The path to enjoying a career in audit begins with securing your first job in the industry. This may be a long and difficult process, but in the end usually proves to be genuinely rewarding, especially for those who are truly passionate about audit.
The desire to spend one’s life immersed in audit usually develops over time. There are two ways to secure your first job in audit. You can either begin in the audit track early or switch from a related industry.
Starting Early – Studying for Auditing
If you decide early on that you would like a career in audit, you should start taking courses in high school or college that will help you enter the audit market in the future. Subjects such as mathematics, accounting, economics, and English will all help you. These subjects will provide you the best foundation for a job as an auditor. You could also take study a second language if you plan on working in a foreign country.
After high school or college, you should seek a bachelor’s degree either in business or accounting. Degrees in other areas are also acceptable as long as you have the basic skills necessary for an audit job, but a background in business or accounting will give you an advantage.
You may also take a degree in IT or marketing since you can also be an internal auditor, a quality assurance specialist, and an IT auditor, all of which are highly rewarding audit jobs you can also consider.
While obtaining your bachelor’s degree, it will also work to your advantage if you gather early work experience through audit internships. You can take this time to test the waters in internal audit, external audit, or IT audit so you will have a better idea of which type of audit you really want to do in the long run.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you will need to take a certification exam to be professionally recognised as an auditor.
What Certifications Should You Obtain?
The different types of audit certifications you can pursue include:
- CAs for chartered accountants who are qualified to perform internal audits
- CMAs or certified management accountants
- CGAs or certified general accountants
- CISA or certified information systems auditor
- CISSP or certified information systems security professional
- CISM or certified information security manager
As more and more types of audit jobs crop up, more and more unique certifications also become available. These include:
- CGEIT or certified in the governance of enterprise IT
- CSCS or certified security compliance specialist
- CFE or certified fraud examiner
After obtaining the right certification, you will already be halfway through securing your first job in audit. What comes next is the job hunting process, in which you will have to seek job opportunities and submit application requirements.
Becoming an Auditor at a Later Date
If you realise after university that you would like a career in audit, you can bank on your skills to help you make an industry move. Regardless of the background you may have, certain characteristics and skills can help you become an auditor.
What Skills Do You Need?
An auditor should have:
- Basic auditing skills
- Communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Attention to detail
- An eye for accounting or mathematics
- Ability to understand and adapt to new technologies
Having and developing all of these skills will ease your way into the audit industry and help you find long-term success.
To look for a new audit job, visit CareersinAudit.com, the leading job site for auditing vacancies.