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Individuals with a solid foundation of math and a love of working for numbers often ask if they can become auditors with a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Since the terms auditor and accountant are often used interchangeably, a Bachelor’s in Accounting is generally the educational path towards this career. Bachelor’s degrees in accounting prepare students to seek work as auditors or accountants and prepare them for certifications. Here is an overview of auditors, including what they do, how to become one and what they can expect in terms of career outlook.
What Auditors Do
Auditors examine financial statements and forms for accuracy or any discrepancies. They also organize financial records, prepare tax forms, computer taxes owed, and inspect the company’s accounting system.
Their work may depend on the type of auditor they are.
- Internal Auditors – These auditors look for mismanagement of a business’s funds and determine ways to eliminate fraud and find missing funds. They work inside an organization.
- External Auditors – Their work is similar to internal auditors but they usually work for another company and are hired to come inside an organization to perform an audit.
- Information Technology Auditors – These auditors are internal auditors who oversee the organization’s computer systems to make sure financial data is from a trustworthy source.
A Bachelor’s in Accounting or a related field is the requirement to become an auditor. Usually, these four-year programs offer general education courses, accounting courses and major-related courses. Some aspiring auditors may choose to complete a specialized program like a Bachelor’s in Auditing, although these programs are not offered at all colleges. Many students also complete an internship at the end of the program.
Is Certification Required?
Auditors may not be required to obtain certification, but becoming certified is a way to demonstrate professional competence and knowledge in the field. Auditors can obtain certifications from several different agencies. The Certified Internal Auditor certification is offered through the Institute of Internal Auditors.
To be eligible for the CIA credential, candidates must be completed an auditor or accountant program, which is typically a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Additionally, he or she must have two years of experience working as an internal auditor and must pass a four-part examination. The Institute also offers:
- Certified in Control Self-Assessment
- Certification in Risk Management
- Certified Financial Services Auditor
- Certified Government Auditing Professional
The Certified Information Systems Auditor credential, which is offered through ISACA, is available for auditors who have at least five years of experience auditing information systems.
Career Outlook & Salary Potential
Although the condition of the overall economy will directly affect job growth for accountants and auditors, the professionals are predicted to see job growth of six percent during the 2018-2028 decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The growing globalization in the business world will also increase the demand for accountants and auditors. Auditors and accountants earned annual wages ranging from $43,650 to $122,840 with the average annual wage at $78,820. These figures come from a 2018 report by the BLS.
U.S. News & World Report ranks accountants and auditors third among Best Business Jobs and 24th among 100 Best Jobs. Auditors who obtain available certifications stand to see the best job offerings and those with good wages. A Bachelor’s in Accounting, along with certifications and work experience, puts auditors in positions for good jobs and room for growth.
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