Auditing Career at a Glance
The work of auditors is vital to ensure that businesses run efficiently, comply with regulations, and avoid fraud and mismanagement. Auditors analyze organizations' internal controls, evaluate financial and information systems, and review operations. Some auditors have a particular focus, such as tax auditing and environmental management systems (EMS) auditing. Successful auditors possess a core set of skills: aptitude for mathematics, ability to analyze and interpret data, good communications skills, and proficiency with relevant computer software. Furthermore, auditors should hold themselves to high standards of integrity.
What to Know about Auditing Degree Programs
A bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field is the baseline requirement for most auditing jobs. Many professionals who work in tax auditing, internal auditing, and other auditing positions first work as accountants. Some choose to obtain certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)--a designation required for filing a report with the Securities Exchange Commission. Some colleges and universities enable students to specialize within an auditing degree, which may be a good option for aspiring auditors interested in EMS auditing, tax auditing, or internal auditing. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with master's degrees in accounting or business administration. Many masters programs offer courses specifically in auditing.
Auditing Salary and Career Outlook
As of May 2008, median annual wages for accountants and auditors were $59,430. Median annual wages break down among industries as follows:
- Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services: $61,480
- Management of companies and enterprises: $59,820
- Insurance carriers: $59,550
- Local government: $53,660
- State government: $51,250
Salary increases and job advancement opportunities should be more favorable with a higher auditing degree. As businesses become increasingly held to standards of accountability and transparency, auditors will be in growing demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 22 percent from 2008-2018, double the average for all occupations.