Would You Make a Good Auditor?

Auditing may not seem like a glamorous career but it's actually very interesting and rewarding. An auditor is not meant to simply find discrepancies and possible fraud, but also works to solve financial problems, set budget priorities, and otherwise help with various decisions.

However, auditing is not for everyone. It can be tedious at times, and often those being audited resent the "intrusion" into their paperwork and transactions. All things considered, would you make a good auditor? Here are some important considerations in this regard.

An auditor may also need to communicate clearly about their findings if there are questions about that report or more information is needed.

Organizational Skills

Being an auditor means being very organized. You need to prepare for an audit by considering all the paperwork and other information you'll actually be auditing. You need to plan the audit step by step, as often you need to complete one aspect of the audit before you can move onto another.

Because you often need to discuss the audit with those being audited, this means also being organized enough so that you can notify them within a reasonable timeframe, and so that they can have a reasonable expectation as to how much time they should schedule as well. All of this means having superior organizational skills overall.

People Skills

It's easy to think that as an auditor, your job would involve little contact with others. This is actually very shortsighted. An audit is about more than just reviewing paperwork; often questions need to be asked of those being audited so that you have a better understanding of the information you're collecting.

This can be the trickiest part of auditing because often those being audited resent the intrusion into their business, and often treat an audit as an accusation. Questions asked by the auditor can make it worse, if they're posed in a way that puts the other person on the defensive. A good auditor knows to approach those being audited in a way that encourages cooperation and that does not come across as being combative.

If you tend to simply be demanding when you communicate with people or seem to have a hard time communicating in the first place, then you may want to consider your skills as an auditor. The persons being audited need to understand what is expected of them and also need to be treated with respect, even if there are problems with that audit.

Reporting Skills

In most companies, audits are about much more than just finding mistakes and errors. Audits are used to make budgeting decisions, inventory decisions, decisions about personnel, and many other decisions that affect the persons or departments being audited. An audit may reveal practices in accounting that need to be addressed, or shortcomings in other reporting processes as well. This means that often an audit report needs to be composed in such a way that it becomes a useful tool for those looking to make those decisions.

Rarely will an auditor turn in a report that simply states that there were no errors found; they need to be detail oriented and composed in such a way that they are truly helpful to those calling for the audit. An auditor may also need to communicate clearly about their findings if there are questions about that report or more information is needed.

There are many skills that are needed to be a good auditor, and math and accounting are just the beginning. Auditing is about much more than checking the books; it's about communicating vital information that is used by many in order to keep the business profitable and healthy overall.