Do you have questions about the audit profession? Wondering what an auditor does? Read these frequently asked questions about public company audit below to learn more!
What is an auditor? What does an auditor do?
Auditors help to provide the capital markets with confidence and assurance in financial reporting. Auditors perform independent evaluations to provide assurance that information, such as the financial statements, present a true and fair view of a company’s financial performance and position. The bedrock of our financial system is the audit. Check out our video to see some actual entry-level auditors on the job!
Do auditors do taxes?
It depends. While there may be some auditors who have experience in both audit and completing tax returns, most public company auditors will specialize in performing audits. These auditors will file their own taxes just like everyone else, but don’t ask them to help with filing yours!
What’s the difference between an auditor and an accountant?
Auditors are accountants! Auditors typically major in accounting and determine the type of accountant they want to be: public company auditor, internal auditor, tax accountant, corporate accountant, etc. A public company auditor is a path one may choose.
How much money do auditors make?
On average, auditors at public company accounting firms with roughly two years of experience can earn a very healthy salary, depending on where you reside. The longer you stay and excel, the more that amount grows. If you stay to make partner, you have the potential to make close to a million dollars a year! Check out our Adventures in Audit tool to follow the paths of actual auditors and see average salary amounts earned along the way.
What major do I need to become an auditor?
Many auditors start out as a business or accounting major, but you can take many paths to a career in audit! Some functions require staff who specialize in data analytics, statistics, and information technology. Here’s how one psychology major even made the switch.
Do auditors travel?
If you want to! Many auditors have an “office in a backpack” lifestyle and their work location can vary between the office, client sites (in whatever state or country they are in), and even home.
Do auditors need to be a CPA?
Auditors are encouraged to take the certified public accountant (CPA) exam to join an elite status of individuals with expertise in the field. Additionally, at some public accounting firms, the certification may be required for certain promotions.
Do auditors get audited?
Yes, they do. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) was established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and the public interest by promoting informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws, to promote investor protection.
Do auditors work long hours?
Public company auditors do have a busy season, but they know well in advance when it’s coming so that they can plan ahead. Additionally, many firms offer perks to support the wellbeing of their employees, which are often great counterbalances the effects of the busy season.