To assess the efficiency and reliability of business organizations, a check on their financial records becomes necessary. Companies are often found tampering with their financial records for illegal benefits. To restrict this activity and examine the transparency of a company's finances, auditors are appointed by the government or the organization itself. They are of two types; internal and external. Internal auditors are hired by individuals or organizations for regular examination of their financial statements, purchase receipts, tax receipts etc., so that they do not fail during a government audit. External auditors are associated with various auditing firms that work independently or are appointed by the government to inspect financial records of business organizations and individuals. They work as an independent entity while performing evaluations and are not liable to report to the management of the organization under inspection. The requirements to become an auditor are given below.
The minimum qualification required to be an auditor is a bachelor's degree in business or accounting. Candidates of other related fields can also apply for an auditor's job. Many companies prefer candidates who have the required qualification along with some work experience. A master's degree in accounting or business, with accounting as one of the major subjects increases the chances of getting hired by a good organization.
Obtaining certifications is a good way of advancing one's career. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification is issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to candidates who have cleared the CPA exam. The exam is divided into four parts - Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Regulation (REG), and Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR).
Mathematical and Accounting Skills
Mathematical skills are extremely important for auditing professionals. Therefore, any person who wishes to be an auditor must have a strong mathematical aptitude. A small course in maths and accounting, taken up at the nearest community college will be of great help for people who do not have a mathematical background.
Training or Internship
Getting involved in a training program or internship helps in gaining some practical knowledge and experience. Part-time internship can be taken up along with the educational degree program to gain hands-on experience. Full-time summer internships also help in getting the actual flavor of the job and provide a competitive edge to such candidates.
The importance of communication is well-known in the work sphere. Poor communication skills often create a negative mark on a person thereby, causing hindrance for growth. Therefore, improving oral and written communication skills will help a person to express well and create a positive impression on others.
Financial data of any organization is huge. The job description of an auditor clearly mentions that they are required to check all the financial records of a company, be it regular payment of taxes, maintenance of accurate data on income and expenditure and so on. After a thorough check, the auditors are expected to analyze the data accurately and generate reports for the company under audit. Therefore, a strong hold on data analysis and statistical knowledge is essential for an auditor.
Today, no work is done without computers and that is why, it is one of the essential requirements for any professional. As the job of an auditor involves analyzing financial data that is mostly stored in computers, acquiring good computer skills becomes necessary.
It is not necessary to have a certification for getting an auditing job. However, candidates with certifications are more likely to get absorbed in organizations. The job prospects for this profession are high, as the industry is always in search of auditors with advanced education and experience. So if you think you have it in you, take the first step towards it today and enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career as an auditor.