As an external auditor it’s your responsibility to ensure the company you work for gives a true and fair view of its financial position. This is mainly shown through its financial statements and reports. You are ensuring the company has worked 100% honestly to earn any profits or accrue any assets. It’s a high pressure role that’s constantly changing and as many external audit job roles are held for many years as it takes a certain type of professional. Below we look at a day in the life of an external auditor and what they may encounter on a day to day basis.
External auditors spend the majority of their working days out with clients, carrying out a large amount of tests and calculations across many areas. You may be checking a sample of the company’s sales to supporting documentation, you may attend stock takes and you may be making calculations to ensure the company is depreciating the value of its fixed assets correctly.
A full scale audit can take as long as eight weeks and you may find yourself located at a single site of your company during this time. It’s your job to go through everything with a fine tooth comb to guarantee everything has been
carried out along official means.
A highlight of the working day of an external auditor is the wide spectrum of people you’ll come into contact with. There will be occasions where you travel from office to office and meet different people every single day of the week. Your people-facing skills will be put to the test as you regularly liaise with a range of internal and external individuals.
Key to the working day of an external auditor is planning. You need to ensure you create to-do lists and prioritise your work in order of urgency.
When the practical calculations and work is complete then a lot of your time as an auditor will be spent writing up reports and analysing results. You will spend a considerable amount of your day evaluating and providing assurances that risk management controls are functioning appropriately.
If there ever are any risk management issues or internal control problems then it is your responsibility to report these to the larger audit committee alongside your recommendations for improvements.
Another part of the role of an external auditor is to ensure you’re continually learning and developing your skills. Continued professional development is an essential facet of your job and you need to engage in regular training and development wherever possible.
With the right professional qualifications, experience and passion for financial services working in audit can be a really valuable career move. You’ll learn everything from how to multitask to how to use your initiative and specific computer applications. Every day will be different and even when there are problems there’s space for job satisfaction as you find a solution.
Working in audit is a great challenge and an essential part of any large company complying with the Financial Services Authority. External audit is extremely important to any business as the company owners and directors rely upon your skills to streamline the business and push it in the right direction.