By Eric Garneau
What Are Financial Examiners?
Though a career as a financial examiner may not sound that glamorous, it can be the stuff movies are made of... that is, if you like corporate dramas. Financial examiners investigate companies' accounting practices to ensure no malfeasance, fraud or negligence. They may work internally, in which case an employer hires them to audit his or her own organization, or they could work for an external regulatory agency. Examiners may even be called upon to present evidence of their findings in court. Those professionals who specialize in criminal cases are known as forensic accountants.
The BLS predicts job opportunities for financial examiners to grow by 41% between 2008 and 2018. The reason why's not too hard to figure out: even before the 2008 recession, scandalous stories of monetary mismanagement plagued the corporate world. In times of economic crisis, businesses' financial practices have become even more scrutinized. It's no surprise that many companies would try to protect themselves by hiring examiners who verify their operations are legitimate. Similarly, organizations that monitor business' behavior will continue to employ more examiners to check that money from private investors or the government isn't being misused. In fact, according to the BLS the employer which makes most use of financial examiners is the Federal government itself.
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As of May 2009, the BLS reported that financial examiners earned a mean annual income of $79,070. The top ten percent of workers in the profession made $129,620 on average, while the bottom ten percent brought home an average of $40,680.
As reported above, in 2009 the Federal government employed the most financial examiners by a wide margin, beating out the next-highest employing agency by 50%. They also paid their workers the largest mean annual wage, at $101,650. Other industries which employed a significant amount of financial examiners include state governments and securities and commodities brokerages. Central banks and firms involved in other investment activities netted financial examiners the second highest annual wages.
Not surprisingly, Washington, DC offers both the highest concentration of employment and highest salary for workers in the financial examiner field. Other states with a significant amount of financial examiners include Massachusetts and Nebraska, while Illinois and New York round out the top-paying states.
Businesses aren't the only ones having trouble managing their money. How are universities doing with their funds ?