How Do You Become an Auditor?

AuditorAs our nation’s economy continues to recover from the recent recession, it’s an excellent time for you to get started on the steps to become an auditor. In our competitive global business marketplace, it’s increasingly important for companies to hire qualified auditors to examine financial records for fraud or inefficiency to ensure negative conditions in the organization are corrected quickly. Due to rising corporate scandals, an increased focus has also been placed on auditing to make certain companies are complying with tax laws and tightened lending regulations. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of auditors will grow slightly faster than average at 13%, thus creating 166,700 new jobs by 2022. Below we’ll go through the steps you should take to benefit from this job growth and become an auditor.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Being an auditor requires a strong aptitude for mathematics and data analysis, so it’s not surprised that a bachelor’s degree is absolutely necessary to enter the profession. Most aspiring auditors choose an undergraduate major in accounting, but a degree in business administration could also be beneficial. A few U.S. universities also offer specialized bachelor’s degree programs specifically in internal auditing too. Regardless of your chosen major, be sure to bulk up your schedule with courses in investment analysis, risk management, insurance, government loans, taxation, business law, and statistics for solid career preparation.

Gain Practical Auditing Experience

Employers generally prefer job candidates who clearly show their auditing skills on their resume with valuable real-life work experience in the field. Many universities will help students supplement their classroom learning with part-time or summer internships in business firms. Finding entry-level work in bookkeeping or accounting clerks could also be a smart move for advancing into auditing positions quickly. Gaining practical experience will help you develop the analytical, communication, mathematical, logical, and organizational skills essential for auditors.

Consider Attending Graduate School

Though it’s certainly not required to become an auditor at most companies, more auditors are choosing to return to graduate school to receive a master’s degree for advancement. Earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Accountancy (MAcc) with a concentration in internal auditing would go a long way in helping you land a desired promotion. Master’s degree programs typically take between one to three years to complete and include a culminating capstone project or internship. Auditors earning a master’s degree often seek to climb up the ladder towards the roles of accounting manager, budget director, management accountant, treasurer, or controller.

Apply for Professional Certifications

Pursuing additional professional credentials is another common avenue towards career advancement for auditors. Certifications generally aren’t required by employers, but they guarantee a certain level of work experience and competency in the role. Through the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), you have the option to become a Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Financial Services Auditor, or Certified Government Auditing Professional. Pick the certification exam that best fits your overall career objectives and educational experiences.

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Being detail-oriented and good with numbers can suggest that an auditing could be the perfect way to do your part in meeting your company’s financial goals. Once you follow this step-by-step guide to become an auditor, you’ll have the professional abilities needed to unlock fast-paced positions in a variety of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, management, insurance, government, tax preparation, and bookkeeping.