What Does an Auditor Do?
Auditors review the accounting records, operational data, and financial records of companies to ensure their financial records are accurate and in line with generally accepted accounting principles. Auditors might inspect the accounts of the company they work for or those of other organizations. They identify issues and make recommendations to solve the issues they discover. They might also make recommendations for risk management measures and cost savings.
Auditors must have excellent attention to detail, solid math skills, and strong problem-solving skills. They should work well under pressure and have the ability to work alone or as part of a team. Strong IT skills and exceptional interpersonal and communication skills are also necessary for this role. Auditors must possess good presentation and report-writing skills. Auditors can wear many hats when reviewing company financials and must excel at multitasking.
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National Average Salary
Auditor salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Auditor is:
Auditor Job Descriptions
Day to day
- Execute integrated audits in order to determine the level and effectiveness of governance, risk management, and internal control in the process involved and identify possibilities for improvement
- Make use of data analytics in your audit work
- Gather and analyze internal and external data concerning the audit target, in order to support the risk assessment and scoping process
- Report on the findings of the executed audits and translate improvement opportunities into conclusions and advice in order to provide management and other internal and external stakeholders with insight into the audit outcomes
- Monitor and validate the execution of required follow-up activities on audit outcomes by process owners in order to contribute to the effective and timely realization of improvements
- Invest in getting to know the organization, its processes, and related regulatory expectations
- Participate in projects to implement new systems, procedures, and processes, in order to realize desired project results
- Develop and maintain excellent working relationships with internal customers to ensure understanding of audits/procedures and cooperation
- Partner with colleagues to enhance Audit departmental processes
- Productivity contribution (# of audit assignments)
- Quality (internal review, auditee, and team feedback)
- Realization of individual targets
- Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, Finance, Economics, or another related field
- 4-6 years of experience in external or internal auditing preferably within the banking sector
- Maintain relevant certifications such as CIA, CPA, CISA, etc.
- Team player
- Excellent communication skills (verbal and written)
- Critical thinking style
- Understanding the big picture
- Customer service orientation
- Self-starter, obtaining results through a focused and disciplined work style
- Innovative mindset: Open for new ways of auditing, including ‘agile’, ‘data analytics, and ‘process mining’
- Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced business environment as audits are completed within a four-week period (planning, preparation, testing, and reporting)
- Willingness to travel for some North American or corporate-related audits
Duties and responsibilities
- Establish audit objectives and assist in the development of the audit program, including time estimates, plan of work, and steps necessary to collect data and document findings
- Develop audit tests that maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the audit process, ensuring a high degree of assurance
- Perform audits in accordance with professional and Company standards
- Assist in ensuring adequate audit planning occurs to obtain an underlying understanding of the business process, ensuring a high degree of assurance
- Participate in planning special projects to meet the needs of management
- Develop and execute Sarbanes-Oxley Accounting/Finance testing activities
- Participate in coordinating and performing audit assignments, reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of departmental operations, the adequacy of internal controls, and verifying compliance with regulatory and contractual requirements
- Execute audit work to assess the adequacy of the Accounting/Finance control environment supporting the identified business processes and their related risks
- Work collaboratively with IA management to ensure audit results (i.e., report) clearly communicate the identified risks/exposures and their identified root cause(s) to business unit and executive level management
- Work collaboratively with business unit management when they are developing action plans to address identified risks/exposures by providing relevant and practical recommendations.
- Assist in the implementation and maintenance of audit productivity tools.
- Identify output, process measures, establish data collection plans, and monitor process performance
- Analyze audit test results and summarize qualitative findings to provide Senior Management with detailed recommendations
- Review the reliability and integrity of Accounting/Finance processes and the internal control systems used to report such information
- Review various internal controls established to ensure compliance with applicable policies, plans, procedures, laws, and regulations
- Analyze various financial reports to ensure data being utilized at the user level is timely and accurate
- Follow-up on action plans for Accounting/Finance remediation items from audits to ensure timely implementation
- Consistently monitor Accounting/Finance compliance issues and determine what intervention is needed to ensure that subsidiaries follow Corporate Policy and Procedures
- Oversee work of permanent direct reports, and outside consultants, as needed
- Participate in the selection, training, supervision, and performance management of direct reports
- Other duties as assigned
Education and experience
- Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) in accounting, finance, or business administration required
- 4-7 years of experience in auditing internal control environments and activities (operational and/or financial auditing)
- Professional designations – CPA or CIA required, others, such as CISA, CFE, and CMA are preferred
- Working knowledge of Great Plains and PeopleSoft financial systems is preferred
- Technical expertise, objectivity, and unquestioned integrity are essential elements of this position
- Working knowledge of Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 404 in addition to the proven aptitude in Accounting/Finance auditing principles and IIA principles
- Demonstrate a practical knowledge or application of COSO
- Organizational and time management skills are a must
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to successfully interact with direct reports and various levels of business unit management
- Excellent PC skills, Microsoft Office Suite products, (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint), and familiarity, with Visio flowcharting and audit productivity software packages
- Superior analytical skills and overall business acumen
- Supervisory and leadership skills
- Ability to produce required quantity and quality work output while meeting deadlines
- Ability to learn, retain, and apply specific job knowledge and technology required for the job; and ability to transfer knowledge to direct reports
- Ability to solve problems in a timely manner, using research and reasoning to develop solutions
- Ability to communicate complex information in a clear and concise, manner to a financial and non-financial audience
- Ability to effectively manage all work and performance standards of direct reports
- Excellent customer service to internal and external customers
- Demonstrates initiative; creates innovative solutions
- Demonstrates company loyalty by supporting Company/Departmental goals and ensures employee adherence to policies and procedures
- Works with clients to ensure a full understanding of the control environment
- Prepares narratives, flowcharts, and risk assessment matrices to document control processes, and assists in the identification of risks and their respective mitigating controls
- Assists in the preparation of planning and announcement memos
- Participates in interviews with clients, executes audit programs, analyzes audit evidence, and documents audit work performed and conclusions reached, discussing any audit issues with the lead auditor and Manager
- Keeps lead auditor and Manager informed of the status of audits in progress
- Other duties as assigned
Minimum experience and qualifications
- Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Auditing, Finance, or a related field
- One (1) year of internal audit, business process consulting, and/or public accounting experience
- Strong concepts of internal control; able to recognize significant control issues
- Knowledge of and skill in applying internal auditing standards and accounting principles (GAAP)
- Ability to work independently with some supervision and complete assignments timely with sufficient attention to detail to ensure accuracy and thoroughness of coverage
- Strong analytical skills, organizational abilities, and written and verbal communication skills, including active listening and presentation skills and the ability to negotiate issues and resolve problems
- Some familiarity with basic technology controls
- Ability to develop working relationships; interface with all levels of the company and all members of the Corporate Audit Department
- The ability for occasional overnight travel (15%)
- In valid possession of travel documents with the ability to travel in and out of the United States
- Must pass a ten (10) year background check and pre-employment drug test
- Must be legally eligible to work in the country in which the position is located
Preferred experience and qualifications
- Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) experience
- Valid CIA, CPA, or CISA desirable (or eligible and pursuing)
- Strong skills with MS Office
- Experience with Onspring, data analytics (e.g., Tableau, Alteryx, Spotfire), and/or SAP a plus
How to Hire an Auditor
Consider the following when hiring an auditor:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring an auditor, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for an auditor opening:
LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process.
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- How would you describe your typical process of auditing and the workflow of a successful auditor?
- Why do you want to work for [Your Company Name] as an auditor?
- If you found some conflicting data within your reports, how would you go about investigating and rectifying it?
- Can you give an example of a situation where the data you presented was used to make changes in a company?
- What is some auditing software you are the most familiar with?
- Do you have any relevant certifications which prove your experience as an auditor?
- Do you have any previous experience as an auditor, or a relevant degree if not?
- How do you reduce the number of errors in your auditing?