Audit Manager Jobs and Education Requirements

Sep 09, 2019

Audit managers typically require a high level of formal education and various certifications. Learn about the education, job duties and salary information to see if this is the right career for you.

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Audit managers oversee audit activities, which includes ensuring the reliability of financial data. A bachelor's degree is typically required. In addition to prior related experience, some companies prefer certification or a master's degree.

Essential Information

Audit managers tend to fall into three distinct areas: internal, government, and external audit managers. Most companies require audit managers to have a bachelor's degree in accounting, or related area, and many years of experience. Certification as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is preferred by most employers.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Certifications, prior experience and master's degree preferred
Common Job Specializations Internal, external and government
 Median Salary (2018)   $70,500 (for all accountants and auditors)*
 Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)   6% growth (for all accountants and auditors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Audit Manager Jobs

While the three main managerial auditing areas each have their own distinct tasks and requirements, there are common managerial duties that apply to all audit managers. An audit manager oversees all auditing activities for various departments within a company or supervises external auditors brought into a company. They analyze an audit's results, prepare reports, and send the reports to the appropriate officials. Managers may also research any issues illuminated by audits. They generally hire their own staff and may undertake related human resources duties

Internal Auditor Manager

Internal auditors are accountants who check corporations' books, including financial statements and ledgers, as well as conduct compliance and operational audits. Much of the work internal auditors do is computerized. Auditor managers typically oversee internal auditors' work.

Internal audit managers determine if internal controls are effective and, if not, they may suggest changes. Managers may discuss audit findings with the appropriate department. They may also be involved in designing audit procedures according to company guidelines, including the Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) standards. Auditor managers may help with implementation of new or altered standards.

Internal audit managers who specialize in information systems (IS) or information technology (IT) oversee an organization's control on its IT systems and applications. Organizations rely more and more on IT systems to manage company data and to support management, which in turn increases the risks associated with data loss and tampering. An IT audit manager must be able to assess risk and determine risk control measures, as well as assess the effect risk may have on the business if risk controls fail.

External Auditor Manager

External or independent auditors come into an organization to examine its financial statements, as well as evaluate the organization's internal controls. The audit manager may be required to establish a relationship with the managers of the companies they audit. They may also help with audits and tackle any complicated issues that auditors may encounter. Other job duties may include conducting staff reviews, training staff and finding new business.

Government Audit Managers

Government audit managers examine the financial records and statements of government agencies. They may also investigate the books of private corporations, organizations, businesses, and individuals. They look for evidence of illegal activity like tax evasion or fraud. They may also analyze financial data connected to a criminal investigation. The manager initiates the audit, oversees the audit process, and produces a report of the audit.

Audit Manager Education Requirements

Most audit managers have a bachelor's degree in accounting or a business degree with training in accounting. Employers may prefer applicants with a Master of Accounting (MAcc), Master of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting, or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

In addition, applicants may be required to have certification(s), such as a CPA, Certified Financial Service Auditor (CFSA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Actual certification(s) required depends on the position.

Employers may also stipulate that applicants have experience in accounting or auditing with some managerial experience, along with knowledge of the employer's industry or particular sector. Familiarity with Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) standards, GAAS and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is often beneficial.

A manager needs to be a team worker, have good communication, project management and leadership skills, as well as being well versed in spreadsheet and auditing software. An IT audit manager should have experience with technology.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment outlook for auditors is good; the BLS projects that job opportunities for accountants and auditors will likely grow at a rate of 6% between 2018 and 2028. The median annual salary earned by all auditors and accountants was reported as $70,500 in May 2018 by the BLS. Those working in school and employee bus transportation made the most money in 2018, averaging $$109,250 a year.

Audit managers can work as an internal, external, or government auditor. In each of these capacities they analyze financial data to verify accuracy and ensure generally accepted standards are followed. Those desiring to advance their career often become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

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