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Those who want to become a city auditor need to have a very strong background in finance, preferably public finance, as well as accounting principles. Most of the time, cities will follow guidelines and standards put forth by the Government Accounting Standards Board, so familiarity with those standards is preferred. It is also important for an individual looking to become a city auditor to understand how the position is handled in his or her community.
The city auditor position, like many other forms of city personnel in administrative functions, may be appointed or elected. The choice between appointing and electing is often a matter of state law, though in some places, local voters may also have a say in how the position is handled. Like many other city elected positions, the ultimate goal of anyone wanting to become a city auditor, and remain in that position, is to please the voters. Though the job of city auditor is not truly a partisan political position, the party he or she is affiliated with could play a role in the election, especially if one party is in a stronger position in a particular year.
Many universities, and some colleges, will offer degrees in public finance, and public administration. One of these will be required for those who want to become a city auditor, especially if the position is an appointed one. In some cases, certain minimum qualifications may need to be met to become a city auditor even if the position is an elected one. Like other elected offices, there are always some kind of minimum qualifications, be they usually relate to age or education.
Those who want to become a city auditor in a medium to large-sized town may need to get an advanced degree. A Master's is always a good idea, and represents the minimum qualifications for some cities. Usually, those who only have a Bachelor's degree may be able to find a job in smaller cities, which are those with populations of less than 15,000. Once a few years of experience is gained, that may serve as a substitute for the Master's Degree requirement in larger cities.
Often, those who want to become a city auditor will also be able to find a job in a support position. There may be jobs as assistant auditors or in the city's accounting department that are immediately available. From there, it should be possible for individuals to work their way up, as long as the quality of work remains consistently high.
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