Training and Education for Auditors
Auditor Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of an Auditor
Auditor Salaries
Noted Professional Auditors
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Auditing Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How can I become an Auditor?

Most auditing jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, either in accounting or another related field. A master's degree can help with employment, as can obtaining certain certificates or licenses available. More colleges and universities are beginning to offer specialty programs to prepare students for specific types of auditing.

If an auditor candidate does not have a bachelor's or master's degree, he or she can often work in a temporary capacity with a junior college degree or a degree from a correspondence course. These auditors work in a beginning capacity and are strictly supervised by more experienced auditors, while receiving on the job training.

For those wishing to become auditors, previous experience in either the accounting or finance field can help. Part-time jobs during college and internships for school credit are often available for people trying to determine if auditing is the right choice for them.

What does an Auditor do?

An auditor is someone who has the professional responsibility of evaluating a business, a certain project, or an individual. Auditors are often in charge of monitoring or checking the truth of financial records or the amount of efficiency in a process. After auditors evaluate a company, records, or a project, they often make recommendations as to how the process or other aspect being evaluated can be changed and improved.

Auditors can work either as freelancers or as company employees. Auditors who work for a specific company are called internal auditors. These professionals are responsible for conducting audits on a periodic basis. Often, internal auditors focus on a different part of the company during each audit.

External auditors, on the other hand, are not employed for the company in which the audit is taking place. An external auditor may be a freelance professional or may be employed by a different firm, such as an accounting firm. The advantage of external auditors is that they are free of bias by not being a part of the company being audited.

What skills or personal qualities are needed to become an Auditor?

Auditors must have an excellent head for numbers and details in order to perform their job responsibilities. It is also advantageous if an auditor has extensive knowledge of auditing and accounting software. Computer literacy can also enable some auditors to work from remote locations. Experience in either auditing or accounting can help an auditor candidate find a job or advance in a current job.

Communication skills are also important for auditors, as they need to prepare reports and clearly communicate information to clients. In addition to communicating information about current conditions, auditors must be able to prepare and communicate recommendations for improvement. Because of the nature of their work, it is very important for auditors to be honest and trustworthy.

How much does an Auditor make?

The wages and salaries for auditors varies greatly depending upon the different employers for the auditors. Auditors can work for government agencies or private firms, including bookkeeping firms, accounting firms, tax preparation companies and payroll agencies.

In 2006, the median salary for auditors in general was $54,630, with the middle 50 percent of all auditors earning between $42,520 and $71,960. Auditors who worked in private firms generally earn more than those auditors employed by the government.
Auditor Salary | More details for Auditor Jobs | Salary

Who are some notable professionals in the field of Auditing?

Arthur Anderson and Clarence DeLany founded the firm of Andersen, DeLany & Co., which later changed its name to Arthur Andersen, LLP. Andersen ran the accounting and auditing firm until he died in 1947. Unfortunately, the firm - after becoming the largest professional services firm in the world and being renamed Accenture - was found guilty of several criminal charges as regarding its auditing of the energy corporation Enron. Nancy Temple of the Andersen Legal Department as well as David Duncan, Lead Partner for Enron's account, had ordered the documents related to the audit to be shredded. This led to the firm admitting fault in audits of other companies as well, including WorldCom. These scandals cost tens of thousands of jobs and the bankruptcy of companies.

Who are some leading organizations in this field?

Auditing and accounting often take place within the same firm; thus, the Big Four accounting firms are also the most influential firms in the field of auditing. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), which emerged in 1998, from a merger between Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand is one top accounting and auditing firm, which was founded in London, England and currently has its headquarters in New York City. Deloitte & Touche, formally known as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, was also founded in London, in 1845, and is also currently based in New York. Ernst & Young, another professional services firm offering auditing services, has headquarters in London and New York. The fourth firm in the Big Four is KPMG, formed in 1987 from a merger of Klynveld Main Goerdeler and Peat Marwick. KPMG has headquarters both in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and New York City.

Where are the best cities for Auditing jobs?

The outlook for auditor jobs is expected to be very good over the next decade, with considerable growth in this field. This is partly due to changes in legislation in the United States, as well as the growing globalization of businesses. All these factors combine to create an atmosphere in which more auditing and accounting jobs will likely be created, due to increased need.

Just like accountants, auditors are most likely to find job opportunities in big cities, where large accounting and auditing firms are usually located. The top city in the United States for auditors who are looking for work is New York City. The second best city for auditing jobs in the United States is Chicago, Illinois. The third and fourth cities are both in Texas: Houston and Dallas, respectively. The fifth best city in the United States for auditing is Atlanta, Georgia.

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