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Why did you become an auditor?

I just heard about this job. I'm great with numbers, and do well in math class in high school, but this job sounds kind of boring.
Do you like your job as an auditor? Is it really as boring as it sounds staring at spreadsheets and numbers all day? I'd also like to hear why you chose to become an auditor.

Thank you! #business #finance #accounting #math #stem #auditing

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Melissa’s Answer

I became an auditor because of my strong interest in accounting throughout high school and university. I applied for a summer internship during my third year of university in audit to get an idea of what a career as an auditor would be like. I quickly found out that as an auditor, I was able to apply my technical knowledge of accounting, and professional skepticism while auditing a client's financial statements. As an auditor, each client you will work for is different, and you will be working on different tasks, thus your day to day work will be different (non-routine tasks). As an auditor, I believe there are many different learning opportunities from a technical standpoint, in addition to providing opportunities for client relationship development and could open doors for exploring other areas within accounting, finance and tax.

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Justin’s Answer

Hi Shayla. I started my career in an audit function for Deloitte. Like many jobs it has its pros and cons, but, one of the main things that I enjoyed was that the position gave me the opportunity to learn about several different companies in a very short period of time. In addition, when I was in audit I was able to engage with staff throughout an organization from individual contributors as well as members of senior management/chief executives. Through the audit function you can learn about key processes within a company and identify recommendations that may help reduce risk, improve efficiency, etc. which are all helpful for later in your career. The skills I gained at Deloitte helped me when I was interviewing at Fannie Mae, and have continued to help prepare me for each of my subsequent roles at the company.

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Charlotte’s Answer

Hi Shayla,

Thanks so much for your question and there are a lot of really great answers here!

A wise colleague once said that auditing is like a puzzle: you start off with a lot of pieces, turning them over and building the foundation (the boring parts first). You don't always get what you're doing at the beginning, so you do the easier parts first like building the border. As you get more comfortable, you look for the patterns and then finally it makes more sense as you get towards the end.

What we're trying to say is that it's not as exciting at the beginning, but as you gain more experience and become more senior, your role changes to include managing people, building relationships with clients and understanding how businesses are operating.

Good luck!

Charlotte

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Maia’s Answer

Hi Shayla,


To answer your overall question, I became an auditor by somewhat of chance. I'm currently a Risk Assurance Associate at PwC, but during my college career I began with just a general idea of wanting to work in the business environment in some way. While taking my early business classes, I learned that accounting was something that I excelled in and enjoyed doing ,so I declared my major with a plan to work in the private sector as a cost accountant. However, I received the opportunity to intern with PwC my sophomore year and gained the opportunity to learn more about what auditing is, how it helps within the business community, and the value it provides to your professional development.


Do you like your job as an auditor?

Working in public accounting has been a rewarding experience and I do enjoy it. The amount of growth and knowledge you can gain from working in public accountant is really unparalleled. If you enjoy a good challenge, working in teams, and learning about many different types of industries, auditing could be an interest point for you to explore further.


Is it really as boring as it sounds staring at spreadsheets and numbers all day?

While there ARE alot of spreadsheets and numbers that you're working with, it often involves much more than that. Auditing involves client and team interaction, analytics, and good judgement. It isn't as monotonous as you might think that it is.


I hope this helps!



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Grant’s Answer

Hi Shayla,

To start, for your reference, I'm an auditor currently working at PwC. I would also like to say that Justin's comment on this post represents my thoughts on the benefits of the auditing profession exactly. I believe I can add to the answer and help clear some things up for you.

I won't lie...there are a lot of spreadsheets. However, I don't find myself solving equations all that often. Instead, how I often explain my job to friends is "I'm basically a lawyer that uses numbers". In auditing, the majority of our work concerns areas of judgment:

"How should we treat this adjustment?"
"What risk should we give this test?"
"Is this documentation appropriate evidence?"
"Do we consider this to be significant?"

If that seems interesting to you, you should take a much closer look at auditing. From my experience, while it can be a lot of numbers and spreadsheets, especially in the first few years of your career, it always has a ton of diversity. No two days are the same and I am always shocked by how much knowledge I have gained over the years.

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Richard’s Answer

I graduated with a degree in accounting and applied for a large variety of positions, including audit. While I had a general idea of what an auditor did, the reality of the job didn't really become clear until I was on the job as an internal auditor.

The internal audit/external audit jobs are very distinct so I will speak in the context of the internal audit role. The job is really as great or boring as you make it.

In this role, you have the opportunity to meet with many different people at various levels in your organization and build strong professional networks. From line staff to C-level officers, there aren't many professions like audit that provide you that kind of face time with so many people.

It can also be a role that allows you to constantly learn and develop in niche areas that interest you: IT, finance, compliance, these are all areas that you can develop expertise in while supporting your organization in strengthening its controls and protecting it from risks.

You can find an internal audit job that lets you travel around the world, one that lets you settle down in an area you like or even work from home. Whatever your lifestyle, there is probably an audit jobs that would be a great fit.

Ever feel a need for a change of pace? Audit can be a great launching point into a career in a business area. With the ability to learn about different business processes and the proven ability to manage projects, many auditors make successful transitions that may otherwise never have been an option.

Or you could just take the spreadsheet your given and have a really miserable time.

Audit can be a rewarding career path but you need to be aware of what you are looking for and be proactive about finding the opportunity and developing in that role.


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Kaley’s Answer

Hi Shayla,

Thanks for asking. I became an auditor because I wanted to have a career where I could utilize both my IT and Accounting skills. I also wanted to have a job where I could work within a team and meet and get to know new people. Auditing is a great career that has many different opportunities and with that you are constantly learning new things. If you do decide to become an auditor, I strongly suggest that you work for a firm where you can easily relate to or enjoy the people that are currently working there. All auditing jobs are fairly the same, but the people are what makes the experience unique!


Good Luck!

Kaley

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Matthew’s Answer

I think the others in this post have done a great job answering your question. I will just add what I consider to be 3 of the cooler experiences that I've had as an auditor:

- Working on initial public offerings and large financings where the overall success of the transaction and the price of the proposed transaction is all directly related to the financial information that you are auditing. Being in the room as a client's Board of Directors and management close their initial public offering that raises hundreds of millions of dollars for their company and stakeholders, seeing their excitement and joy and knowing that I was able to contribute as an independent auditor was very rewarding.

- As an auditor, I've been able to travel to 12+ countries to meet with my clients and colleagues within my firm to discuss key challenges that they face in their home territories. I've obtained a significant amount of knowledge in how different places encounter different business, financial, legal or people issues which has shaped my view of the world in ways I never imagined.

- Working in the technology industry has allowed me to obtain a lot of close exposure to some of the technological developments that are shaping the way the world lives and works. I've been able to meet with companies and executives that are building blockchains, cloud computing infrastructures, robots, quantum computers and medical devices just to name a few.

As you can see, the job extends much further beyond spreadsheets and number crunching.
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Michael’s Answer

Honestly, I didn't know what I wanted to do and it seemed to be the broadest route to give me experience in business - it's paid off. Auditing allows you to get an understanding of almost all aspects of business operations and you can identify the area that you would want to spend the time in to become an expert.

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Dylan’s Answer

Shayla, you should also keep in mind that there are many types of auditors: Internal Auditors and External Auditors
Financial Auditors and IT Auditors. So you can really move around depending on your interests. I started out in Business IT when I got out of school, moved into pure IT, and then moved into IT Internal Audit. I found it very interesting and it gave me good insight into the company's processes and systems that has been very useful later, and help prepare me for each of my subsequent roles.


Best Wishes for Success!

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Ben’s Answer

Hi Shayla,

Great question. To be honest, the biggest reason that I became an auditor was that while I was in college, I wanted to begin my career with a company that immediately allowed me to use the audit, accounting, and critical thinking skills I had developed over my 150 hours. That being said, if you were to ask "Why do you continue to be an auditor?", I would say that this position constantly encourages me to be a better professional. I learn from the people I work with every day, and the value I provide to my clients, teammates, and the capital markets really does feel tangible. While yes, there are a healthy amount of spreadsheets, I certainly feel like the collaboration and critical thinking involved in our jobs keeps things very interesting.

Good luck!

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Tyler’s Answer

Hello Shayla!


I was an accounting major in college, I knew a number of professionals that had gone on and earned their CPA license which seemed to provide lots of different opportunities, and I found that attractive in a career. I originally planned to work in external audit, however, the opportunities I had led me to assisting with Internal Audit departments. I quickly learned that our role had little to do with crunching numbers in spreadsheets, rather we were responsible for monitoring the risks the business was facing through internal projects/control monitoring and testing. Overall, the career path has been different than what I expected, however, it has been very rewarding.

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Emilio’s Answer

Hi there!!

I was in a similar position where I was really into math in high school, but was not sure what I wanted to pursue. When I became an accounting major I learned about auditing and was not sure if I would like it either. After doing an audit internship I fell in love with it. It does involve a lot of time looking at spreadsheets, but there is also a lot of working in teams involved. In addition audit work overlaps with advisory to an extent so there is that human interaction that I like to the job.
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Salma’s Answer

Hi Shayla,

Becoming an auditor was by mere chance, I graduated as an accounting major, applied to many positions and audit chose me. I am an assurance associate at PwC.


Do I like auditing?

I actually love auditing, I don't only like it.
while it's sometimes a lot of pressure, I enjoy it so much hence i don't feel that much bothered by the pressure or meeting the deadlines and all.


Is it really as boring as it sounds staring at spreadsheets and numbers all day?

not at all, I had this misconception at first, I thought to myself how boring would it be. but actually it's not.
you get to meet diverse kinds of people on every single engagement,
I believe the engagements are like fingerprints, no two engagements are the same. Which is both, challenging and exciting at the same time.
The on the job learning curve is steep, especially the first few years, so there's always something new to know about.

I hope this helps, good luck
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Yunqing (Meredith)’s Answer

I am in public accounting so my title will be "auditor" after I turned full time. The reason for "public" is that auditors are supposed to work on behalf of the public interest. We will go into different companies to perform audit on their financial statements. We only test if our clients' financial statement complies with the regulations on financial statements, but we do not make any changes to their financial statements. We need to make sure the audited financial statements are relevant, useful and accurate. In short, we are helping regulate the financial markets so the investors, creditors, and other stakeholders can trust and confidently use the financial statements from the companies to make decisions.

It is not boring for me. I talk to people and do different things other than bookkeeping. I chose auditor because I have the chance to enter into different industries and understand different businesses. I also like to work in teams and the environment of someone always around you and support you.
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Jill’s Answer

Flexibility, financial security, and exposure to various financials of multiple companies.

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Rachael’s Answer

Hi Shayla,

I had a summer job in high school at a small tax firm prior to pursuing accounting in college. I knew I wanted to study accounting because I was detail and task-oriented, liked numbers, and enjoyed problem solving. I interned and worked as an auditor for private companies because I knew I didn't want to work in tax filing personal returns as I experienced in the summer job. During my time as an auditor, it was not boring. I think the type of client has a huge impact on the work. Since I was working with private companies, the audits tended to be smaller and performed at the client site. Therefore, I got to be involved with nearly every area of the audit, I got to know the people I was working with very well, there was a high amount of client interaction and facetime with high ranking individuals on both the firm and client side. Coincidentally enough I did transfer out of audit into tax at my company. I am currently in a role working the numbers and preparing spreadsheets to deliver to clients in order to file returns or as part of conducting studies to benefit a tax savings for them. Most accounting professionals are keen to "busy season" which I would say is anything but boring, especially if you enjoy a high-pace. Depending on the company you work for, the programs they use, and the type of work you are completing your experience could be vastly different from mine or any other respondee. My suggestion to you would be to shadow or intern in auditing, in a few different companies, to gauge what you like best.

Best of luck,
Rachael
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