Audits give shareholders confidence in their accounts, knowing that they are fair and accurate. It helps them to improve their financial statements, everything is above board and can also help a company’s internal systems.
If this is an area that may interest you, you must be good with numbers! Take a look at the information below and kick start your search for a postgraduate course that suits you and your career.
What is auditing?
Auditing is the examination or inspection of financial books, records or information. It involved the physical checking of these in order to ensure all departments of a company follow the correct system of recording transactions. It helps companies and businesses to make sure they are heading in the right direction and have healthy finances.
What does an auditor do?
As an auditor you may work up to 40 hours a week. There may be times you will have to work a few hours more during tax audits to make sure all deadlines are met. Typically, you will work 9-5, Monday to Friday. You will work with clients and meet their deadlines. Nearly all work is carried out in an office setting. Duties carried out may include:
- Ensure money raised by taxes is used efficiently
- Review company accounts
- Recommend ways of avoiding risk
- Collate, check and analyze data from spreadsheets
- Examine company control systems
- Make sure accounts and all financial records are accurate
- Identify a change in the processes used by companies if their current ways are not working
- Prepare reports, financial statements and feedback
- Liaise with company management to give advice and explain your findings
- Review wages
There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Coivd-19 and may offer courses online. Courses available include:
Internal Audit Management and Consultancy
Postgraduate courses in this area will allow students to gain the necessary skills, techniques and methods used by internal auditors. They will learn about financial risk and compliance style audits. The main aim of these courses is to ensure that graduates positively contribute to the organisations they work for.
Forensic Audit and Accounting
These courses aim to equip students with the necessary skills to work in an area of high demand and expertise. Areas focused on include fraud investigations, valuations, assisting in dispute resolution, preparing expert reports and to conduct fraud and forensic analysis. Students will have the ability to evaluate the principles of good corporate governance and the integrity of management and to understand the role of forensic techniques in an investigatory and legal context.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1. A degree in a relevant area is desired. Some courses will require a Certified Internal Auditor qualification, depending on the specific course.
There are both internal and external auditors. Potential employers of auditors include:
- Internal – work in house as part of the company’s accounting team
- External – work with private firms of accountant or in the public sector for the National Audit Office
- Government bodies
The salary of an auditor may depend on their experience, the company they’re working for/with and the location they are working. Salaries in London are mostly higher. Salaries may also depend on if you are an internal or external auditor. Salaries may begin around £22,000-£35,000. With experience, usually more than 7 years, you may earn anything between £32,000 to £53,000. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:
- Strong communication skills
- Time management skills
- Organisational skills
- Attention to detail
- Ability to work with numbers
- Ability to work well with others
- Able to work well under pressure
- A knowledge of accounting information
- Strong IT Skills
- A logical thinker and worker
- Self motivated
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Able to balance work and study where necessary