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How Do I Become an Auditor?

An auditor going over business receipts.
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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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The steps needed to be completed in order to become an auditor can be rather straightforward and simple to complete, but can take a lot of time. The first step is meeting the educational requirements, which will include an advanced degree of some type. The second step is often to get certification. If both things are achieved, the question is not then how to become an auditor but rather what particular field you are interested in.

In most cases, the job of an auditor involves checking financial information and reviewing that information for any inaccuracies or errors of fact. While the most high profile of cases actually involve uncovering cases of fraud, most of the time the job of an auditor is simply checking facts and verifying information. If discrepancies are found, these are likely mistakes, rather than attempts at fraud. Those wanting to become an auditor should have a strong attention to detail, like working with numbers, and be able to offer their findings in an authoritative way.

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Most of the time, a person wishing to become an auditor will likely go through college and achieve a degree in accounting. A degree in business, with an emphasis in finance, may be an option for those who want to keep their options open and look at other careers as well. Many students checking into what it takes to become an auditor may decide they would rather have a graduate degree, such as a Master's degree, which will provide some additional authority. When earning a degree, either an undergraduate or graduate degree, there will usually be an opportunity for internships as well.

After graduation, even if the individual has found a job where he or she has become an auditor, certification within a certain time frame may be required. Usually, becoming a certified auditor will take at least two years. A professional could be certified as an internal auditor, certified financial services auditor, or certified government auditing professional. The designation chosen will often depend on the type of career the individual is interested in.

Auditor careers are quite varied. An internal financial auditor will likely work for a company and audit that company's books, or will work for a private firm who is hired to conduct an independent review of the books of the company or organization. A county auditor or state auditor may oversee the books of governmental organizations and approve budgets for the local governments. In some states, both the county auditor's position and state auditor's position are elected. In others, they may be appointed.

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KaBoom
Post 3

I actually have a friend who works as a financial auditor. I asked him one day, "Why become an auditor?" and I was pretty surprised by his answer! He really enjoys finance and keeping everything in order. He enjoys finding those little discrepancies in financial records.

He feels like it's almost financial detective work. Sometimes you just find careless errors, but every now and then you uncover a case of fraud!

It doesn't sound terribly exciting to me either, but my friend seems to enjoy his job.

Azuza
Post 2
@Monika - Actually, you might be surprised. My sister decided to go into accounting when she went to college (although she did go in her mid-twenties instead of just out of high school.) A lot of colleges offer accounting programs, so someone must be taking them!

I'm actually less interested in the answer to the question of "How do you become an auditor?" than I am in the actual job specifics. I actually can't imagine anyone wanting to be an auditor. It seems like the job must be pretty tedious. You spend all your time looking through financial records, trying to find discrepancies? No thanks!

Monika
Post 1
I always wonder how someone decides on becoming an auditor. I don't know too many people that start college and say, "Hmm, I think I'll go to college and get a degree in account and then become an auditor." I'm sure it does happen, but I'm betting that's pretty rare.

I guess it's good that you can become an auditor with a degree in business with an emphasis on finance. I have a feeling there wouldn't be too many people qualified to be entry-level auditors if this wasn't the case!

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