career repository

Accounts and Auditors

By , on Dec. 15, 2017

1. Career Overview

    Auditors are specialized accountants who focus on analysing the financial data. They work for government, private organizations,businesses as well as for individuals. They make sure that the financial statements are correct and following the right method of accounting. With high expansion of economy, Companies require annual audits and accounting. This gives rise to the demand of accounts auditors. The basic qualification to opt for a career in accounts auditor is graduation in accounting. Since auditors have huge opportunity to work for global companies, being a Certified Public Accountant gives them a big career push.
    Certified Public Accountants (CPA) is the top most credential for an accountancy professional in the United States of America and it is comparable to Chartered Accountants in India. CPA is conducted by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is recognized world-wide. CPAs are highly preferred by American and other companies all over the world. Auditors can get certified additionally from professional organizations to have higher credentials.
2. Role Models

  • David Tweedie -- Professor Sir David Tweedie CA, was the chairman of International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) from 2001, the year of inception of the board till 2011. IASB was established to enforce a higher quality standard in the accountancy profession throughout the world. Sir David Tweedie was the pioneer for advocating transparency, efficiency and accountability of the profession worldwide. He was President of ICAS Foundation (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland), and he led the idea of supporting young and talented people from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities to take professional career in finance and accounting fields, through financial assistance and mentoring.

  • Olivia Kirtley – She is a CPA and was named as one among the highest governance professionals in the US by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). She is respected highly for her advocacy for transparency in global corporate environment. She worked in task force of IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) for rebuilding public confidence in financial reporting. She became President of IFAC in 2014 and advocates fair practice of accountancy profession across the globe. Olivia Kirtley took leadership role in early 2000s for computerization and updating of Uniform CPA examination.
3. Education Track and Specialization

    3.1 To be an Accounting Auditor
    • A Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or institution in Accounting or related branch followed by a Chartered Accountancy credential
    • A Post graduate in Accounting
    • An MBA

    If an auditor is filing a report with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), then it is mandatory by law to have a CPA credential. Apart from CPA credential, an auditor can be certified from a professional organization for a better career prospect
    • A college graduate can become Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
    • Candidates for CIA should have a minimum of 2 years’ experience as an Internal Auditor and should pass the CIA examination
    • IIA also offers certification for Financial Services Auditor and Government Auditors

    3.1.1 CIA Examination Format
      CIA course consists of three parts:
    • Part 1 is about Basics of Internal Audit
    • Part 2 is Internal Audit Practice
    • Part 3 is Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

    3.1.2 Other Certification Options
    • International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) Certified Course
    • Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) – specifically for IT Auditors
    • Diploma in Auditing Post Graduate Diploma in Auditing and Accountancy Diploma in Accounting & Auditing Advanced Executive Program in Cyber Security, Audit & Compliance

    3.1.3 Some Institutes for Audit courses
    • Indian School of Business Management & Administration
    • The Institute of Internal Auditors-India
    • Arcade Business College
    • Government Polytechnic Manesar
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

    3.2 To be a CPA

    3.2.1 The eligibility for CPA examination
    • Generally a minimum of 4 years formal education is needed after completing 10+2 to be eligible for CPA examination
    • The candidate has to be B.Com with a Master degree
    • The candidate could be an MBA in Finance
    • Some stares accept a Chartered Accountant with a B.Com Degree as eligible candidate for appearing in CPA examination
    • The eligibility criteria depends on the US State from which the person is applying for certification

    3.2.2 The CPA Examination Structure
    • There are 4 courses to be completed for the certification. These are: Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR), Business Environment & Concepts (BEC), Auditing & Attestation (AUD), Regulation (REG)
    • The candidate has to get a minimum of 75% marks to qualify for certification

    Apart from academic credentials and certification, an auditor must be having high analytical skills, orientation for detail, mathematical aptitude, organizational and communication skill to be highly effective in the profession

4. Career Path

    There are whole lot of opportunities for accounts auditors in the finance and accounting field. With the expansion of information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO), many multinational companies are expanding their businesses in India and looking for accountant and auditors with knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US-GAAP) and Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAS). Auditors are appointed for accounting and taxation domains for those multinational companies.The different career paths for an accounts auditor could be as follows:
4.1 Internal Auditors
    They could be appointed by public and private sector companies as well as by Government and non-profit organizations. They monitor the internal control and risk management of the company by evaluating the financial reports, evaluate operational efficiency, information security control, compliance and fraud detection and corporate governance among many other responsibilities. An internal auditor can join in an entry level after completing their degrees and certification or they can join an organization with some work experience in the field. They can advance their careers to senior levels in some years and be in the supervisory roles. An internal auditor could be promoted to senior management position of the company as well.
4.2 External Auditors
    They work for clients and recommend the findings and the actions to be taken. External auditors perform diverse activities like financial statement analysis, risk assessment, fraud detection and so on for their clients. They also provide tax and consulting services. The report of external auditors are shared with different stakeholders of the company like the investors, creditors and government. They generally do an annual or periodic audit for the companies and can work for a firm or be an independent audit consultant. External auditors can specialize in areas like financial and accounting fraud and crimes, forensic accounting, contract disputes, bankruptcy. Forensic auditing needs additional knowledge and qualification in law and investing techniques as well as the specific business that they are investigating.
4.3 Financial Auditors
    Financial auditors can work in an internal or external capacity. Their jobs include inspecting financial data and accounting records for the compliance. Also they determine the financial efficiency of the business and do tests on risk management and fraud analysis. With experience and good track record, financial auditors can lead and supervise complex financial projects and hold senior management positon in the company
4.4 Informatsion Technology Auditor
    They are mainly the internal auditors who controls the computer system of the organization. The responsibilities include detecting the source of incoming data, keeping track of network and security system. They need to ensure that company is working within the legal boundary of the information technology system. These works are company specific and after audit the IT Audit consultant might suggest some change in the system like upgrading the software or implementing additional hardware. The IT auditors must have a Bachelor or Master degree in computer related fields along with the IT auditing certification. Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) is a globally recognized certification for Information Technology Audit professionals
4.5 Research and Academic career for Auditors
    With professional experience the accounting auditors can pursue higher education in related fields and could take faculty positions in business and accounting in various educational and training institutions
    There are many Auditor firms who employ the Accounts auditors at various seniority level. The biggest firms to employ accounting and auditor professionals in India are: Deloitte, Earnst& Young, KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers. Many Indian Auditing firms like Singhi& Co, Chaturvedi and Shah, V SankarAiyar, MehraGoel and T R Chadha are in the top list

5. Job Role

    In India, there are many career opportunities for auditors in Government and private sectors like corporations, banking and other financial institutions. Job roles are specific to the type of industry and sector of the organization. The broad categories are mentioned below. Depending on the company, an auditor might have to work in multiple cross functional areas
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Financial Analysis and Planning
  • Tax Accounting
  • General Accounting
  • Forensic Accounting
  • International Accounting
  • Environmental Accounting
  • Information Technology
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Research and Academics
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