What does a career in audit involve?

What does a career in audit involve?

Accountancy Age's careers series outlines what a career in audit involves, the key skills you need, and who might be suited to it

The role

Audits are retrospective checks on an organisation’s finances and financial situation. They must be completed by an independent body.

Most companies must be audited under law, and where it is not legally necessary a lot of companies will choose to have their financial information checked by independent accountancy firms.

Audits tend to be carried out as part of a team at the client’s premises. An auditor will visit the client site to assess their systems and financial records for accuracy, honesty, and risk, and check they are in accordance with the financial reporting framework.

The skills you need

While key soft and interpersonal will be expected, as with many jobs in the accounting industry, prospective employers will also look for specific skills, including:

  • Technical skills and knowledge
  • Analytical and problem-solving capabilities
  • Numerical skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • The ability to work well in a team and communicate with clients

Why auditing?

There are lots of reasons to pursue a career in auditing, both for your enjoyment and for good future prospects.

Auditors get the chance to visit lots of different companies and businesses. This creates the chance to develop your communication and client skills as well as learn about how businesses operate and build contacts.

This also means being an auditor is a very varied role, since you could have many different clients working across different industries.

Choosing a career in audit also means training for a qualification, meaning you gain a professional certificate which you can carry through your career. It is a career which challenges you and one in which you will always be learning.

Who can you work for?

You can choose to work in any professional services firm, small or large, which have an audit and assurance offering.

If you want to start in a top firm and work your way up, you might choose to train with a Big Four firm; Deloitte, KPMG, EY, or PwC.

Or you might prefer to join a smaller accountancy or specialist audit firm.

Embarking on this career path may also see you set up your own firm one day.

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