A senior auditor plays an important role in the financial audit process. As a senior-level professional, they hold more responsibility than a staff auditor and report directly to an audit manager who supervises both staff auditors and seniors. If you are planning to specialize your degree in financial auditing, it is important that you know the role of each player that makes up an audit team. Here are the duties and responsibilities of senior auditors:
What Area of Auditing Do You want to Work in?
There are internal audits and there are external audits. You first need to decide which specialty area you want to work in before you can learn what you do at a senior level. If you work in external auditing, the audit team will collect, evaluate and assess financial statements and records to see if the records are accurate and the data is presented fairly, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. The team will check to see if the accountants followed the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and will look for errors and fraud. The results are presented to stakeholders, government agencies and creditors.
Internal auditing is a bit different. Instead of looking financial statements and investment records, internal specialists are looking at internal control systems to see if the company is effectively managing risks. The auditing team will evaluate the controls first to see if they comply with government regulations. After this, the team will review efficiency and make recommendations on improvements that can be made to processes and systems. The purpose is to mitigate risk and to ensure the company is complying.
What is the Role of the Senior Auditor?
Once you have selected which auditing team you want to be a part of, you can learn what your role will be. The structure of each audit department is typically the same; the senior oversee junior and staff auditors. Seniors are given auditing assignments by the manager in the department. They must evaluate and complete reports by the deadline. To meet deadlines, seniors perform a wide range of duties.
Seniors assign auditing tasks to staff auditors. After doing this, the senior will coach their associates and then look for errors in the work. They will monitor the budget for the assignment, verify compliance and then write up a report to make recommendations to managers. Internal auditors will look at all processes and external auditors will be looking at financial statements.
How to Become a Senior-Level Auditor
If this sounds like a role that you can fulfill, you will need to study for your bachelor’s degree majoring in accounting or finance. Once you have your bachelor’s degree, you will need at least 2 years of experience in a staff role where you will gain experience under the supervision of a senior. If you transition from another profession, having your CPA or your CIA credential can be very helpful to add to your resume, according to the Institute of Internal Auditors.
Demand for auditors is only projected to grow as companies put a focus on internal controls and risk management. If you want to pursue a career in auditing, map out a path that will lead you to your goal. Once you earn your degree, you can begin to gain field-related experience and work your way up the ladder to becoming a senior auditor.