An audit assistant performs testing and reviews of corporate internal controls and processes in accordance with the company's annual audit plan. She ensures that employees comply with rules and regulations as well as industry practices and human resources policies when performing their jobs. An audit assistant usually holds a graduate degree in accounting or auditing.
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An audit assistant works under the guidance of a supervisor and applies generally accepted auditing standards to ensure that staff abide by government regulations and management directives when performing their tasks. For example, an audit assistant can review a firm's employee safety policy handbook to ensure that rules conform to Health and Safety Executive directives. An audit assistant also reviews financial reporting systems to ensure compliance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Education and training
An audit assistant generally holds a university degree in a business field. A master's degree in accounting, auditing or taxation is not uncommon in the profession, especially if the associate has major responsibilities. Employers also may favour arts graduates or professionals with compliance backgrounds, and usually train them before they start working. An audit assistant with prior experience at an accounting firm may hold certified or chartered accountant status.
Compensation levels for audit assistants depend on the company size, economic trends and staffing needs. Professional certifications and academic training also may affect salary levels. According to the UK's National Careers Service, as of 2014 audit assistants and auditors typically earn around £18,000 to £35,000 per year, depending on experience.
An audit assistant may increase chances of promotion by taking a master's degree at a university or taking advanced accounting, finance or auditing certifications. A competent audit assistant moves to a more senior role after three to five years. Auditors in the UK must qualify with a professional body, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) or the Association of International Accountants (AIA).
An audit assistant typically works normal office hours on weekdays, but he may stay late at the office or work at weekends, depending on business conditions. To illustrate, an audit assistant working for an investment bank may be busy at the end of the month with the accounting close process. Alternatively, he may work late nights or early mornings to help file quarterly documents.
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