A degree in auditing may be right for you if you are good with math and like working with numbers. Auditing students usually study accounting, auditing, taxation, and economics as well as other subjects. A degree in auditing can lead to positions like an auditor, internal auditor, forensic accountant, or government auditor.
Auditing is an integral part of accounting. Generally, it is the process of analyzing and assessing an individual's or business's financial records or internal operational controls. Degree programs in accounting and auditing may prepare graduates for a variety of careers in business and finance.
|Career||Auditors and Accountants|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Certified Public Accountant licensing required for most accountants|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||11%|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$75,280|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Auditing Degree Description
A career in auditing typically requires at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. These programs place strong emphasis on auditing principles and practices, and they also commonly cover taxation, financial reporting, economics, business legal environment and strategic management. Some employers prefer candidates with advanced degrees, such as a master's degree in accounting with a concentration in auditing. These programs provide in-depth exposure to audit-related legislation. They may also familiarize students with the use of technology in auditing.
Licensure and Certification
Some accounting and auditing positions, such as chief financial officer of a publicly traded company, require licensing as a Certified Public Accountant. There are also voluntary certification programs available. For example, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers the Certified in Financial Forensics credential to qualified candidates.
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Auditing Career Information
Auditing is a way to assess the condition and validity of an entity's financial records. It is also used to assess an organization's internal operational controls, which are the practices and procedures that enable it to operate in accordance with accepted business practices and applicable laws. Auditors work in a variety of settings and may serve as internal auditors, forensic accountants or government auditors.
Internal auditors assess the financial records and internal operational controls of the companies that employ them. They review the company's financial records, procedures, controls and practices to detect possible deviations, infractions or inefficiencies. These auditors typically document their findings, and these documents, in turn, are used by managers to correct deficiencies.
Forensic accountants are public accountants who specialize in the investigation of such crimes as securities fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. They combine their accounting and auditing expertise with an understanding of the law and investigative methods to detect illegal activity. They coordinate closely with law enforcement agencies and attorneys during investigations and may appear in court as witnesses.
Government auditors examine the records of government agencies. They also audit the tax records of private businesses and individuals. Some government auditors work for government agencies and audit those agencies internally, while others work for agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), that conduct audits on other government organizations, businesses or individuals.
Auditor Job Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that jobs for auditors, as well as accountants, are expected to grow 11% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This projected increase in employment is due to the growing number of businesses and the rising need for professionals who can check financial standards. Globalization and increased complexity of fiscal data are also factors. The BLS stated that the average salary for accountants and auditors was $75,280 in May 2015.
A career in auditing generally requires a bachelor's degree, though some positions may also require a master's degree. Certification as a CPA may also be required, as well as other specialized certifications. The job outlook for auditors and accountants is higher than the job market as a whole, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.