What do you get when you mix an accountant with a detective?

Man sitting with his right leg crossed over the left looking at graphs on a tablet

You guessed it...

An auditor!

So What Do Auditors Do?

Think of auditing as accounting work mixed with a bit of investigative work. Auditors help organizations to ensure their financial processes follow accounting standards, laws, and procedures.

animated illustration of a laptop opening and a magnifying lens magnifying some of the graphs

Auditors are responsible for:

  • Identifying potential issues and areas of risk, such as fraud and financial risks

  • Examining processes, documents, and financial statements for compliance with laws and regulations

  • Explaining audit findings and making recommendations for audit solutions

  • Consulting with organizations to improve processes and efficiency, and decrease costs

  • Preparing detailed reports such as audit reports and recommendations

  • Ensuring taxes are filed and paid properly

Where Do Auditors Work?

There are many diverse opportunities. Auditors can work in a variety of areas, from small businesses to large-scale international companies.

Auditors can work in...

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  • Corporate/Public Firms

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  • Government Organizations

NGO building illustration

  • Non-profit Organizations

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  • Academia/Educational Institutions

Career Paths Are Diverse...

Depending on your area of interest, you can earn professional designations such as: Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

Auditors can specialize in:

typewriter with a piece of paper that says Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

  • Financial Forensics:

    Mixing criminal investigation skills with financial auditing skills to look for fraud, money-laundering, insider trading, scams, and other financial crimes

  • IT Audit:

    Reviewing an organization's IT systems for compliance and security

  • Tax Audit:

    Ensuring taxes are filed and paid properly

Two people (only arms shown) collaborating on some handwritten notes with laptops open in front of them Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

  • External Audit:

    Employed by outside organizations to check for proper management of funds, revenue, and internal controls

  • Internal Audit:

    Similar to External Audit, but employed by the organization they are auditing to help improve internal processes

But Will It Pay The Bills?

american flag illustration In the US the national average salary for an auditor is:

$57,615/year (USD)

canadian flag illustration In Canada the national average salary for an auditor is:

$55,921/year (CAD)

How Do You Know If Auditing Is Right For You?

white puzzle pieces fitting together except the one in the middle which is grey

You'll Love It If...

  • You're curious and analytical and enjoy putting together complex data

  • You enjoy working with various technology and software

  • You have an interest in accounting, math, law and government

  • You're a critical thinker and enjoy solving problems

Look For Another Career Path If...

  • You don't like sitting at a desk all day: Auditing is a 9-5 office job!

  • You're not a "people person": Auditors often interact with new people during each audit. They provide consultation services, and collaborate with team members on audit projects.

  • Numbers aren't your friend: Auditors spend a lot of time analyzing complex data and calculating financials.

  • You prefer routine tasks: Every day is different - auditors spend a lot of time learning about new organizations and their processes, and have multiple audit peojects on the go at once.

Hand clicking on mouse.

Pick The Future Auditor

woman with short hair and a pink and blue striped shirt illustration Jamie

  • Detail oriented and loves solving problems and puzzles

  • Enjoys math and economics

man with short curly hair and red sweater with black spots illustration Tom

  • Enjoys creative writing and social media

  • Likes routine

person with white glasses and yellow shirt and short hair illustration

Lynn

  • Likes physical work and working with tools

  • Enjoys science and math

Quiz

Who sounds like the best fit for an auditor career path?

Take Action

Does becoming an auditor sound like a good path for you?

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If so...

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This Byte has been authored by

LC

Linh Chau

Education Assistant