Before becoming an audit manager or partner, accountants must first acquire and build work experience as a junior auditor. Auditors learn essential skills such as financial analysis, teamwork and client relations during their years as a junior professional. As entry-level workers, junior auditors usually work under the direction of a senior-level accountant.
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Junior auditors are responsible for planning audits, reviewing internal controls, conducting audit tests and preparing financial reports using U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Some of the other duties of a junior auditor include putting together internal communications and status reports, documenting audit issues, writing audit reports and following up on outstanding tasks and audit issues.
The minimum educational requirement for junior auditors is a bachelor's degree in accounting or finance. Though junior auditor positions are entry-level roles, some employers prefer to hire employees with at least one year of accounting experience. Accounting majors should take courses that cover the preparation of financial statements, managerial accounting, auditing, cost accounting, taxation, statistics and strategic management. As junior auditors progress in their careers and assume more senior roles, they can apply for certified public accountant (CPA) designation through their state board of accountancy.
Junior auditors should be strong in math and highly analytical, as this position deals with numbers, spreadsheets and complex figures on a daily basis. In addition, junior auditors must have excellent oral, interpersonal and writing skills, and work well in groups. Computer skills and familiarity with applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Word are essential. Employers also look for employees who are trustworthy, professional and good problem-solvers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition" states that the average salary for accountants and auditors in May 2008 was £38,629.
The job outlook for the accounting industry is favourable during the 2008 to 2018 decade. During this period, the BLS projects that accounting and auditing jobs will increase 22 per cent. Fluctuating government laws, globalisation and an expanding economy are just some of the factors contributing to this growth. Auditors with CPA and other professional certifications, excellent communication skills and advanced degrees will have the best job opportunities.
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