5 Things Every First-Year Auditor Should Know
If you plan to have a successful career in audit, there are some things you need to know when starting out that will set you apart and set you up for the future. Simon Wright, Director of CareersinAudit.com, shares some practical points every first-year auditor should be aware of.
- Be Adaptable
Being an auditor means being willing to go with the flow and be flexible. It is not a job that sees you follow a typical 9-5 schedule; every day is unique as you find yourself confronted with a whole host of different clients each with their own unique demands. As a first-year associate don’t expect to be handed the big important jobs, you’ll be dealing with accountancy grunt work, a lot of admin and the smaller sections of audit files depending on the size of the firm you’re working at. Of course, smaller firms may afford you more responsibility earlier on so that’s something to consider in your search for audit jobs. Either way prepare to learn on the job and don’t be surprised if the reality is more overwhelming than your university experience let on.
- There are no silly questions
At the end of the day, your seniors don’t want to have to redo your work so within reason, if you’re unsure of something, ask for clarification. That being said, those same seniors are not just there at your disposal so be proactive and take advantage of any and all resources, such as firm research material and perhaps one experienced team member who you could invest in as a mentor.
- The Mentor
Not only will having a mentor provide a valuable source of insight and firm-specific knowledge in order to hit the ground running, but in homing in on a manager or senior member of the firm with whom you share a common work ethic you can define your path within your audit career. Mirroring their approach to work, colleagues and clients is an excellent way to avoid many of the mistakes a lot of first years can make and position you in a favourable light with your seniors to boot.
- Be Constantly Willing to Learn
Self-education is a key component to working in audit. Being open and eager to listen to new ideas as well as using every experience as an opportunity to learn is what will make you better at your job. As a first-year auditor you may be tempted to gloss over the ‘ticking and bashing’ that passes across your desk, but any savvy audit professional knows that paying attention at the start is what will pay off later. Take real note of all those financial statements, memos and reports you’re given because eventually you’ll be the one responsible for compiling them.
- The Power of Speech
It’s a cliché but when working in audit, communication is key. Aside from the obvious, punctual, polite and professional contact with clients, colleagues and managers; you must be confident in speaking your mind. Don’t be afraid to push back and get your point across, it’s your job. Equally though, you must be able to listen.