“I always assign auditors to strictly supervise the businesses.”
Robert Budi Hartono, Businessman
Pros and Cons of Working as an Auditor
You think about becoming an auditor? Good news, the job as an auditor can have many advantages. However, it is not all upside. There are still some issues related to this profession.
In fact, I show you all the pros and cons of being an auditor in the following chapters so that you can better decide whether you still want to become an auditor or go for an alternative career path instead.
Auditor Job Profile
|Short Job Description||Auditors ensure the legality and the compliance of financial records with local and international laws and regulations.|
|Salary||$67,000 per year on average, most auditors make between $52,000 and $90,000 per year.|
|Job Security||High job security.|
|Job Satisfaction||Average job satisfaction.|
|Work-Life Balance||Decent work-life balance.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Mentally demanding job.|
|Future Outlook||Good since auditors will always be needed and barriers to entry are pretty high.|
Advantages of Being an Auditor
- You can work on many different projects
- Auditors can work for many different clients
- You can build a strong network
- Auditors can earn decent amounts of money
- High level of job security
- You can work indoors
- Good exit options
- You can work in teams of motivated people
- Auditors can train their analytical abilities
- You learn how to deal with difficult clients
- You have to get out of your comfort zone
- Auditors can travel a lot
You can work on many different projects
One advantage of being an auditor is that you can work on many different projects during your career. In fact, auditors often only work on a project for a few weeks or months and then move on to the next project. It also depends on which projects you are specialized in. If you are part of the annual audit team, you will work many months on the same project.
If you are doing rather exotic audits instead, those audits often only last for less than a month. Hence, as an auditor, you can see many different projects in a rather short period of time and this enables you to learn a lot, especially in your first years.
Auditors can work for many different clients
As an auditor, you can not only work on many different projects, but you can also work for many different clients. It is quite common that auditors work for one client for a few weeks and then move on to the next project of a different client.
While this can be challenging since you always have to adjust to new work environments and new people you have to work with, you will also learn how to adjust to those stressful situations in a proper manner.
After a while, it will just feel normal to you and you will lose your fear of unknown situations. Dealing with uncertainty is key, not only for success as an auditor but also in various other parts of life and if you learn this important skill, you can greatly benefit from it on various occasions in your future life.
You can build a strong network
Since you will work for so many different clients during your auditing career, you will also be able to build a really strong network. In fact, if you network properly, chances are that many doors will open for you in the future. Clients will often try to headhunt you since they would like to have your knowledge inside their companies.
Moreover, you as an auditor will also know how to deal with other auditors in a proper manner and this knowledge can be quite valuable for companies to avoid any mistakes and problems in this regard.
Hence, make sure to build a strong network during your active auditor career from which you can profit later on for your whole professional life.
Auditors can earn decent amounts of money
Another advantage of being an auditor is that you will be able to earn a pretty decent salary. The average salary of an auditor is around 70,000 dollars in the US. There are even auditors who make a six-figure income.
Consequently, especially if you live in a city with low rents and low living expenses, you will be able to afford many nice things as an auditor and you can live a decent lifestyle.
High level of job security
Thanks to all the new rules and regulations related to financial audits, chances are that auditors will have a lot of work to do in the future. In fact, almost every year, new regulations and guidelines are introduced and companies often struggle to deal with those things. Also audits become more challenging and labor-intensive since more data has to be processed.
Thus, with this ever-increasing regulatory pressure and the related increasing amount of necessary audit work, chances are that you will have pretty high job security in the future as an auditor.
You can work indoors
Another upside of becoming an auditor is that you can work indoors. While you might take this for granted, there are still many people who have to work outside in the cold. It doesn’t matter whether it rains or snows, many people still have to work under those extreme conditions. Consequently, job satisfaction in those fields is rather low.
By becoming an auditor, you can avoid those extreme working environments since you can work indoors and weather conditions will not really matter to you during your workday.
Good exit options
Since you will learn a lot and work for many different clients, you will also have pretty good exit options as an auditor. Especially if you work at one of the renowned big auditing companies, you will get job offers almost every week and you will often not even have to actively apply to find a new job.
Hence, as an auditor, you can be pretty sure that you will have good long-term job prospects and that you will often even have the choice for which company you want to work in the future.
You can work in teams of motivated people
As an auditor, you can also work with many motivated and talented people. In fact, it is not that easy to get into those auditing companies and you need a certain level of skill and experience. While this increases the barriers to entry, it also assures that people working in those jobs have what it takes to make a proper financial audit.
Apart from their auditing skills, it is often also pretty interesting to talk to those people since they are often pretty open-minded and smart and you will learn a lot in various different fields due to that if you stay curious and like to talk to people in general.
Auditors can train their analytical abilities
Since you will work with numbers the majority of time as a financial auditor, you will also be able to really train and advance your analytical abilities. In fact, our brain only works well if it is trained on a regular basis.
Since the job as an auditor can be really challenging and time pressure is often a serious issue, your brain will learn how to process information in the most efficient manner and you will also see patterns much better than the average person.
Those analytical skills are crucial, not only as an auditor but also in various other jobs. Hence, also in case you want to change your career path after a few years, starting as an auditor can be really helpful in this regard.
You learn how to deal with difficult clients
During your career as an auditor, you will also learn how to deal with rather difficult clients. While many of your clients will be nice to you, others will complain all day long and will not appreciate your work at all.
Sometimes, you will also have serious arguments regarding findings and clients will also not accept those findings the way you presented them.
While this can be annoying and exhausting, you will learn how to handle those situations over time and you will also develop precious conflict resolution skills.
You have to get out of your comfort zone
Since you will work for many different clients and will see many different projects during your career as an auditor, you will also be forced out of your comfort zone as an auditor pretty often. It is standard that you will always have to deal with new people and you will also have to work in many different environments.
While some people will be nice and relaxed, other clients will put high levels of pressure on you. Sometimes, you will also not know what to do next and have to find alternative solutions to problems.
Sure, this will not always be a nice feeling. However, by pushing your boundaries and getting out of your comfort zone, you can really grow in character and learn how to handle difficult situations.
Auditors can travel a lot
Many auditors also travel a lot during their active careers. In fact, as an auditor, you will work for many different clients and you can therefore see many different cities.
If you have certain qualifications and are a specialist in your field, you may even travel to other countries to pitch projects or to carry out certain exotic audits.
Therefore, becoming an auditor may also be a valid choice in case you love traveling and want to combine your passion for traveling with your work.
Disadvantages of Being an Auditor
- Busy season can be stressful
- Auditors often have to work long hours
- Work-life balance is rather limited
- Other jobs pay better for similar work
- You have to get a college degree
- Student loan debt is rather common
- Being an auditor can be boring
- You need a certain level of talent for handling numbers
- Leading auditors can be personally liable for mistakes
- Increasing level of skepticism towards auditing firms
- Auditors are often not fully independent
- Hard to found your own auditing company
- You may be away from home quite often
- There are few major players controlling the market
- You sit in front of a computer all day long
- Lack of creativity
- You may feel like a robot
- Auditors have to adjust to new regulations almost every year
- You often need a license as lead auditor
- Many people quit after a few years
Busy season can be stressful
Apart from the numerous advantages of becoming an auditor, there are still some issues related to this profession. In fact, one problem with being an auditor is that it can be a pretty stressful job.
Especially during busy season when annual audits have to be evaluated, auditors often suffer from a significant workload and often don’t know how they should get all this work done.
Auditors often have to work long hours
During those busy times, you will also have to work pretty long hours as an auditor. While many of your friends will leave work in the late afternoon, you will often sit in the office and work until the late evening.
In extreme cases, night shifts will be necessary, especially if time pressure is significant and plenty of work has to be done in a rather short period of time.
Hence, before becoming an auditor, make sure that you are willing to work long hours.
Work-life balance is rather limited
Especially during busy times, also your work-life balance will be rather poor. Since you will have to work at least 10 hours a day, chances are that you will not have that much time left for your hobbies or for your family.
Thus, being a financial auditor also implies some sacrifices and if you are not willing to make this kind of commitment, you may be better off going for an alternative career path instead.
Other jobs pay better for similar work
While financial auditors can earn decent amounts of money, other similar jobs often pay significantly more. For instance, if you work in consulting, you will have similar hours but will earn much more money on average since the daily rates for consultants are usually much higher than for auditors.
Hence, if money is really important to you and you want to maximize your salary, you should rather go for other job opportunities instead.
You have to get a college degree
Before you can become an auditor, you first have to get a college degree. This means that you will have to go to college for at least three years until you will be eligible for an auditing career. Even then will it not be easy to get into one of the renowned audit companies and many people who work there also hold a Master’s degree.
Consequently, be prepared that it can be a long way to go before you can get a job as an auditor and make sure that you are willing to go this extensive education path.
Student loan debt is rather common
Many auditors also have to pay back significant amounts of student loans. In fact, it is quite common to take on student loans to finance college education in our current state of the world.
While student loans make your time in college more enjoyable since you will not have to worry about money too much, you will have to pay the piper later on in your life and many people have to pay off student debt for years or even decades.
Being an auditor can be boring
While some auditing projects can be interesting and challenging, others are rather boring. Sometimes, you just have to read hundreds of pages to find the information you are looking for.
In fact, after a while, many people become really tired of their work as an auditor since it just feels like a waste of time to them.
You need a certain level of talent for handling numbers
As an auditor, you not only need a college degree you will also need a certain level of talent for handling numbers. If you don’t have this sort of talent, you will not become happy as an auditor since you will often have to process numbers in a rather short period of time and if you are not skilled in this regard, chances are that it will just take you too long and that your clients and your boss will not be happy with your performance at all.
Leading auditors can be personally liable for mistakes
If you reach a certain level and become an authorized representative of the auditing firm you work for, you will also even be personally liable for mistakes you make during your audits in many countries of our planet.
Hence, if you get to this stage, make sure that you get proper insurance to avoid any unpleasant surprises in this regard.
Increasing level of skepticism towards auditing firms
During past centuries, there had been many scandals in the auditing world and therefore, also the level of skepticism towards auditors has increased as well in society.
In fact, while auditors had a high level of reputation in society a few decades ago, this is no longer the case and you will have to deal with those prejudices as well if you decide for an auditing career.
Auditors are often not fully independent
If you work for one of the few big global auditing firms, you will also not be fully independent regarding your judgement. Since those big audit companies also offer consulting services, there is a certain conflict of interest since those companies don’t want to lose clients due to strict audits.
Hence, auditing firms often have an incentive to be more generous when it comes to financial audits so that they don’t lose their lucrative consulting contracts to competitors.
Hard to found your own auditing company
Another downside of being an auditor is that it will also be hard to work self-employed and to start your own auditing company. In fact, there are only few big audit companies controlling the global auditing market and you will barely have any chance to convince big companies of your auditing services since you will have not the same brand power as the big players.
You may be away from home quite often
If you aspire to a successful career as an auditor, you will have to travel a lot. This also implies that you will be away from home quite often and that you may even miss the birthday of your spouse or your kids.
Hence, make sure that you are willing to make those kinds of sacrifices and that your career will be your priority if you want to succeed in one of the big audit companies.
There are few major players controlling the market
In general, the fact that a few big players control the audit market can be regarded as quite problematic. If you have disputes with your boss one day and quit your job in one of the big audit companies, chances are that it will be hard to find a job in a different audit company since many partners of audit companies know each other and will not let you in anymore.
You sit in front of a computer all day long
You should also be aware of the fact that being an auditor also implies sitting in an office in front of a computer all day long. Thus, if you are not the kind of person who wants to work in an office job, you should definitely search for an alternative career path instead.
Lack of creativity
Another disadvantage of becoming an auditor is that you will often always have the same routine. You will have a standard approach to do things and there will often not be room for any creativity, especially during busy times when work has to be done as soon as possible.
You may feel like a robot
Due to the lack of creativity and the standardized work, some auditors even feel like machines rather than humans after a certain period of time. This can lead to serious mental problems and also to a lack of passion and motivation for your job as an auditor.
Auditors have to adjust to new regulations almost every year
As an auditor, you will also have to adjust to new guidelines and regulations almost every year. In fact, regulators never get tired to introduce new rules and requirements for companies and to be able to audit companies in a proper manner, there will also be the need that you get familiar with those new regulations yourself on a regular basis.
You often need a license as lead auditor
If you want to get into a leading position as an auditor, a college degree will not be enough in many countries. Quite often, you need additional licenses or certificates, which can be quite hard to obtain.
Consequently, if you aspire to one of those demanding careers, make sure that you are willing to get some additional schooling.
Many people quit after a few years
In general, many people quit their jobs as auditors after just a few years since they can simply earn more money in different companies in similar positions.
In fact, the turnover is pretty high in this industry and you should be aware that many of your colleagues will no longer be on your side in the future.
Top 10 Being an Auditor Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being an Auditor Pros||Being an Auditor Cons|
|Auditors can earn good money||Being an auditor can be boring|
|Being an auditor can be challenging||Busy season can be stressful|
|Auditors can work on different projects||Auditors often work long hours|
|You can work for different clients||Other similar jobs pay better|
|Auditors can build a strong network||Auditors often have to travel|
|Good exit options as an auditor||Not much leisure|
|High level of job security||Hard to start your own business|
|You can work in a motivated team||Auditors are often not independent|
|You can learn a lot in your first years||Lack of creativity|
|You learn how to deal with stress||Many people quit pretty soon|
Should You Become An Auditor?
As we have seen before, there are many advantages and disadvantages of being an auditor. In the end, you have to evaluate all the pros and cons of becoming an auditor yourself to decide whether you still want to work as an auditor or if you want to go for another career path instead.
If you want to learn even more about an auditor career, you should also have a look at the salary, career prospects, educational requirements, working hours and promotion opportunities of auditors.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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