Should I Become a Premium Audit Manager?
A premium audit manager plans, manages, and implements insurance audits. Like in other industries, insurance companies are subject to audits in order to ensure that policies, prices, and negotiations are within the law, and the accounting associated with insurance companies are in order and comply with federal and state tax law. Premium audit managers are specialized auditors for the insurance industry.
Like other auditors, premium audit managers spend much of their time in office settings; in addition to their central office, auditors will enter and examine the offices of insurance companies that are being scrutinized. Local travel to these companies' locations is required. Although much of their workload in examining documentation and financial records may be done independently, some auditors work in teams in order to complete examinations of larger insurance companies or offices. The majority of insurance auditors work full-time during regular business hours.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Accounting, insurance, or business|
|Experience||1-3 years of experience in the insurance field, as well as supervisory experience|
|Key Skills||Strong oral and written communication skills; knowledge of state and NCII audit guidelines, loss control, and workers compensation coverage; familiarity with Microsoft Office|
|Median Salary (2015)||$67,190 yearly (for all accountants and auditors)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Now let's check out the career steps for premium audit managers.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Though a degree is not always required, some employers prefer candidates with at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, insurance, or business administration. Educational programs in these areas teach fundamental principles and practices in financial management, business regulations, auditing, and tax law. To provide real-world application to the curricula, schools typically offer field work and internship programs that provide students with the chance to observe and work with experienced professionals.
Step 2: Get Experience in Insurance
In addition to relevant education, employers generally look for professionals with experience in auditing, insurance technology, and financial management. Working in insurance claims adjusting, policy sales, or accounting after college could help to establish a base of experience relevant to the field of premium auditing.
Step 3: Obtain Necessary Credentials
In some cases, employers request premium audit managers to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or Certified Financial Examiner (CFE). A state board of accountancy issues the CPA examination and requires supervised experience under a certified accountant prior to conferring the license, though the number of experience hours required varies. The Institute of Internal Auditors administers the exam for the CIA credential, as well as specialized credentials for controls, government, and financial services auditing. The Society of Financial Examiners allows experienced members who have completed at least one college-level course in management to test for the CFE designation.
Step 4: Acquire Optional Certification
Though professional certification is usually voluntary, a credential in premium auditing demonstrates specific knowledge of the field and can lead to career advancement. The Institutes, formerly the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, offer an Associate in Premium Auditing (APA) program that prepares individuals for certification. Professionals can earn Associate in Premium Auditing (APA) and Certified Insurance Premium Auditor (CIPA) credentials by completing education and experience requirements, passing an 85-question exam, and submitting an essay on premium audit management.
Remember to complete continuing education. Licensure and certifications generally require some level of continued education to keep them active. Premium audit managers can enroll in relevant coursework offered at several colleges and universities. Additionally, credit could be awarded for participation in conferences, seminars, and workshops in various areas related to the field, such as insurance, auditing, financial accounting, or risk management.
To recap, with a bachelor's degree, experience, and the right credentials, a premium audit manager can earn about $67,000 a year to manage and implement insurance audits.