Inside Auditor Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"The Actual Hours You'll Work In Accounting...
I didn't realize how grueling the schedule would be. Many people say accountants work a lot of hours, but it's only during a 3 month 'busy season'. That's not true when you work for a big four firm. Clients don't always have fiscal year ends at the same time. So if you have clients with fiscal year ends in December and September, your busy season is six months long. You put in 60-70 hour weeks for a fairly low salary. Just no free time at all for half the year." (Auditor; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, male
School: Studied Finance/Accounting at University Of Wisconsin School Of Business in Wisconsin; completed Master degree in 2010

"Jobs Galore...
I was surprised at how many job opportunities there were available to someone with an accounting/finance degree that really were unrelated to the school work I did in college." (Accountant; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Kentucky, female
School: Studied Accounting at University Of Kentucky in Kentucky; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Not Much To Look Forward In Compensation After Graduation...
What surprised me the most is low pay, I wanted to make a better life for myself, and ended up worse than what I started." (Accountant; 2014)

Career: , currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Masters Of Business, Health Administration at Saint Xavier University in Illinois; completed Master degree in 2012

"Even Accountants Have To Write...
What surprised me is how important it is to understand the accounting theory. After completing any assignment, you are required to document the procedures performed and explain why you are explaining the procedures being performed. Written communication is very important in the accounting (especially auditing) world." (Accountant; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, male
School: Studied Accounting at American University in District of Columbia; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Finance Career Great Pay...
It is awesome and surprising how well paying a career in finance can be. The pay is really great for the work that I do." (Auditor; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in South Dakota, male
School: Studied Accounting at Dakota State University in South Dakota; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

"Helpful Co-Workers...
I was surprised how easily the tasks of the job came to me. Part of me thought I would just be thrown into a job on day 1 with no help or guidance, but everyone at the firm is comforting and there to help me anytime I need it." (Entry Level Auditor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Alabama, male
School: Studied Accounting at The University Of Alabama in Alabama; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Insurance Positions Require A Great Deal Of Skill In The Art Of Analysis...
Insurance requires a lot more analysis skills than I anticipated. Most of my co-workers are very intelligent and devoted to their careers." (Insurance Adjuster; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Business Administration at State University At Albany in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2007

"Experience Makes It Easier...
I was surprised at the amount of work that had to be done. I was also surprised at how little time it took to get done. As you work more, you will be able to speed through the auditing work because you will become more accustomed to it." (Auditor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Business Economics at UCLA in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"There Is A Wide Variety Of Careers In The Accounting Field And Profession...
Many people think that accounting careers are just about creating financial statements. There are a lot of other areas that can be explored such as company wide auditing." (Staff Auditor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Massachusetts, female
School: Studied Accounting at Southern New Hampshire University in New Hampshire; completed Associate degree in 2012

"Level Of Effort That An Audit Takes...
I was surprised at how much in-depth knowledge of banking was required in order to effectively perform my job duties. It is a very detailed and task oriented job which requires the ability to interact with any level of management or board member. Additionally, it is surprising how much time and effort goes into each individual audit that is performed." (Internal Auditor; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, female
School: Studied Finance at Auburn University At Montgomery (AUM) in Alabama; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

"I was surprised that being an auditor required more skills than I originally had. There was more to this job than I would have learned in the field I was studying in college." (Regional Auditor; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Criminal Justice at San Diego State University in California; completed Associate degree in 2006

"I was surprised to find that many large companies don't really do a good job of budgeting their finances. This was really surprising since they have the manpower and resources to do it." (Finance Auditor; 2012)

Career: 16 years of experience, female
School: Studied Business Finance at University Of Michigan in Georgia; completed Bachelor degree in 1982

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Auditor: "The best part of my career has to be the fact I meet new people everyday. I can also make my own schedule. The worst part of my career would have to be the travel involved. On some weeks I can travel as much as 1,000 miles and still work 50 hrs per week. Another negative of my job is the fact that I am on salary. So whether I work 70 hours or 10 hours in a given week, I still get paid the same amount." (2011)

Federal Auditor: "A good part of the job is that the areas we audit are always changing and so a Federal Auditor has the opportunity to develop expertise in many different healthcare areas. A difficult part of the job is that it requires extensive travel and you could be away from your family for long stretches of time." (2010)

Career Background


  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"Make Sure To Explore You're Options...
The best way to do well is to explore option before you graduate, make sure you do an internship so that you know that the career is a good fit for you." (Accountant; 2014)

"Good Accountants Review Their Own Work...
If you want to be successful in the audit department of an accounting firm, 2 things are really important. The first is to self-review your work to minimize mistakes. If you can do this, then you can learn from your mistakes and be able to review other people's work in the future. The other tip is to work on your written communication. Even though accounting is a lot of numbers, it is also a lot of writing." (Accountant; 2014)

"The World Is Your Oyster...
Don't limit yourself to a normal, possibly boring CPA, position. Everyone loves an employee who's good with money and the books! The horizon is full of opportunities." (Accountant; 2013)

"Continuing Education Is Important In Insurance...
When you get a job in insurance continue to your education, it is essential to your career." (Insurance Adjuster; 2013)

"Be Creative...
Be prepared to do monotonous work. It is always fun to invent a little game with the work, so that you'll never be bored." (Auditor; 2013)

"Finance Internships...
The best way to find a job after college is to do internships while you are still in college. You will meet important people while being an intern who will help you with your career." (Auditor; 2013)

"Accounting Professions Have A Lot To Offer...
Explore all of the different options that the accounting field has to offer to you. There are many aspects that aren't just crunching numbers." (Staff Auditor; 2013)

"Where To Find The Best Accounting Work/Life Balance...
Work for a smaller firm. Big four looks great on a resume, but there's a reason that the turnover rate is so high. The average person makes it three years or less before quitting. Smaller firms place much more value on work/life balance." (Auditor; 2013)

"Education And Networking Are Key...
If you want to be successful in the accounting field, focus on doing well in all your classes first and foremost, and then expanding your network of job possibilities in the latter part of your academic career by going on office visits and attending local accounting socials." (Entry Level Auditor; 2013)

"Hard Work Usually Pays Off...
Stay determined. When you start a career like this you will work really hard for little money. The hours can be long and the work is hard. But if you stick to it and work really hard, it is very rewarding, both financially and emotionally." (Auditor; 2011)

"Accounting Courses Necessary...
To be eligible for a Federal Auditor position, you must complete 24 credit hours in accounting. Without completion of these accounting requirements, you cannot be considered for the position. Develop interviewing skills. A lot of your work will require you to interview people at the agencies or departments you are auditing. Develop writing skills too. Once the field work is over, you will have to write an audit report and send it out to the auditee." (Federal Auditor; 2010)