Today, choosing a career as an auditor is a smart move. Today there is more focus on compliance, especially in finance and technology.
As an auditor, you play a vital role in ensuring the accuracy and transparency of financial information, which is essential to maintaining the integrity of financial markets and business operations. But today there are many different audit roles, that is, not just in finance.
Organizations interested in avoiding hefty fines and costs for non-compliance turn to auditors for help with:
- Normative compliance – adhere to accounting principles and industry regulations, which can prevent fraud and other financial irregularities
- Risk management – identify risks and weaknesses in a company’s internal controls and provide recommendations for improvement
- Investor confidence – provides assurance to investors that a company’s financial statements are accurate and reliable
- Corporate governance – by providing independent oversight and accountability, auditors help ensure that companies operate in a transparent and accountable manner
In this business blog, we discuss the various Auditor roles, the key traits of successful auditors, and the advantages and disadvantages of such a role.
Pros and cons of being an auditor
Today, not many roles are safe from redundancy. However, auditing is essential for most companies, and there is always a demand for auditors. This means that job security for auditors is relatively high, as they are less likely to be laid off or face unemployment.
Also, there are some areas like Cryptocurrency Security Standard (CCSS) auditing that are new and somewhat innovative, so it is unlikely that an auditor in this field will be out of a job for some time.
Auditors can develop and enhance their professional skills through training, continuing education, and various work experiences. They may specialize in specific areas, such as IT, environmental or financial auditing, moving from one specialization to another to maintain their challenging role.
Experienced auditors can rise to higher positions such as audit manager, senior manager, and partner in accounting firms. There are also opportunities to transition into other roles, such as risk management, internal audit, or financial reporting. Auditors with years of experience often ultimately choose to work as freelancers with an LLC or as sole traders so they can choose their hours, the work they do, and how much it’s worth.
Long work hours, tight deadlines
Auditors often have to work long hours, especially during peak audit periods, which can be stressful and exhausting. When your business or client has not prepared well for compliance, the process to get through takes more time with the need for remediation.
Auditors can be tasked with doing the impossible in the shortest possible time, resulting in working long hours to reduce the days or weeks it takes for the business to meet requirements.
Auditors know that the work is repetitive and often tedious, especially when conducting routine audits. That’s why moving into different fields of expertise is key to keeping the role interesting.
High levels of responsibility
Auditors have an important responsibility, as their work can have a significant impact on the companies they audit. They must be extremely thorough and precise in their work to correctly identify any issues or risks.
Key traits of a successful auditor
What soft skills and traits do auditors have to do their job successfully?
Auditing requires technical expertise and also soft skills to get the job done effectively. Some important soft skills and traits that auditors must have to perform their jobs successfully include communication, attention to detail, and time management.
Auditors must communicate effectively with clients, team members, and stakeholders at their level and in their language. For example, they must explain complex information clearly and concisely so there is no confusion about what is required to pass the audit.
Auditors must have strong analytical skills to evaluate financial information, identify trends and anomalies, and assess internal controls.
Attention to detail: Auditors must be meticulous in their work and pay close attention to detail to identify errors and discrepancies.
Auditors often have to work to tight deadlines and therefore need to have good time management skills to ensure they can complete their work on time.
Independence and objectivity
Auditors must maintain a high degree of independence and objectivity in their work to ensure that their findings are impartial and credible.
Adaptability: Auditors must adapt to changing circumstances and be comfortable working in new and unfamiliar environments.
Auditors must maintain a high level of professionalism and ethical behavior in all aspects of their work to maintain trust and credibility with clients and interested parties.
Auditors often work as part of a team and therefore must have strong teamwork skills to collaborate effectively with colleagues and achieve common goals.
Types of Auditors
There are various types of auditor roles in business today, including:
An external auditor is an independent auditor not employed by the audited company. They are typically hired by the company’s board of directors, shareholders, or senior management to provide an unbiased opinion on its financial statements.
However, since any auditor who is independent of the business they are auditing is an external auditor, their discipline may not be accounting and financial. For example, you would hire a third-party auditor to assess your compliance with the Cryptocurrency Security Standard (CCSS).
The primary role of an internal auditor is to provide independent and objective assurance to the organization’s management that its processes and procedures are working effectively and efficiently. This involves reviewing the organization’s operations, assessing its risk management practices, and evaluating its internal controls to ensure they are adequate and effective in mitigating risk.
Internal auditors also help identify areas for improvement and provide recommendations for improving the organization’s processes and controls. They may also work with external auditors to ensure that the organization’s financial statements are accurate and comply with accounting standards.
In general, internal auditors play a critical role in helping organizations achieve their goals by ensuring they have effective processes and controls in place to manage risk and maintain compliance with laws and regulations.
A government auditor is employed by a government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to audit businesses and individuals for compliance with tax laws and regulations. A government auditor may be an expert in other areas, for example, IT auditing or performance management auditing.
A forensic auditor is an auditor who specializes in investigating financial fraud, embezzlement, and other financial crimes. They are also called forensic accountants and often work closely with law enforcement agencies and attorneys.
Information technology (IT) auditor
An IT auditor is an auditor who specializes in assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of a company’s IT systems and controls, including security, data integrity, and privacy. There are different disciplines in technology for auditors, including systems and applications, PCI DSS, client-server, networking, and more.
An environmental auditor is an auditor who specializes in evaluating a company’s environmental compliance and sustainability practices.
social compliance auditor
A social compliance auditor is an auditor who specializes in assessing a company’s compliance with labor and social responsibility laws and regulations, including human rights and working conditions.