Auditor Career Outlook

Looking for a great career that is solid, dependable, and that is found in just about every company and industry across the board? Then perhaps you might consider being an auditor. An auditor is needed in just about every company at one time or another, and some work full-time for one company and others on a work-for-hire basis.

What is the career outlook for auditors? While certainly nothing is absolute, there is room for growth in the career of auditing because of stricter financial and reporting regulations. There is also a need for auditors in environmental areas since many companies are implementing stricter regulations when it comes to that impact.

Audits may reveal different processes that need changing such as how inventory is handled, or may reveal areas of a company where personnel can be trimmed.

Facts and Figures

Overall the job outlook for auditors is favorable for the next decade and beyond. Some estimate job growth at around 18% for most auditors. The number of new auditing jobs is expected to be over 250,000 during this time period, according to most studies.

This is not due just to the expected growth of the economy but because of changes to laws and regulations that call for the use of auditors. Changes to legislation will affect taxes, financial reporting standards, business investments, mergers, and other financial events that will mean using auditors as well.

As an example of how recent legislation has brought about the need for additional use of auditors, in 2002 Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which is meant to curb accounting fraud in corporations. Public companies are now meant to maintain internal controls that ensure accuracy in financial reporting, and this legislation holds a company's executive or executives personally responsible for false accounting information.

This means that more and more companies are expected to use the services of outside auditors in order to maintain the accuracy of their finances. Many companies are also expected to keep internal auditors on staff in order to consistently review financial processes. This translates into tremendous job growth for auditors, outpacing many other career options.

Legislation also means the need for more government accountants and auditors as they must review company paperwork and finances and ensure adherence to this legislation.

Best Job Prospects

As with many other professions, the job prospects are typically better for those with advanced education and skills. Auditors and accountants that have specialized training in various software applications, those that have knowledge of current and especially new legislation, and those that have experience or expertise in international business will be preferred job candidates.

Additionally, accountants and auditors typically work in a team environment and must recognize their audit as not just a simple report but as a tool used by employers to make business and financial decisions. Audits may reveal different processes that need changing such as how inventory is handled, or may reveal areas of a company where personnel can be trimmed. This means that the results of those audits need to be presented clearly and in a way that provides useful information to those calling for the audits.

An auditor also needs to work closely with those being audited; they are often guarded and defensive, as if an audit were an accusation. But a good auditor knows how to present questions so that they drop those defenses and realize that everyone is working together as a team.

Other Prospects

There are other occupations related to accounting that also are outpacing typical career growth. Economists, accountants, personal financial advisors, budget analysts, cost estimators, loan officers, and careers such as these are also experiencing strong growth and should continue to experience growth over the next decade.