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An information system auditor analyzes and interprets many different types of computer or information systems within a company or organization. They may develop, examine, and evaluate a company's information systems, internal controls, and management procedures to make sure records are accurate and information controls are in place. The responsibilities of an information system auditor, which include a working knowledge of computer software and systems, may be performed in the offices of a company or remotely. If an organization has multiple offices over a wide geographic area, an auditor may be required to travel from office to office. Various organizations provide certifications for those working in this position.
Developing and maintaining a company's information systems is one of the primary responsibilities of an information system auditor. This part of the job involves collecting and analyzing the company's information or data to avoid any potential problems, like a breach in security or inadvertent loss of critical information. One of the main functions of systems auditors is to make certain there is no fraudulent activity, unnecessary spending, or non-compliance with the many laws and regulations set forth by government entities. An auditor may also provide information to make sound decisions that will have positive impact on the information systems of a business.
Another part of this job may require that the systems auditor have or develop proficiency in accounting and auditing computer software or information systems. Knowledge of international business information procedures, international reporting standards, or current legislation regarding information and accountability may provide some auditors with an advantage in this position. Various certifications provide recognition and help to maintain a level of professional performance and credibility in this field. These types of certification may also give auditors a distinct advantage when looking for employment. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) provide various certifications for auditors.
Strong interpersonal skills, the ability to collaborate with people on all levels and team building are all part of working as an information system auditor. Typically, this job requires an auditor to work with different types of people from many different backgrounds including junior level internal auditors, accountants. The auditor may also travel to various locations to perform his or her duties so the ability to communicate financial information clearly, quickly and concisely with personnel whom they have just met is critical. Presentation skills are also required as auditors may be called upon to analyze various types of data, prepare reports, and present critical information to management.
An information system auditor typically works for a private company with a small percentage working as self-employed consultants. Most have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, computer systems, business administration, or other related field. Many also have a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in computers or information technology. Others in the information systems field have graduated from a business school, been systems analysts, or demonstrated information technology skills while working up through the ranks. Most junior or entry level auditors working with a more experienced senior auditor before being allowed to work independently.