From examining financial statements to ensure 100% accuracy to inspecting account books for compliance and regulatory purposes, auditors perform a number of important functions for businesses of all kinds and sizes. The variety of tasks they perform — and the robust demand for them among today’s employers — are a few of the reasons why this position continues to be popular throughout the country.
Auditor positions are also highly desirable because the skills learned and practiced therein provide opportunities for advancement throughout the course of one’s career. This includes promotion to the role of auditing manager. If you aim for career progression and are passionate about financial analysis, you may want to consider becoming an auditing manager. The online Master of Accounting program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Collat School of Business can give you the skills, knowledge, and training you need to become a highly effective auditing manager, outfitted with the capabilities that employers seek. It may open the door to other desirable career paths for you as well.
Before detailing the specifics of what you can learn and discover about yourself through the Collat School of Business, let’s discuss what the role of auditing manager is all about and what these professionals typically do on a day-to-day basis.
What do auditing managers do?
In many ways, the respective roles of auditors and auditing managers are very similar. They’re both trained in preparing, examining, and vetting financial records, whether as external auditors — who are typically employed by government or independent entities — or as internal auditors. Auditing managers, as well as traditional auditors, must possess a keen eye for detail and a mastery of key compliance concepts and tax laws.
Where auditing managers and auditors differ is their responsibilities and who they answer to. Whereas auditors are responsible for themselves and answerable to the client and their employer, auditing managers typically lead audit teams, which may include auditors. If auditors were to have an issue with some of their work assignments, they may take that concern to their auditing manager. These supervisors also frequently serve as intermediaries between the main decision-makers for a company and the auditors that they oversee. As such, they may relay information on behalf of the overall leadership team to their audit team.
Additionally, an auditing manager oversees the process of internal audits (assuming they’re employed by the company that is being audited), makes recommendations on policies, or may develop and coordinate certain policies and procedures. These may include procedures within a company that help employees avoid behaviors or actions that may lead to risk for the organization. Risk management is something that board members today take too lightly. Indeed, according to a 2019 survey conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors, boards typically overestimate their organizations’ ability to manage risks. Someone who specializes in risk management may therefore be advisable, which may be handled by auditing managers and the professionals they oversee.
Whereas auditors mainly focus on the tasks involved with auditing activity, an auditing manager is responsible for executing those auditing plans by effectively leading audit teams. Sometimes, those plans may be relevant to financial data, but in others, they’re related to human resources or internal affairs. In human resources, this role is often assumed by an internal auditor.
Leadership is a major component of auditing management. Since there are many different elements to auditing, audit teams may turn to their managers for guidance, support, advice, instruction, and answers to questions that can help them succeed. Being able to support auditors in all of these aspects entails having strong leadership skills and a willingness to be someone others can come to for assistance when they need it.
What other skills do auditing managers need?
At their core, audits are inspections of financial records, documents, taxes, and other written materials. Because an auditing manager may be the last person documents go to before they’re submitted to their employers (e.g. board members) or government bodies, auditing managers must be very detail-oriented and have an ability to identify potential errors so they can be corrected.
Because they’re responsible for audit teams — made up of people with their own individual strengths, weaknesses, and personalities — they also need excellent communication skills so directions and instructions as to how an audit should be performed can be relayed clearly and succinctly.
Good communication skills work in tandem with having a mastery of their industry. For example, tax laws can be incredibly complex and difficult to understand for anyone who doesn’t have a background in compliance. Auditing managers need to be able to streamline information for their clients so it’s fully comprehendible. An experienced auditing manager may be able to do this more effectively because of what they’ve learned in terms of making financial data more practical.
A few other important qualities that auditing managers should possess include comfort with various math concepts (like calculus and statistical analysis), an ability to stay organized, strong problem-solving capabilities, and critical thinking aptitude, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you’re currently an auditor but would like to become an audit manager, UAB offers a number of classes that can build upon what you’ve already learned and teach you a combination of hard and soft skills through the robust online Master of Accounting program. Through three-credit courses such as Advanced Auditing and Attestation, Corporate Governance, Tax Entities, and Income Taxation, you’ll be armed with the intellectual ammunition you need to succeed as an auditing manager.
What’s the outlook for an auditing manager’s average salary?
Employers know that well-trained auditors have a lot to offer, which is why they are well paid, earning a median annual wage of approximately $71,550, according to the most recent BLS figures available. Since auditing managers have more responsibility than a standard auditor, they tend to earn more as a result. For example, an experienced auditing manager with several years of experience in this position can make a six-figure annual average salary, depending on the industry. When including all industries (e.g. finance and insurance, government, tax preparation, payroll services, etc.), the average annual salary for an auditing manager is $90,726, according to the latest statistics available from PayScale.
How much an audit manager makes depends on a host of factors aside from experience and their industry. This includes where they’re employed (in terms of what state), the economy, and supply and demand. Highly populated states like California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois tend to have the highest demand for accountants and auditors.
Some of the leading employers for auditing managers include EY, RMS McGladrey Inc., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clifton Larson Allen, Deloitte, and KPMG, according to PayScale. Offshoots of the auditing manager title include senior manager auditor, financial controller, and corporate controller. These roles have comparable salaries and job responsibilities, although what those are generally differs depending on the employer and level of experience of the applicant or individual promoted to such a position.
What type of education do you need to become an auditing manager?
As noted by the BLS, accountants and auditors have similar job responsibilities and typically are trained in the same concepts. A bachelor’s degree provides the base of knowledge that students can leverage and that makes them qualified for most positions. Because auditing is a specialized field and has different branches, universities may also offer programs that are more customized to specific types of auditing or accounting (e.g. internal audits, forensic accounting, tax accounting, etc.).
Generally speaking, a master’s degree is not a prerequisite to becoming an auditor or auditing manager, but it can bolster your accounting expertise and give you more experience that may help you stand out to employers. UAB’s online Master of Accounting program is designed to give you the training and skill sets that will help you with professional development. Even if you don’t currently have a bachelor’s in accounting, the bridge program can get you up to speed.
What is a global tax audit manager?
In addition to supplying you with the capabilities employers are looking for in auditing managers, the online curriculum through the University of Alabama at Birmingham can also introduce you to branches of this role that are much broader in scale. This includes the position of global tax audit manager.
As businesses grow, they often begin to interact with organizations in other parts of the globe. Just like in the U.S., they must adhere to specific rules and regulations of their industry or government. A global tax audit manager is the person who centralizes the auditing process to achieve compliance in accordance with relevant rules and tax laws in the country where business is taking place. Global tax audit managers are generally employed by multinational corporations that engage in international commerce. This makes these positions less common than traditional auditing manager jobs, but courses such as Corporate Governance and Governmental and Non-for-Profit Accounting offer a sneak peek into other employment possibilities within the auditing management career field.
What do students learn in the online MAc program?
Whether you’re looking to advance your career in auditing or pursue another line of work, the online Master of Accounting program through UAB can help you achieve your professional goals. In as little as one year, students learn principles and concepts that are immediately applicable upon graduation. Since the program is 100% online, you don’t have to put your life on hold. You can obtain a master’s degree in accounting at your own pace and on your schedule. The courses are designed to strengthen your opportunities for advancement in accounting and auditing specifically, but also in terms of overall professional development.
If you hope to advance in your career, an online Master of Accounting can propel you to the next level. Apply today and see how it can help you achieve your professional aspirations.