Are you good with handling financial records such as taxes, purchase orders and perhaps taxes? Are you good with detail and numbers? Then perhaps you should consider becoming an auditor. Auditors are individuals that play a similar role to an accountant. Auditors look at financial records of various companies and individuals. They have to closely scrutinize financial statements to make sure everything is accurate and is compliant with federal/state laws.
There a different types of auditors so this is something you’ll need to consider in terms of the schooling you will need. For example, there are internal auditors that review records of the company that employs them and there are tax and independent auditors that work for a number of companies as well as private individuals. You’ll need schooling in math an accounting. Your local community college is a good place to start but there are also courses offered online. This type of career is especially good for online study. Depending on how high you go in your education and the particular auditor you want to become, there are several certifications available.
If you are thinking ahead, and you are still in high school, make sure to take accounting and algebra as this will put you ahead of the game.
You’ll need a high school diploma to start with. You can apply for positions in local accounting firms or government agencies. Try a clerk position if you can’t find an auditing position. This is not always possible these days but give it a try as this will give you experience in the field.
You’ll need to pass a college entrance exam such as the SAT/ACT. You need this to enroll in college. It is possible to get an associates degree but you are better off with a bachelor’s degree. It is best to major in accounting. You can start off in a community college and later transfer over to a four year university if you want. This is the cheapest way to go other than taking courses online.
Once you complete your bachelor’s program you need to work for two years. You can start as an internal auditor. This experience is required if you want to be a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). There are other certifications you can get such as the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) and a Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP). Starting out as an internal auditor is a good way to go and then make a change from there if you want to.
When you apply for an auditor’s position, you’ll need to order official transcripts from the school you went to. These transcripts contain all the courses you took and your grades and they will be sent directly to the company you are applying to. The transcripts are part of the application process. You’ll also need letters of recommendation. These letters can come from professors you have studied with as well as supervisors you worked with in business.
Depending on the area of auditing you chose, you’ll need to register and take the certification exam for that area. These exams are offered biannually and are available in a number of locations around the world. Make sure you are well prepared for this exam. It’s important that you do well. Sample questions should be available from your program counselor or major professor. Practice, practice, practice!
Although it is not necessary to become certified as an auditor, it is best you do so. Having a certification is highly respected and will help you get better employment.