How to become an auditor (qualifications and CV template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 9 August 2022 | Published 30 November 2021

Updated 9 August 2022

Published 30 November 2021

Auditors are important financial and accounting professionals who ensure that organisations' records are accurate. An auditor can work internally for a company or for a dedicated organisation that conducts external audits. If you want to become an auditor, knowing which degrees and additional qualifications can make you successful can help you to plan your career. In this article, we discuss how to become an auditor and some of the qualifications they use to be successful.

How to become an auditor

Here are some valuable steps to follow for how to become an auditor:

1. Get a degree in finance or accounting

Having a degree in finance or accounting is important for a career as an auditor because many employers list it as one of their minimum requirements. They also prepare you for the role by teaching you many of the important pieces of fundamental knowledge that you utilise on a daily basis. To study finance or accounting as a bachelor's degree, many universities require you to pass maths at A-level.

2. Get qualifications

Another minimum requirement organisations list is certifications. There is a range of accounting bodies that offer these certifications, and the one that suits you best depends on your level of experience and education. Becoming certified gets you a chartered accountant status, potentially boosting your career and increasing your salary prospects.

3. Get work experience in the industry

Previous work experience can make your CV more attractive to recruiters. You can gain experience in any accounting firm at any level before eventually transitioning to becoming an auditor. Private internships may also be found on the websites of organisations you're interested in.

4. Apply for auditor positions

When applying to the role of an auditor, it's a good idea to prepare and tailor your CV and cover letter to the position and organisation that you're applying for. Doing so shows your passion for their organisation and makes it more likely for a hiring manager to select you for an interview. The research that you perform to tailor your CV can also be valuable preparation for the interview, helping you to appear more knowledgeable about the company.

Related: Auditor job profile (with roles and responsibilities)

What does an auditor do?

An auditor is a finance and accounting professional with the authority to inspect the financial records of organisations to ensure compliance with the law. An auditor is also useful for helping organisations be more efficient and can protect them from fraudulent activities. In this profession, you can either be an external auditor or an internal auditor. An external auditor works for specialised auditing firms, while an internal auditor is an employee of an organisation. The national average salary of an auditor is £31,784 per year, though this may vary depending on your experience and the company.

Read more: How much does an auditor make and ways to earn more

What are the best auditor certifications?

There are a number of certifications that audit organisations may list as a requirement for working with them. Some of the most common can be found below. They include:

Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)

The ICAEW is a professional body that awards chartered accountancy qualifications. To qualify as an ICAEW chartered accountant, you complete the ACA programme. For this, you complete on-the-job training for a minimum of three years and also pass a series of exams. You can expect to receive training from a provider that the accounting body authorises. For specific auditing knowledge, you can go on to study the AQ programme. This gives you specialist experience and is free.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

The ACCA provides you with chartered accountancy status and valuable insight into performing external audits. You can qualify for the ACCA membership with a minimum of two A-levels and three GCSEs in five different subjects, including maths and English. Without this, it's still possible to become a member at their foundation level. They offer a range of flexible studies so that you can choose to either study full-time, part-time or take revision courses.

Certified Public Accountants Association (CPAA)

The CPAA is the UK version of the CPA, one of the most prestigious accountancy certifications available. Students of the CPAA learn about accounting practices and ethics, bookkeeping and tax services. Upon completion, you can also use the Certified Public Accountant title.

Read more: Guide to accounting certifications to help you stand out

What auditor apprenticeships are available?

Another way to become an auditor is to undertake an apprenticeship programme. The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) offers a range of apprenticeships for auditors of varying levels of experience and education. A couple of examples include:

Internal audit practitioner

This level 4 apprenticeship is for starting professionals in internal auditing that have little to no experience. The duration of this type of apprenticeship is between 18 and 24 months. To qualify for entry into this programme, you're over 16 years of age, live in England and have your A-levels. As an internal audit practitioner apprentice, you can expect to conduct research on auditing activities and communicate results to audit management.

Internal audit professional

This level 7 apprenticeship is for professionals in internal audit with some experience. This type of apprenticeship usually lasts between 36 and 42 months. The requirements to qualify for entry into this programme are the same as those for an internal audit practitioner. As an internal audit professional apprentice, you can expect to be leading audit activities and building stakeholder relationships.

What are the duties of an auditor?

As an auditor, your responsibilities vary depending on whether you perform external or internal audits. Some general responsibilities you can expect are:

  • planning audits for an organisation

  • communicating with stakeholders

  • inspecting financial statements of organisations to ensure compliance

  • creating audit reports

  • advising clients and recommending solutions for improvement

Which skills are important for auditors?

There is a range of skills that can make auditors successful. The most important include:

  • Interpersonal and relationship-building skills**:** Auditors work with a variety of clients, so the ability to relate well with people and understand their needs can improve the service you provide.

  • Attention to detail**:** This is an important skill as your job includes inspecting complex and often lengthy financial statements. You may then create reports based on this information.

  • Critical thinking skills**:** As an auditor, having critical thinking skills can enable you to perform effective analysis. The insights you provide can impact a company's strategy.

  • Ability to withstand pressure**:** You can expect to be working with strict deadlines, so it's essential that you're able to work well under pressure.

Read more: Auditor skills for ensuring financial accuracy and transparency

How to write a good auditor CV

When applying for the job as an auditor, it's wise to ensure that your CV is the best it can be. Follow these tips on how to write a good auditor CV:

1. Have an effective summary

A summary is the first information on your CV after your contact details. An effective summary of your professional history can quickly demonstrate your skills, experience and passion. For example, you could include an impressive contribution you made to an organisation to gain a hiring manager's interest.

Read more: CV summary examples (and 5 steps for how to write one)

2. Highlight only relevant skills and experience

Analytical, mathematical and problem-solving skills are important for an auditor. Highlighting them can increase a recruiter's interest in your application. Make sure to only highlight skills and experience that's relevant to the auditor job you're applying for, as this keeps your CV concise and easy to read.

3. Tailor your CV to the job description

You can improve your chances of receiving an invitation for an interview if your CV matches the job description. Tailor your CV to the job description by ensuring that your skills, experience and qualifications match what the recruiter is looking for. It's also in your best interest to proofread your CV for grammatical or spelling errors.

Read more: How to write work experience on a CV (tips and example)

Sample CV template for an auditor application

Below is an example of what a good auditor CV may look like:

Eric Chamberlain

1 Lily Street
London
E15 1OP

0701325678
e.cham@email.co.uk

*Summary
Highly analytical and motivated finance professional with three years of experience. Specialised in performing financial audits for organisations in technology industries with ICAEW certification. Led a team reviewing internal controls and operations for a startup with a seed round of $600,000.*

*Work experience Auditor
Technology Inc
London
November 2017– September 2020*

  • Performed financial audits after assessment and presented cash flow analyses to senior managers

  • Worked in a team to determine the scope of the audit and provided a comprehensive annual report

  • Successfully developed financial strategies to reduce inefficiency while ensuring compliance

  • Performed comprehensive tests to ensure the suitability of reports and recommendations

Education
Master of Business Administration in Finance
Business University
September 2016 - September 2017

Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance
Business University
September 2013 - September 2016

Skills

  • MS Excel and R

  • mathematics

  • strong IT literacy

  • interpersonal skills

  • communication

  • analytical and critical thinking

  • problem-solving

  • self-motivation

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌ Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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