What to expect: Pursuing a career as an auditor

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Auditing is one of the core competencies of the accounting profession. Every accountant and student in a Bachelor of Science in Accounting program receives significant exposure to the auditing process, whether or not they pursue work in that subset of the field upon graduation. Audits are crucial in many contexts. They help ensure the continued financial health of a business when conducted internally, and address various regulatory needs and requirements as part of the external auditing process. Students with an interest in auditing should know that it is a key component of earning an accounting degree online from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Consider the following information as you start to pursue a career as an auditor.

How does UAB prepare students for auditing jobs?

Along with covering the conceptual basics of auditing throughout the Accounting Core segment of the Bachelor of Science in Accounting curriculum, students have two dedicated auditing classes totaling six course hours available to them. Internal Auditing provides a strong, focused introduction to the practice of conducting an audit directly for an employer, with significant time given to both theory and practice. Learners get to apply the principles and techniques they develop throughout the course by tackling a selection of auditing problems that provide a glimpse of the day-to-day process of professional internal auditors. The External Auditing course, offered as an elective, provides a similar introduction to the process of auditing another company or organization. It also helps students understand the strict ethical standards of conducting such a review. With these courses, students in the Bachelor of Science in Accounting program can develop a strong knowledge base they can use to pursue auditing career opportunities.

Salary, skills, and education expectations for auditors

The auditing field is broad, with roles ranging from entry-level positions for recent graduates to highly specialized positions and senior leadership opportunities for experienced auditors. Auditors of various types represent a significant number of the more than 1.3 million total accounting jobs in the U.S., and projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate stronger than average growth for the industry.

There are many opportunities for students to enter auditing as soon as they finish their undergraduate education. Roughly half of all accounting positions require only an undergraduate degree, according to a survey conducted by O*NET Online, a career and employment resource funded by the Department of Labor. While more senior roles tend to specify the need for an advanced degree, students can quickly get started in the world of auditing once they complete their undergraduate requirements.

The median wage for accountants and auditors is nearly $70,000, the BLS reported. That number can change based on a wide range of factors, from experience and specific skills to the location of the employer. In general, auditors are expected to have a range of technical and interpersonal skills that are critical for handling this important task in a consistent, productive way that leads to positive results.

Some of the most important abilities include various technological competencies related to using auditing software and other systems, and critical thinking, systems analysis, and active learning traits that help auditors identify waste, duplication, and suspected fraud or malfeasance. Auditors also need to gather their analysis and prepare reports, presentations, and similar documents. This means writing, organizational ability, and the presentation of facts and figures to a variety of audiences are all vital to the job as well. In addition, external auditors also must take certain ethical considerations into account, as they work for a company’s shareholders — but not the business itself — and are required to present information accurately. Finally, all auditors should have a strong grasp of how modern businesses function to grasp the context related to the numbers they analyze. UAB’s well-rounded curriculum can give students the business education to feel comfortable discussing a variety of organizational operations and putting that knowledge to use as an auditor.

Develop your auditing proficiency with UAB

Building a career as an auditor starts with a strong education. UAB is proud to offer a program that allows students to earn their accounting degree online in a flexible and responsive learning environment. With a completely asynchronous schedule, students take classes and complete coursework at their own pace and at any time, day or night. Our distinguished, experienced faculty provides the modern educational background students need to enter the auditing field, and a 24/7 technical help desk gives students effective support to troubleshoot and get back to learning, whenever it’s needed. To learn more, reach out to an advisor today.

Recommended Readings:
Accounting principles you can learn in the UAB Bachelor of Science in Accounting program
A career in auditing: What it could look like for you

Sources:
UAB Collat School of Business: Bachelor of Science in Accounting
UAB Collat School of Business: Course Descriptions BACC
O*Net Online: Auditors
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Accountants and Auditors