from state to state, but in general, they must check the following boxes:
- Begin with receiving a high school diploma.
- Get an accounting degree from an accredited college.
- Enroll in a master’s program with a concentration in auditing
- Get relevant certifications depending on their area of interest. Some of these include Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Financial Services Auditor.
Salary and Workload Expectations
An accounting auditor usually works the standard working hours. However, there can be occasional late sittings or working over the weekends. But this is limited to the end of a financial year or a financial cycle. Nonetheless, choosing to work as an accounting auditor is undoubtedly a lucrative career option with an expected growth rate of 4% in the coming year.
As far as salary expectations are concerned, you can earn around $68,172 a year in the US. However, this may go as high as $143,000 depending upon the accounting auditor’s level of expertise, experience, and geographical location.