The Pros and Cons of a Corporate Auditor Career
Auditors analyze financial information to make sure that an organization's records are as accurate as possible. Check out some of the other pros and cons to working as a corporate auditor below.
|Pros of a Corporate Auditor Career|
|Relatively high pay (mean annual wage of $73,670 in 2014)*|
|Good employment benefits (dental and health insurance, paid vacation, retirement plan)**|
|Opportunity to make decisions independently**|
|Opportunities to work abroad for individuals who like to travel***|
|Cons of a Corporate Auditor Career|
|Potential for long work days (20% work more than 40 hours per week)*|
|Errors can cost the company money**|
|Must deal with increasingly complex financial regulations****|
|Continuing education is required**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **iseek.org, ***monster.com, ****The University of Vermont.
Job Description and Duties
Corporate auditors examine corporate financial records by inspecting accounting books, financial statements and accounting systems. They look for indications of mismanagement and fraud. Corporate auditors ensure that all transactions are in compliance with all laws and regulations. They check for accuracy to avoid costly errors. They also seek ways to eliminate waste and improve efficiency.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), corporate auditors earned a mean annual wage of $73,670 in 2014. Their career prospects are good, with job growth in the field projected to increase by 13% between 2012 and 2022, which is average. Increased regulations due to financial crises will create more openings for corporate auditors.
A bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is usually required for employment as a corporate auditor. Some employers require a master's degree. Strong math and accounting skills are also required for employment in this field. You must also be computer savvy and able to use various types of software, including spreadsheet, time management, financial analysis and compliance programs. The ability to analyze information to determine if it complies with regulations is critical. Other skills you will need for this occupation include:
- Complex problem solving
- Deductive reasoning
- Near vision
- Critical thinking
- Oral and written expression and comprehension
Job Postings by Real Employers
Employers require varying educational and experience requirements from potential corporate auditors. Travel and public account firm experience are sometimes required. Following are real job positions that were open in May 2012:
- A Houston oilfield services firm seeks a corporate auditor with at least two years of experience and advanced computer skills to conduct audits of financial transactions and information technology systems. A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, information technology or another relevant field is required, and public accounting firm experience is preferred. This position requires 50% travel.
- A corporation in New York is looking for a senior corporate auditor to conduct internal audits and impact studies and to determine risk reduction strategies. A minimum of three years of public accounting firm experience is strongly desired. 50% domestic and international travel is required.
- A company in New Jersey wants to hire a corporate senior internal auditor with a Master in Business Administration, although candidates with a bachelor's degree in accounting or a relevant field will be considered. Candidate must be a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor or be working to obtain professional certification.
How to Gain an Edge in the Field
Becoming certified will give you an edge in the job market. Certification proves that you are a professional with proven expertise as a corporate auditor. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers several levels of certification. Candidates must meet specified levels of education and work experience and pass exams to receive these certifications. The credentials offered by the IIA are: Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Financial Services Auditor, Certified Government Auditing Professional and Certified in Control Self-Assessment.
The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) also offers certification that can help you advance in your auditor career. In order to become a Certified Information Systems Auditor through ISACA, you must have requisite experience as an information systems auditor and pass an exam.
Other Careers to Consider
Bookkeeping or Accounting Clerk
If you like to work with numbers, but aren't ready to go to college, you may want to consider a career as a bookkeeping or accounting clerk. Bookkeeping and accounting clerks maintain financial records using computer software. They enter debits and credits and produce financial reports. According to the BLS, bookkeeping and accounting clerks earned a mean annual wage of $36,000 in 2011, which is considerably less than corporate auditors earn; however, the ability to get a job that offers good benefits without incurring the expenses of a college education might make this occupation worthwhile. The job prospects for bookkeeping and accounting clerks are about average, with the number of jobs projected to increase by 14% between 2010 and 2020.
Budget analysts help develop the budgets for organizations. They analyze proposals and funding requests to determine if they have merit. Budget analysts evaluate all budget-related activities to ensure that they are accurate and comply with regulations. They also make recommendations based on their findings. According to the BLS, budget analysts earned a mean annual wage of $71,000 in 2011. Their career prospects are about average, with job growth in the field projected to increase by 10% between 2010 and 2020.