What Does an Auditor Do?

If you are good at math, pay close attention to details and enjoy the challenge of analyzing numbers and information, there’s no wonder that you would want to pursue a career in accounting. However, there are many career options within this field besides that of a traditional accountant. Auditors are among the best paid professionals in the field of accounting. If your interest in business extends beyond simply reviewing financial statements to actively helping companies weed out misuse of funds and reduce waste to improve cost-effectiveness, working as an auditor may be the perfect career choice for you.

Job Description of an Auditor

Most people associate auditors, like accountants, with taxes and financial statements. Certainly, it is part of an auditor’s responsibilities to check that a company’s financial data is accurate, that there are no discrepancies in the books, and that tax and other paperwork are completed and filed at the appropriate times. Just like accounting professionals who focus more narrowly on tax preparation, auditors must understand the relevant laws and know the most important deadlines. The two careers are similar enough that the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps together auditors and accountants as a single occupation.

However, auditing goes beyond reviewing the accuracy of numbers and financial statements. Auditors can work in-house, which is known as internal auditing, or they can provide an outsider’s perspective as a contracted self-employed professional or an agency employee. Internal auditors review business practices in their entirety, from the company’s financial statements to how every department – including those not directly associated with bookkeeping – function. Some internal auditors work almost as consultants and business partners, according to the Career Center at the University of California at Berkley. The Institute of Internal Auditors considers consulting, risk assessment, evaluation of tools and technologies and analysis of processes to determine the efficiency of a practice to be among the most important job responsibilities of an auditor.

Benefits of Being an Auditor

This position is one of the highest-paying accounting jobs. Auditors typically earn between $50,000 and $70,000 per year, according to The Huston Chronicle. The BLS supports this statement, reporting the median annual salary of auditors and accountants at $63,550 collectively, though those working in the industry of accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation earn an average salary of $75,790 per year.

In addition to the high earning potential auditors enjoy, the job may also appeal to future accounting professionals because of its hands-on nature. Internal auditors, especially, have more opportunity than other accountants to make a tangible difference in how a company does business. Improving efficiency and reducing wasteful costs can result in measurable improvements in the success of a business.

Work as an auditor is among the most rewarding opportunities in the field of accounting. It allows professionals to analyze business practices as well as numbers and to combine a love for math with a business-savvy perspective. The excellent salary and the variability of job tasks make this career sought-after.

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