Common Jobs in Auditing (Duties, Skills, and Salaries)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published March 29, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
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Companies and organizations with large financial accounts usually require auditors and accountants to review their records and identify possible risks. While accountants enter data and make calculations, auditors review statements and ensure compliance. Understanding the different job opportunities available to you as an auditor may help you decide on the best career path to pursue. In this article, we list 11 typical jobs in auditing, discuss an auditor's work environment, and highlight some skills required to excel in these roles.
Jobs in auditing
The following is a list of jobs in auditing that you can pursue with a university degree or a certification from a recognized institution:
National average salary: $21.79 per hour
Primary duties: An auditor audits a company's financial statements and ensures that it keeps accurate and up-to-date records and pays tax correctly. They also audit its financials to ensure the figures reflect its current financial state. In addition, they confirm that the company complies with the current regulations on taxation and financial record-keeping. They work closely with accountants to review their calculations and check that they follow the proper record-keeping procedures. This may help identify risks and errors in financial or tax documents, and auditors can recommend solutions and advise on maintaining industry best practices.
National average salary: $88,919 per year
Primary duties: An audit manager's primary role is supervising audit team members when working on auditing projects, especially those with potential issues or complex financial situations. They may also implement new company policies related to changing educational requirements and technology upgrades. In some companies, audit managers research changing industry policies and regulations and ensure that the activities within their department comply with them.
National average salary: $26.60 per hour
Primary duties: Consulting auditors are usually senior auditors hired to help auditing teams design and execute strategies for conducting complex auditing projects. They make recommendations to the auditing team on how best to audit its financials based on industry best practices and present regulations. They may also perform risk assessments to identify, prevent, and mitigate against potential risks from error or fraud. As they aren't a member of staff, they can handle different client briefs simultaneously.
National average salary: $77,971 per year
Primary duties: Instead of outsourcing their accounting needs, large companies with different branches may hire internal auditors to work in-house. Internal auditors may work with the company to review financial documents, check accuracy in calculations and record-keeping, and make inferences, informing financial decisions. They ensure that the company adopts effective policies and risk management programs. In addition, they enforce internal compliance by confirming that the accounting procedures conform to company guidelines from top management and the human resources department.
5. Tax analyst
National average salary: $60,067 per year
Primary duties: A tax analyst helps companies determine and fulfill their tax obligations. They may also assist auditors while maintaining a balanced tax schedule. They help the company prepare and pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly taxes based on its tax requirements. In addition, tax analysts research changes in policies and regulations regarding tax rates and filing within a geographical location.
National average salary: $57,921 per year
Primary duties: A tax accountant maintains a company's tax records while identifying possible problems and offering solutions to companies' or individuals' tax concerns. Their primary role is to prepare a company's corporate income tax return and strategize methods to help it save money through tax deductions and breaks. They also research changing legislation and advise the company on how these changes affect its income and tax. Tax accountants working for a large or international company may help clients set up financial processes based on their specific tax requirements.
National average salary: $59,690 per year
Primary duties: Forensic accountants, investigative auditors, or forensic auditors investigate inconsistencies in a company's financial documents and tax records to identify fraud. They usually work for the government to monitor companies' financials and determine whether inconsistencies are filing errors or fraud attempts. It's essential for forensic accountants to have strong attention to detail as they check figures and identify inconsistencies. They investigate possible crimes, such as embezzlement, suspicious offshore accounts, unlawful insurance claims, pyramid schemes, and false tax claims. Courts usually call upon forensic accountants to present their findings before a judge if a criminal suit arises.
National average salary: $69,883 per year
Primary duties: Information technology auditors monitor IT systems related to a company's finances to ensure they work efficiently and are free from risks, such as a system breach. They design and test prototypes and operate and monitor systems to evaluate possible security-related IT issues and tech-related business risks. They work closely with the accounting team to confirm that sensitive financial information is safe by protecting the software programs used for record-keeping. They may also ensure that the record-keeping procedures are compliant with standing legislation.
9. SOX manager
National average salary: $95,647 per year
Primary duties: SOX managers review companies' financials and ensure they comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002. This Act, also known as Sarbox, prevents fraud in companies' financial records. Large companies often hire SOX managers to review their records and accounting processes to identify compliance risks. They also work with internal auditors and advise their executives on changing regulations and how they affect the company.
10. Audit associate
National average salary: $57,020 per year
Primary duties: An audit associate is an entry-level professional who assists team accountants. Their clerical responsibilities usually include maintaining financial records and compiling reports from auditors' analyses. They also help the company plan its audit process and establish a streamlined approach framework. These audits minimize possible book-keeping issues and ensure compliance, thereby improving the company's financial well-being.
11. Tax advisor
National average salary: $73,285 per year
Primary duties: Tax advisors are external auditors that work with clients to ensure that the accounting team and employees comply with local, provincial, and federal tax laws. Their primary duties include reviewing the company's tax reporting schedules periodically and checking that it's regulation compliant. In addition, they may work with the in-house tax manager to access and assess past tax filings while speculating on future tax bills. A career as a tax auditor requires a bachelor's degree in accounting, taxation, finance, or another relevant certification.
Auditor's work environment
Generally, an auditor or accountant may work with the government, private companies, or individuals in the public sector. Organizations that may hire an auditor include:
Government agencies or institutions: You may work in the public sector at the local, provincial, or federal level as an auditor. You can work as an external auditor, investigative accountant, SOX manager, tax analyst, or consultant to external clients.
Insurance companies: As a financial service that makes investments, insurance companies usually hire auditors or accountants. They may hire you as in-house staff or invite you periodically as an external consultant.
Banks: Banks are large financial institutions with substantial accounting and auditing needs. Because of their size, they typically outsource these accounting needs to large accounting and auditing firms.
Financial institutions: Other financial institutions like merchant and mortgage banks, pension funds, or private equity firms may hire auditors to work in-house. In this role, you ensure that business processes run smoothly and protect the firm from lawsuits.
Private businesses: Private companies may hire you to work in-house, depending on their size. These private businesses may span different industries and attract more legal scrutiny as they grow or become public.
Universities: Private or government-owned universities run large accounts subject to scrutiny from public institutions. As a result, they may hire you to support their accounting needs.
Skills required for auditing jobs
When interviewing candidates for jobs in auditing, hiring managers may look for the following skills:
Communication: Excellent communication skills help you convey relevant information to the shareholders and company leaders. This enables you to explain complex topics to other employees who may not understand financial issues.
Critical thinking: When reviewing the company's financial situation, it's essential to apply critical thinking to help you find the best solutions to problems. By finding actionable solutions, you can help improve a company's practices and rules, making future audits easier.
Analytical skills: During an audit, strong analytical skills help you review the figures and reach conclusions, demonstrating your professional expertise.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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