Auditing Skills: A Complete Guide (With Steps To Improve)
An audit is an objective, independent analysis of a company's finances and processes. Auditors use a range of hard and soft skills to provide the best advice and solutions to companies. Learning about those skills and how to improve them can help you build a successful career as an auditor. In this article, we discuss the duties of an auditor, define auditing skills, share some examples of these skills and provide tips to highlight them effectively during the job application process.
What Are Auditing Skills?
Auditing skills are innate or acquired abilities that help an individual perform auditing tasks accurately and proficiently. Audit scrutiny requires knowledge and extensive analytical skills, along with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to give attention to detail to identify any discrepancies in the reports and better organise financial documents. An auditor can assess the adequacy and fairness of its accounting practices, internal controls, compliance with laws and regulations and management objectives using their proficiency in accounting knowledge.
Related: Internal Auditor Skills: Examples And How To Improve Them
What Does An Auditor Do?
Auditing involves various tasks essential to the financial department of a business, including calculating transactions and preparing records and helping different executives and management to adhere to existing business laws. Here are a few other responsibilities of an editor:
Analysing the financial reports and records of an organisation
Preparing and maintaining the balance sheets and other documents
Identifying the loopholes for improvement in the current system
Finding the levels of financial risks involved
Protecting the company from defying the laws
Reviewing the existing structure and making recommendations
There are other roles that an auditor may perform to ensure accurate record maintenance. This may vary from industry to industry, but the basic tasks remain similar. To become an auditor, a bachelor's or master's degree in finance, accounting, commerce or a related field is essential. Organisations may have different criteria for hiring individuals with distinct skills for auditing, depending on the position, seniority and business models.
Related: What Does An Internal Auditor Do? (Skills And Duties)
Examples Of Auditing Skills
Here are some examples of skills that auditors often use:
An auditors often communicate with clients and coordinate with other departments regularly to maintain the financial books of an organisation. To do so effectively, it is important to communicate effectively to ensure that the receiver understands the message. It is also important to be an excellent listener, to understand the speaker's perspective and provide feedback accordingly.
An auditor requires possessing the technical know-how to draft and organise financial statements before they audit and understand how to organise a company's financial books proficiently. To achieve this, the auditor may learn considerably about the client's business, including the industry in which it operates. It may be helpful to know how a company in that industry typically generates revenue and incurs expenses, which accounts record those transactions and what events may impact those accounts.
Being analytical requires a logical and methodical approach to problem-solving and the ability to look past what is obvious. This is crucial in auditing, as it enables you to detect errors faster. Auditors who have strong analytical skills can also quickly identify processes that require attention, allowing them to make recommendations for improvement. Analytical skills enable the auditor to identify issues and their causes, determine or recommend a course of action and evaluate the risk and potential impact of errors in financial statements.
Attention to detail
One of an auditor's essential skills is paying attention to detail. An auditor may look at all the presented data, including any unusual trends or patterns. If they notice any trends, practices or anomalies, it is important for them to follow those. If they do not follow up on these anomalies, they may miss a potential fraud scheme.
Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips
Auditing is directly proportional to deadline adherence. This makes managing all tasks that help to stick to the deadline an important skill to have. Every organisation has its structures and requirements, which may result in different times of deadlines. Deadlines vary in each organisation. A good auditor can manage the deadlines without compromising the quality of work.
Businesses are adopting a dynamic approach and thriving. In such cases, understanding the business models apart from the regular audit checks can be an exceptional skill. Auditors can acquire this skill over time or develop it with extensive practice and experience. Auditors learn this skill while working with an organisation and understanding its intricacies. They can also learn it by keeping updated with the changing industry trends.
Companies largely accept initiative-driven, responsible and proactive auditors. This work requires deep knowledge and passion that drives that initiative-taking zeal within an individual. Developing an initiative-driven thought process and learning interest can help one become a better auditor.
Auditors often work across teams, taking inputs from different business departments and entering them into the records. This makes it important to coordinate the departments and obtain the required information. Maintaining a healthy balance and work ethic across teams can help optimise workflow effectively. Auditing also requires an understanding of the functions and operations of various departments to create error-free reports and make suggestions.
Auditing requires professionals who have critical thinking skills. This skill can help auditors look for better solutions to unique or complex problems. Removing biases and a basic understanding of the various perspectives to facilitate a neutral and critical perspective can help audit professionals be successful.
As professionals who work with financial information, the ability to organise the documents is helpful. It also helps to manage time efficiently and eliminate any workflow redundancies. Organisational skills also help them appear professional to business executives or shareholders with whom they may interact during an audit.
How To Improve Audit Skills
Below are a few ways to improve your audit skills and become a better professional:
Learn consistently. Updating yourself with the latest developments in the field and knowing relevant industry news and regulations consistently and the latest financial development information is helpful to advance yourself as an auditor.
Practise active listening. Listening intently to the speaker while conducting audits can help you improve your communication skills and understand their perspective and foster professional relationships cordially and effectively.
Join a programme. Joining and taking part in seminars, workshops and other such programmes can help you learn from others and their experiences and also give you exposure to different strategies to perform auditing more efficiently.
Enhance your perspective. You can consider auditing as more of a process which comprises several steps rather than considering the steps individually, as it can help you have a more objective approach and infer actionable conclusions while auditing.
Related: 16 Types Of Audits (And Why Companies Conduct Them)
Audit Skills In The Workplace
Audit work can sometimes be challenging and complex. Possessing the requisite skills can help you overcome unique challenges during your job and succeed as an auditor. Here are a few ways an auditor can use their skills to benefit a company:
Ensuring adherence to the industry-related rules and regulations
Checking if financial statements comply with the regulations
Conducting background checks on potential employees
Compiling information for better decision making about expenses
Reviewing information security procedures
Suggesting changes in policy for overall organisational growth
Ways To Highlight Audit Skills
By highlighting your auditing abilities on your resume, you can show recruiters that you are familiar with the duties and responsibilities of the role. Here are a few ways to demonstrate your auditing abilities during the job application process:
On the resume
Include a skill section on your resume comprising your relevant skills to perform the job efficiently. Consider mentioning specific auditing software you are familiar with along with any other accomplishment that shows your proficiency can benefit the company. You can also highlight any relevant coursework you undertook in the education section of your resume. You can include your licence and certifications details separately to ensure recruiting managers can notice it conveniently, which can increase the chances of convincing them to consider you for the role.
Related: How To Write An Auditor Resume (With Template And Example)
In the cover letter
In your cover letter, highlight any previous experience you have conducting audits briefly, along with your professional achievements, whether it was for a small business or a large corporation. If you have no prior experience, mention any relevant coursework you have taken or volunteer experiences you have that can help you be an efficient auditor. Emphasise your commitment to accuracy and precision and explain how these qualities make you suitable for the role for which you are applying.
During an interview
Take some time to review the job posting and identify specific skills the employer is looking for in a potential hire. Think about examples of times when you have used these skills previously. It is helpful to write out a list of these examples and prepare them, as recruiting managers may ask questions regarding them. Consider practising explaining your skills in auditing and relevant experience in a clear and concise way to avoid confusion and increase your chances of getting hired.
Explore more articles
- How To Write Safety Officer Resume Objective (With Examples)
- 10 Chief Revenue Officer Responsibilities For Your Resume
- How To Write A Junior Full Stack Developer Resume With Tips
- How To Write A Physiotherapy Cover Letter (With A Template)
- What Is A Server Resume Objective? (Definition And Examples)
- How To Write An IT CV In 6 Steps (With Template And Example)
- How To Write A Summary Of Qualifications (With Examples)
- Nursing Assistant Skills For A Resume (With Examples)
- How To Write A Site Engineer Resume: Template And Example
- How To Write A Backend Developer Resume (With Example)
- How To Write Experience In A Resume (With Examples)
- Computer Skills: Definition and Example