Why auditors are among best jobs in 2017

  • career advice
  • February 06, 2017
2017 is an excellent time for experienced auditors to capitalize on a strong job market, according to new research from Randstad. That’s because demand still far exceeds supply in major markets.

With a large number of audit director or manager job openings across the United States, there was an average of 20 candidates per job opening in October 2016, making accounting jobs extremely challenging to fill, Randstad research finds.

Demand for director and manager-level auditors is expected to remain a career in demand in the years to come. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of auditor jobs to increase 11 percent, from 2014 to 2024, faster than average for all occupations.

Auditor duties and expectations

Heading up the internal audit department, internal audit directors create and implement a risk-based audit plan for a company. They’ll work with management to figure out the best ways to monitor potential risks, how often the firm should be audited and how to interpret the findings. This job focuses on managing the audit team and acting as liaison with external auditors. The final step on the career ladder is either partner or CFO.

An audit manager with five to eight years’ experience managers complex audits and prepares reports, does planning and risk assessments to identify potential risks and communicates changes in professional standards, laws and guidelines to staff.

Why are audit directors and managers hot jobs these days? Auditing directors and managers have the ability to influence real change. Few people have that same level of access to management and the decision-making process.

The audit manager may also work for the government. In this role, the manager may be responsible for overseeing various activities. These include audits of private individuals and corporations, especially when there are suspicions of tax evasion, money laundering or any other criminal activities.

Auditor skills and traits

What attributes make someone well-suited for an auditor director or manager role? Individuals should have a strong technical knowledge of all aspects of accounting, including public and corporate accounting. In addition, hiring managers look for candidates who have good business and operational knowledge. Excellent people and communication skills are a must.

Integrity is another must for the job, as the company and its owners rely on the auditor to catch everything suspicious or amiss. The auditor's primary allegiance is to hard facts and numbers rather than an executive. Sound judgment and common sense are also of great importance, as it is the auditor's job to find a healthy balance between risk and flexibility. The ability to understand the underlying business processes makes the control of policies a fluid part of the workflow rather than a bottleneck.

Although the job is largely centered on numbers, the auditor also needs to communicate the findings and conclusions effectively. Certain diplomacy and people skills come in handy when implementing new business controls and procedures. An excellent grasp of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is preferred.

Auditor education and certifications

Auditor directors and managers must have a degree in accounting, finance business or management. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is often preferred. Professional certifications, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) license or certified internal auditor (CIA) also are required. Those wishing to specialize in auditing software can pursue the certified information systems auditor (CISA) certification.

If you love the world of auditing, have a passion for the standards coupled with excellent management and interpersonal skills, there is no better time to be an audit director or manager.

Looking for a new career opportunity as an auditor? Search our website today for audit jobs in your area.