How to Become an Auditor


An auditor has an investigative role in accounts. They may work for a business or in the public sector and must analyse tax returns to check that no fraud has been committed and that tax needs are met.

Auditors investigate accounts and tax returns. They operate the entire process of auditing; checking financial reports of their company or other companies and assessing if they are valid, using methods in which they have been trained. They will then write reports explaining their findings. 

The duties of an auditor include: 

  • Examining financial statements, including tax reports, for accuracy.
  • Cross-checking them to ensure that they comply with laws and regulations. 
  • Calculating what taxes an individual business or person owes and preparing tax returns
  • Keeping track of taxes that are due to be paid and ensuring timely payment. 
  • Checking that accounting systems are efficient and no cracks for fraudulent activity slip through. 
  • Identifying business risks that could be apparent from their tax returns. 

There are many different types of auditors. Some specialise in specific areas, including assurance services, risk management, or a particular industry.

Other types of auditors are: 

Public Auditors are the most common type of auditor. They perform audits for the government, investigate taxes of businesses and self-employed contractors, check the spending of public money, and write reports about their findings. Public auditors will work on an external basis. 

Private auditors work within a business to check their tax and income reports. Most private auditors will work on an internal basis, but they could also be employed for investigative purposes. 

Forensic auditors use their knowledge of the law to check that accounts and tax returns are legal. They will work with law enforcement and lawyers and may attend trials. 

There are a few routes into becoming an auditor. Most candidates will have a related degree, the most relevant being finance, accounting, and business administration. They will then need to acquire an accounting qualification. This could be obtained independently or through a graduate training scheme. 

Non-graduates could become an auditor through an apprenticeship, where they will typically obtain the necessary accounting qualification. In rare cases, if candidates have relevant work experience and can demonstrate the required skills, they could get a job as a junior auditor. Candidates will be required to take further training and qualify on the job.

An auditor should have some particular skills and attributes to make them fit for the job. They need to be conscientious, as their audits may be long and arduous. They will have to work efficiently and in an orderly way. They should also be strict at sticking to the rules, as they will always need to side with the law. If they become an auditor for the government, they may have to deal with sensitive and confidential information.

Communication skills are essential, as auditors will need to build a friendly rapport with other professionals, and should be able to approach any issues in a mature and balanced way. They will need to present their findings efficiently to other people in their company or sector. 

It is essential that auditors not only have skills in maths and IT but are open to continuing learning. Laws and taxes are continually evolving, and an auditor will need to keep on top of laws as part of their job. 

Auditors can niche into different areas over time, or work their way up into management. They could also set up their own accountancy practice or become a consultant.


What degree is most commonly held by an Auditor?

  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor of Business Administration and Management
  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor of Financial Accounting
  • Bachelors of Information Accounting
  • Masters of Accounting and Finance

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
As auditing is specific to the country that it is based, the chance of being able to work abroad is low. Every country has different tax schemes and varying regulations, meaning that an auditor moving abroad would have to almost entirely retrain. They would also need to obtain relevant auditor qualifications for the country where they have moved.

What is the Salary of an Auditor?

Experience Average salary | year
Auditor $57,000 £40,000 $42,940
Auditor (Senior) $63,890 £52,500 $63,718
Audit Manager $72,107 £70,000 $77,569

What skills are needed to become an Auditor?

  • Auditing
  • Accounting
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Management
  • Internal Audit
  • Internal Controls
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Reporting
  • Leadership
  • Financial Accounting
  • Risk Management
  • Customer Service
  • Finance
  • Teamwork
  • Microsoft Word
  • Project Management
  • External Audit
  • Risk Assessment
  • Financial Audits
  • Analysis
  • Data Analysis
  • Business Process Improvement
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act
  • Strategic Planning

Auditor Courses

Being an auditor requires substantial knowledge. Candidates should know about tax laws, economics, and finances. Taking supplementary courses to keep on track is beneficial, and we have plenty available at FutureLearn.
  • Introduction to Financial Accounting

    Refresh your knowledge of basic accounting processes and discover recent changes in International Financial Reporting Standards

  • Understanding Financial Statements

    Learn how to make better business decisions with financial information

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