The Future of Auditing
Published: 28 Feb 2013 By CareersinAudit.com
The past financial crisis that many economies all over the world experienced prompted a renewed interest in the role and importance of auditing. The future of auditing will therefore be closely tied to the continuous ripples of effects that the world is still experiencing due to the financial crisis. However, it is to be expected that this industry would continue to grow in prevalence in the business world.
Now, more and more companies are realising that the audit and assurance professions are vital to an organisation. In fact, many companies who, in the past, did not conduct audits now find the need to do so. They are realising the need to go back to the basic management principles so they can identify problematic management practices and rectify them; audit plays a key role in this as only a true and effective audit can conduct effective fraud detection and risk management procedures within a company. Firms are thus advised to staff an internal audit department or to outsource audit work to specialist providers just to meet its auditing requirements.
Another reason why there is a bright future ahead for the auditing profession is that, if there is anything that the recent years have taught the industry, it’s that everything constantly changes. These changes, more often than not, increase the complexity and the risks involved in handling financial statements and thus highlight the growing importance of audit quality. With greater risks in place, the role of auditors also grows. Despite the presence of audit fees, firms respond positively as quality audits help them in the pursuit of sustainable growth. The good news is, thanks to the increase in the audit profession, audit fees are now fairly reasonable and easily attainable by most companies, especially when it is considered as an investment.
As such, audit professions are therefore also expected to expand, especially in terms of the role auditors play in a company, and the quality of work expected from them. Unless there continues to be a consistent improvement in the quality of audits carried out, the future of auditing will not be as promising as it could be.
Improvements in the role of auditing have to be focused on three main factors, namely:
All three factors are important as they play a huge role in improving the confidence stakeholders will have in the audited financial statements companies release. If stakeholders are confident about the quality, transparency, and independence of audits, they will be more interested and more assured in the business. Good audit can also help troubled companies or recovering companies restore the trust in the business.
Specific productivity improvements may come in the form of:
- Compliance with mandated auditing standards
- Reducing errors by operating monitoring controls
- Enabling real-time access to audit documents to all audit team members
- Reviewing and resolving problems as they arise
- Enhancing communication within the audit team
- Simplifying administrative tasks
- Continuous automated monitoring
Audit and Globalisation
As many major firms continue to expand in the global sphere, audit also plays a larger role as these firms need to maintain consistency in the quality of their operations, regardless of location. This, however, has another positive effect on the audit industry. As firms start to require audit processes in all their global branches, they open up many audit job opportunities in various parts of the world. Thus, those who wish to work in audit has plenty of overseas opportunities to consider.
The Future of Auditing Jobs
Given all this, there is an expected increase in the job vacancies for various auditing jobs, including:
- Internal audit. Internal audit is expected to grow at a faster rate, given the fact that many companies nowadays choose to hire in-house auditors that would be able to give them financial advice anytime it is needed.
- External audit. External audit continues to be dominated by the Big 4 firms, although external audit jobs continue to grow both in these firms and in others that are not as big as them. The opportunities continue to expand especially for new graduates; working in external audit will still be considered as an important part of an auditor’s career progression.
- IT audit. This is one of the fastest-growing jobs in the market nowadays. The need for IT audit has become highly important especially in businesses where automated processes and systems are starting to play a larger role.
- Compliance jobs. Compliance is another major audit job that will see a growth in the coming years. The compliance manager is responsible for ensuring that the company and all its employees comply with the regulations that are in place, such as those set by the Securities and Exchange Commission. This is considered as a challenging job that comes with a lot of responsibility. A role in compliance means you will be responsible for keeping a firm in good standing. It is a promising, rewarding job for those who are sincerely interested in it.
These are just some of the major auditing careers that receive high demand in the job market nowadays. If you are considering a career in finance, accounting, or auditing, the growing importance and demand in audit may help you decide on an area of specialization. All these opportunities are beneficial in themselves, but they can also come with several other benefits depending on the auditor’s determination to pursue further studies, higher certifications, and better working conditions by choosing which countries to work in.