Home Insights & Advice How to become a financial auditor

How to become a financial auditor

by John Saunders
18th Sep 21 10:25 am

When it comes to choosing a career, it’s important to focus on the kind of roles that either reinforce or make the best use of your existing natural talents. If you are somebody that is incredibly thorough and notices the finer details that others often miss (and if you have a keen eye and mind for numbers) then you might be the ideal financial auditor.

But what is a financial audit and what do financial auditors actually do on a daily basis? To cut a long story short, financial auditors inspect the accounting data, financial records, and operational aspects of a business to determine whether its financial statements are above board and whether or not the business is being financially successful.

They put businesses under the financial microscope, as it were. They also evaluate and test internal controls and governance as well as ensuring taxes are paid on time and offering advice for better financial operating practices.

But how do you go about becoming a financial auditor?

 On a personal skill level, to be a financial auditor you need to be an individual with a keen attention to detail and the ability to juggle dozens of plates (from finances and taxes to data and regulations) without breaking a sweat. They must also possess strong communication and written language skills as well as a good mathematical brain. 

What duties does a financial auditor have?

A financial auditor will be tasked with maintaining a business’s financial records, preparing taxes for the business and individual employees, periodically inspecting accounting books and working to make the business more financially stable. It’s a lot of responsibility to take on and as such, expect long hours, particularly during tax season. However, if you are a focused individual, it might be the ideal career for you.

Becoming a financial auditor  

Get a degree – The best initial route into auditing is to get a decent University degree. It might sound like a cliché but the best degree to go for specifically would be accounting and finance. However, with any degree, you might be able to get your foot into a graduate training scheme, which will allow you to get your foot truly on the ladder.

Earn your certification – If you want to be an internal financial auditor, you don’t actually require any form of formal certification. If, however, you want to get into third-party auditing (which is where the real money is) then you’ll need to be certified by the ACCA, ICAEW or the AIA. The best way to do this is by starting on a graduate scheme at a company, however, if you’re lucky and determined you could also earn a place on the National Audit Office’s training scheme.

Work with a mentor and continue your education – The more groundwork you’ve done, the better qualified you’ll be to do the job. That’s true of any job but is particularly true here. So, always keep growing, learning from others and asking questions.

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