A major survey of HR professionals at the Big Four firms and recruitment firms states that salaries for entry level audit jobs will increase up to 25% over the next two to three years. All this has taken positions in audit out of the back office and made audit jobs some of the most hotly recruited positions out there.
External auditors are charged with looking over the accounts and business dealings of firms to which they are contracted and ensuring that their practices meet all the legal compliance standards. They check that the financial accounts present a ‘true and reasonable’ picture of the firm’s position, and show the profit or loss for the year.
Those in internal audit jobs have the task of ensuring that their firm is in compliance with increasingly complex regulations and standards and makes recommendations to the management on how it can increase its efficiency.
In either case, to become an auditor requires passing a series of examinations and some specialised training. As the complexities of the regulations increase, most industry experts believe that there will be more and more positions that require specialised training.
Entry into Auditing
There are a number of ways to enter the auditing field. Generally, entry requires some experience in accountancy and training with one of the accountancy bodies. The requirements for entry for under 21s are two A levels/four H grades, plus three GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3) including English and Maths at either level, or equivalent qualifications. A degree is not always necessary, as there are several routes of entry into accountancy for both students and adults. These include:
- Taking a position as a trainee accountant with an accountancy firm and sitting the exams while working
- Training as an accounting technician with the Association of Accounting Technicians or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) AAT or CAT qualifications lets you out of some papers in the professional accountancy exams.
- Completing the training scheme offered by the AAT or ACCA to qualify for membership as an accounting technician.
Training for Auditors
Those seeking an audit job will need to register with one of the chartered accountancy bodies in the UK, and complete a series of exams. There are six chartered bodies in the UK. They are:
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW)
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI)
- The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
- The Institute of Internal Auditors (for internal audit only).
Getting on in your Career
The opportunities for qualified auditors are growing by leaps and bounds. There are and will be opportunities both in private firms and within the government. There are audit jobs available in both external roles – working independently or with a firm of auditors – and internal ones. Some of the most exciting of those roles will lead to senior management positions. Besides standard auditing, there will be increasing opportunities for specialised positions such as insolvency, taxation and forensic auditing.
To look for a new audit job, visit CareersinAudit.com, the leading job site for auditing vacancies.