OPINION: This is how one can become an Auditor

Daniel Muinde

An Auditor is a specialist who reviews the accounts of companies and organizations to ensure the validity and legality of their financial records.

To some degree, auditing may seem esoteric. Where do we draw the line between accounting and auditing? Accountants prepare financial statements for a company and organizations while Auditors examine the reports to check for accuracy and ensure fairness.

Exploring The Essential Career Guide by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service (KUCCPS), it is crystal clear that you require a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or any related field so that it can give you a foundation to auditing. Some of the prerequisite degree courses to auditing are; Accounting, Banking, Finance, Marketing and Economics just to mention a few – basically, any business-related course.

There are two different categories of Auditors – internal and external Auditors. The internal Auditor works directly for the organization they audit as part of an organization’s accounting team. Hence, they are expected to improve the efficiency of business and identify where processes are not working as they should.

External Auditors either work for a third-party organization or work independently. They also work with firms of chartered and certified accountants

Ipso facto, there are other kinds of Auditors within the two categories; Information technology Auditors who examine an organization’s computer systems; Tax Auditors who check that organizations are in compliance with tax laws; and Forensic Auditors who search and analyze financial records for evidence of financial crime that can be used in court.

To become a competent Auditor, one must study the following; Content in Foundations of Accounting, Accounting for Equities, Accounting for Assets, Principles of Management, Business Mathematics, Tax Management, Risk Management, Finance, Micro-economics, Macro-economics and Marketing.

Roles of an Auditor include; inspecting financial records for discrepancies; providing suggestions on improving financial record keeping; analyzing risk management procedures; investigating potential fraud within an organization; preparing tax returns; making sure the organization follows finance and tax laws; advising the organization on how they can be more financially efficient; undertaking reviews of wages and collating, checking and analyzing spreadsheet data.

An Auditor should also have good communication and presentation skills; Organization skills due to immense pressure from different clients to hit deadlines; Analytical thinking and Numeracy skills and a strong aptitude for mathematics; and Problem-solving skills.

Certifications for Auditors include; Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) for internal Auditors; Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for external Auditors; Financial Services for Internal Auditors Certificate for internal Auditors, especially those working in banks or other financial institutions; Certification in Risk Management Assurance; Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE); and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) for those who want to specialize in auditing organizations’ information technology.

By Daniel Muinde

The writer is a student of Banking and Finance at The Co-operative University of Kenya and a public speaker.

muindedan30@gmail.com 0723882891

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