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A bank auditor monitors the operations of her bank to ensure its compliance with industry guidelines and adherence to measures that deter fraud. Her job generally requires she establish and follow a schedule to regularly check the appropriateness of all business activities. She may work in a large or small financial institution.
In an industry frequently considered highly competitive, a bank auditor reviews the general and specific aspects of daily practices to guarantee her bank remains competitive and maintains the integrity expected by its customers. She scrutinizes every practice from teller transactions through the security of the bank’s vaults and courier services. As an industry professional, she is generally aware of competitors’ procedures. She is typically expected to objectively rate her bank’s performance against others and take measures to improve upon areas that fall short of excellence.
Usually on an annual basis, a bank auditor prepares a list of goals for her bank. These generally relate to increasing the customer base, retention of existing customers and improving lending rates to make them more attractive to clients. Other objectives often include reducing error rates in transaction processing, improving customer service ratings and decreasing loan default rates.
Once the annual goals are finalized, a bank auditor normally develops a plan to reach them and presents them to the various managers for review and input. Each manager usually imparts the information to his or her respective employees. Incentives are frequently offered to those who increase the sales of products and services or significantly reduce accounting errors.
Another typical area of concern for bank auditors is compliance with regulations and guidelines governing lending practices and disclosure procedures. Since the industry guidelines are frequently updated and revamped, it is important for the bank to be in total compliance in their operations to avoid penalties and properly secure customer deposits. If infractions are discovered through third party assessments, the bank auditor traditionally serves as the liaison between the independent auditors and her bank’s personnel to resolve them.
Success in this position generally requires a positive attitude and the ability to inspire others to appreciate the importance of accuracy, compliance with rules and optimum customer satisfaction. A bank auditor also needs to be computer savvy to create reports and spreadsheets. She also normally benefits from good oral and written communication skills.
A bachelor’s degree in banking, finance, business administration or accounting is usually required to be a bank auditor. A master’s degree in one of these concentrations is an asset for applicants. Regional or national certifications in bank auditing coupled with banking or finance experience are highly preferred.
A bank auditor does not monitor. Monitoring is a (senior) management responsibility. Instead, a bank auditors reviews operations. In addition to periodic reviews, a bank auditor may implement a "continuous audit" framework. Continuous auditing is a specific topic which does not seem to be the subject of this article.
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