Auditors check organisations' financial records to make sure they are accurate.

What does an auditor do?

Internal auditors examine an organisation’s or department’s policies, procedures and finances, in order to advise where improvements could be made.

Independent external auditors examine company accounts to check if they are accurate, or to check how public money is being spent within public sector organisations, civil service departments and local authorities. An external auditor is responsible for:

  • collecting and interpreting figures
  • identifying any problems or risks to the business
  • assessing the company's financial reporting systems
  • establishing good working relationships with clients
  • making recommendations for improvements 

What do I need to do to become an auditor?

To become an external auditor, you must first qualify as a chartered accountant with one of the following professional bodies:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Association of International Accountants (AIA)

There are different ways to qualify. You can start on a graduate training scheme after completing an accountancy degree at university, or start on a company's graduate scheme after completing a degree (any subject).

The National Audit Office also runs a three-year training scheme for graduates (any subject). They offer the chance to gain a professional accountancy qualification while training for a career in auditing.

To do this job, you will need to have excellent maths and IT skills. You will also need good communication skills, and to be able to work with tact and diplomacy. An interest in finance and business, as well as an ability to work to a high degree of accuracy, is ideal for this role.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Financial planning
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Time management

Academic route

  • A levels

Related subjects

  • Business studies
  • Maths

Desirable qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

As an external auditor you could work for a firm of chartered accountants, or in the public sector for the National Audit Office, which audits central government departments.

As an internal auditor you could work for large companies in all kinds of industry, for public sector organisations, or for firms that provide internal audit services to clients.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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