Exploring this Job

A good foundation for a future auditing career is a part-time or summer job in a retail business, working at the cash register or even pricing products as a stockperson. Another way to explore the field is by volunteering as treasurer for a student organization, which will help you learn about financial planning and money management. It may be possible to gain some experience by volunteering with local groups such as churches and small businesses. Also keep up with industry news by visiting the Web sites and reading the publications of associations for auditors. For example, visit the Bookstore & Publications section of the Institute of Internal Auditors' Web site for useful resources, 

Talk to auditors about their work. Your business teacher or the career services office at your school can help arrange informational interviews with auditors in different specialties.

The Job

Auditing is among the major employment fields of accounting. Auditors ensure that financial records are accurate, complete, and in compliance with federal laws. To do so, they review items in original entry books (in hard copy or digital format), including purchase orders, tax returns, billing statements, and other important documents. Auditors may also prepare financial statements for clients and suggest ways to improve productivity and profits. Internal auditors conduct the same kind of examination and evaluation for one particular company. Because they are salaried employees of that company, their financial audits must then be certified by a qualified independent auditor. Internal auditors also review procedures and controls, appraise the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, and make sure their companies comply with corporate policies and government regulations. Information technology auditors review their companies' computer systems to make sure financial data is from reliable sources.

Chief bank examiners enforce good banking practices throughout a state. They schedule bank examinations to ensure that financial institutions are complying with state laws, and in certain cases, they take steps to protect a bank’s solvency and the interests of its depositors and shareholders.

Revenue agents are employed by the federal government to examine selected income tax returns, and when necessary, they conduct field audits and investigations to verify the information reported and determine whether an adjustment to tax liability is warranted.

Tax auditors review financial records and other information provided by taxpayers to determine the individuals’ appropriate tax liability. State and federal tax auditors usually work in government offices, but they may also perform field audits in taxpayers’ homes or offices.