Ever Wonder What Its Really Like to be an Auditor?

In addition to our formal resources to help introduce you to a career in audit, we also like to share personal testimonials from real auditors as well. (Like our favorite “What to Expect When You Choose a Career in Auditing” video!)

This time, we reached out to some young audit professionals to get a bit deeper into their day-to-day. Inspired by Refinery 29’s Money Diaries, we ask about everything from their salaries, to what they ate for their last meal, to what has most surprised them about their career path.

Check out the first interview in our series below!

A Day in the Life of an Auditor: Rachel

City: Boston, MA

Title: Audit Senior

Company: BDO

6:30 AM – Time to wake up! I shower and get ready for work – I grab my things and I’m out the door around 7:30. I have a client just north of the city that I drive to, so I hop in my car, put on a podcast and hit the road. If I’m working downtown, I’ll usually grab a book and get on the train for my commute.

8:15 AM – I get to work. We have our own conference room, so I set my things down, fire up my computer and go grab some coffee. The client just got a cold brew machine! A big win.

9:00 AM – After checking emails and catching up on a few things, I have a walkthrough meeting for the Accounts Receivable cycle. We discuss their process and how the controls in place operate and address risks within the cycle. Afterwards, I sit down and gather my thoughts and start documenting. Contrary to popular belief, auditing is not all numbers! 

11:00 AM – I have a quick Skype call with some members of my client’s accounting team who are located overseas (time differences can make it hard to schedule sometimes, but we make it work!) I take up the rest of the morning to wrap up some of my work from yesterday.

12:00 PM – Lunchtime! There’s a cafeteria at the client site that we usually go to for lunch. It’s reasonably priced and there’s usually a bunch of options – even Sushi on Wednesdays! I grab a sandwich and an apple today and check out. It’s a nice day out, so me and my teammates grab a table outside and enjoy the sunshine. When I’m in the office, there are food trucks outside our building, so my co-workers and I will grab lunch and bring it back up to our cafeteria. Then, we can get in a quick (but intense) game of ping pong before we all get back to work. 

1:00 PM – This afternoon I’m working on interim revenue testing. We make selections throughout the year, so we can lighten the load at year end. I look at invoices, sales orders, purchase orders and contracts to ensure that all revenue recognition criteria are met. 

3:00 PM – I remember that tomorrow, I get to attend an in-office training–we’re learning about Data Analytics. It’s such an interesting topic, and I think it could make a huge difference in the world of auditing. It gives us a whole new way to look at our client’s data, providing new insights and helping us audit more efficiently!

5:30 PM – I enter my time, and head out for the day. Boston is notorious for bad traffic during rush hour, so I take the opportunity to go to the Planet Fitness nearby and hit the gym quickly after work before heading home.

7:30 PM – I make a quick dinner – I put some fish and veggies in the oven, catch up with my roommate, and watch a quick couple episodes of a show on Netflix.

10:00 PM – Time for bed. Tomorrow’s Friday! I’m in the office tomorrow. I make plans to meet up with some friends from my grad program who work at other firms downtown after work for dinner.

Questions & Answers with Rachel: 

What was your major in college? 

I majored in Economics. I then completed the MBA and MS Accounting graduate program at Northeastern University. 

What is one thing that you do with your career in audit that surprised you? 

I’ve been surprised at how much flexibility I’ve had in my career in audit. I’m able to work from almost anywhere! I can work from the office, the client site or even home, depending on my schedule and plan accordingly with my team. I don’t have to worry about taking a day off for a doctor’s appointment or to take my car into the shop. I can log on from home before, and then be at the client site after I’m done. With today’s technology, auditors really do have an “office in a backpack”!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I hope to be in a managerial or supervisory role, so that I can continue to pass on my knowledge as others have so graciously done for me. Whether in public accounting or industry, I hope to help guide and mentor others seeking a career in public accounting. I’ve been lucky enough to have some great mentors over my first couple of years and hope to pass it forward! I’ve learned that a career in public accounting sets you up for rapid career progression and growth, as well as valuable knowledge and experience for wherever your career takes you.