An auditor analyzes business, private and government financial records to make sure that things run in an efficient manner, are in order and that taxes are paid on schedule. This position requires advanced education and certification to be competitive in the job market. This job looks to have positive job growth as needs of businesses expand with the economy.
Those working in state positions earned on average $51,250, whereas as auditors working for a local government start at $53,660. The average salary for an auditor, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, is approximately $59,430, with the highest pay at or above $102,380 and the lowest pay at or below $36,720. The median pay range runs between $45,900 to a high of $102,380 per year. The National Association of Colleges and Employers states that an entry level auditor with a bachelor’s degree in accounting started at $48,993, while those with a master’s degree started at $48,993.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Benefits offered for this position included medical insurance, life insurance, paid vacation and a 401(k) plan for savings. Those in higher level positions may receive additional benefits, depending on the company they are employed with. Examples of these extra benefits include an expense account for travel and related costs and/or a business car to use.
Job Description and Outlook
Auditors are responsible for overseeing the smooth running of a company’s finances and making sure that state, federal and local taxes are paid in a timely manner. Analysis of financial records and transactions help them to do this. They also provide information to the client or employer regarding the state of finances, analyze budgets and help them to plan future investments. An internal auditor provides a check and balance within a company by making sure that funds are being used appropriately and looking for fraud that may be occurring.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, by the year 2018 job opportunities for auditors is projected to grow by 22%. With the continuing changes in financial regulations and laws, the need for auditors will grow. This growth will also be due to an increase in businesses with the need for accountability and handling of financial reports to the government, along with someone to conduct fraud control.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
To enter into an auditing position, most employers require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In other instances, a master’s degree is preferred in either accounting or one in business administration with an accounting emphasis. Those entering specialty areas may have to attend a program that is tailored to their particular needs. Once hired, a new auditor will work under the close observation of an experienced professional to gain experience and knowledge. As time goes on, the individual’s ability to work independently and his or her level of responsibility is increased.
Throughout and auditor’s career, they can pursue advanced degrees and/or attend seminars, conferences and professional development training to improve their skill level and knowledge. These trainings are often provided by professional organizations that the individual can join as a member. Many also can pursue additional training in order to become a CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, which can help a career grow.
An auditor who files any reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is legally mandated to carry certification as a CPA. To become a certified public accountant, the individual must meet that state’s requirements for the certification and pass a four section exam. They do not have to pass all four sections at once, but must do so within a certain time frame. The auditor must also have completed at least 150 college hours, which can be met in some schools that offer a five year program that awards a bachelor’s and master’s degree in combination. Once certification is achieved, the auditor must attend continuing education training to maintain it.
The Institute of Management Accountants offers a Certified Management Accountant certification. The individual has to have completed a bachelor’s degree and successfully passed graduate-level entrance tests with a certain score. The individual must also have two years work experience in management accounting, take a four section test along with attending professional development courses.
The Institute of Internal Auditors offers the Certified Internal Auditor certification for those who graduate from an accredited university, take an examination and have two years experience as an internal auditor. There are also a number of other certifications from professional organizations that auditors can take advantage of.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants located in New York, provides members with certification as a Certified Information Technology Professional, Personal Finance Specialist or an Accredited in Business Valuation certification. The Institute of Internal Auditors, located in Altamonte Springs, Florida, offers certification opportunities, continuing education and other resource opportunities to its members.
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