When you mix accounting with an investigative streak, you get an auditor. This job checks upon the validity of a company's financial statements and writes reports at the end of their investigation, a process called an audit. In brief, an auditor is someone who looks out to see if a company abides by tax laws.
If numbers are your thing and you love looking deep into things, check out the following page that helps you create the perfect resume to start a career in auditing.
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Job Duties of an Auditor
Auditors approach their work with an analytical mind. They examine policies and procedures to help companies develop strategies to improve internal control systems. They meet with many people, gather important information and data, and provide strategic solutions to problems.
For those curious about what an auditor does exactly, let’s discuss their duties:
Working with companies and government agencies to research and solve problems and develop policies and procedures that comply with current legislation.
Evaluating, analyzing, developing, and implementing new control systems that optimize operations or use new technologies, like predictive analytics.
Recording, reviewing, and interpreting data.
Examining reports, records, receipts, and other documents and comparing them to company assets and liabilities.
Assisting other auditors in completing assignments as a means of maximizing audit efficiency.
Verifying assets and liabilities.
Communicating audit findings in the final report.
Polishing technical and professional knowledge by attending educational workshops, reviewing professional publications, increasing personal networks, and participating in professional societies.
Auditor Median Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median salary for auditors is $73,560 per year or $35 per hour. Due to globalization, growth in the economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment, demand for auditors will continue to grow.
Top Skills for Auditors
To review accounts and ensure the legality of a company’s financial records, auditors require specialized skills. These professionals keep track of the movement of money throughout the company and make sure it is recorded and processed correctly.
These are some of the top skills an auditor should have to be successful in their job:
- Ability to connect with people. An auditor should convey their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions clearly during meetings, interviews, presentations, and negotiations with audit executives and clients. Audit 2025, a survey conducted by KPMG/Forbes Insights, found that strong communication skills are among the top three skills that clients are looking for in auditors.
- Emotional intelligence. You could be frustrated over disorganized financial records or anxious about uncovering a potential fraud, but you must always remain headstrong for the sake of your work. Clients want an auditor who excels at keeping their composure and ensuring the bull’s eye — an accurate, exhaustive audit — remains squarely in sight.
- Thorough knowledge of the industry. You need to know the industry you are investigating to objectively analyze all information presented to you. The key is to ask the right questions and make the right suggestions.
- Professional skepticism. Auditors must exhibit professional skepticism and question every bit of information received by their clients while having a voice of their own. When interviewing employees in a company, a skeptical auditor will ask themself, “Am I getting the true picture?” and carefully follow the chain of evidence.
- Ability to listen. Auditors need to work on their listening skills. They should follow the 80/20 rule in sales, the ideal ratio of time dedicated to listening versus talking.
- Good with technology. Auditors use technology to reduce manual labor and invest more time in other tasks such as strategy development and advisory work. A proper understanding of these technologies helps auditors keep an efficient business working and avoid compromises in their clients' cybersecurity or system failures.
Auditors education and certifications
DegreeTo become an auditor, the minimum educational requirement is a bachelor's degree in accounting or related subjects like computer science, such as that offered by the Oregon Institute of Technology. However, employers seeking auditors with more preparation may look for people with a master’s degree in accounting or business administration. Some universities like the University of Utah offer specialized programs such as a bachelor's degree in internal auditing. You can choose after deciding whether you want to become an internal auditor or an external auditor.
CertificationsIt's always better to earn a Certified Public Accountant designation before starting a career path in auditing. Obtaining relevant certifications is the next step towards becoming a certified auditor. The following certificates will help you get ahead in your career:
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a designation offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) to graduates from accredited colleges and universities with work experience of two years as internal auditors and requires you to pass a four-part exam.
Other certifications such as Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA), and Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) are also offered by the IIA to those who meet all the educational and relevant experience requirements.
For those candidates who pass an exam and have five years of experience in auditing information systems, ISACA has the popular Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation.
CertificationsThe Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is an entry-level certification administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). You need it if you want more advanced certification in the future. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, also offered by the PMI, is the next step after the CAPM and it is considered the industry standard. This certification is administered only to those with prior project management experience. According to PMI, 82% of project managers (all types) hold this certification. Those who hold this certification report a 22% higher salary on average, globally. The Professional in Project Management (PPM) certification, administered by the Global Association for Quality Management, is suitable for those who want training in keeping project schedules, approaches to project control, and leading and motivating project teams.
Auditors Resume-Writing Tips
The importance of a well-structured resume in getting a job is something that can't be overlooked. So make sure it reflects your worth. Follow these three tips to craft a unique resume:
- Highlight how well you work under pressure. Auditing can be an exhausting job, and you need to have a stable mind to deal with work pressure. Employers prefer people who work well in complex situations by providing the right insights into every problem they face. Adding phrases such as "adept in planning and executing large, complex audits to identify and remedy potential business risks" will suggest you are capable of handling big projects with ease.
- Showcase your knowledge in auditing. One of the main things employers look for is how well you know the industry. A good auditor should have a clear understanding of best practices in accounting. Include things like knowledge of technology best practices, risk mitigation strategies, and financial fraud laws in your resume.
- Choose the right resume format. If you have only started your auditing career, you most likely lack experience. To avoid this experience gap, you can choose the functional resume format to highlight your auditing skills. It is important to choose the format that suits you best to get the attention of the employer.
Why is internal auditing conducted?
Internal auditing is conducted to provide independent assurance that an organization's risk management, internal control processes, and governance operate effectively. During this process, an internal auditor’s role is to adhere to their professional duty and provide an unbiased and objective view. They must remain independent from the operations they evaluate and report to the highest level in an organization; senior managers and governors.
What is the difference between internal auditing and independent auditing?
The main difference between an internal audit and an independent audit is that in internal auditing, the auditing is conducted by employees of the firm or the entity being audited, while in an independent audit, it doesn't include the employees of the entity being audited. Those agencies that desire an internal audit, and do not have an internal audit section, may request those services from the ADOA-GAO.