Accounting Careers: Internal Auditor

Accounting is a system by which economic information is identified, recorded, summarized and reported to be used by decision makers. Private accountants—also called management, industrial, corporate or cost accountants—record and evaluate the financial data of the companies where they work. Internal auditors are a type of private accountant since they perform financial accounting tasks within an organization.

Internal Auditor Job Responsibilities

Typically, people who work as internal auditors perform audits of specific divisions or operational units of a company1. Some of the job responsibilites for internal auditors might include:

  • Examining financial statements for accuracy and compliance with local, state, and federal laws
  • Reviewing tax documents to ensure correctness
  • Assessing financial operations to make recomendations to improve the business
  • Reviewing financial documents and practices to identify cost savings or profit building opportunities

Internal Auditor Educational Requirements

To become an internal auditor, you need a strong understanding of finance as well as accounting. Most auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business or a similar field. People who work as internal auditors don’t need to be CPAs since they aren’t public accountants. However, many auditors and accountants opt to obtain certification and become CPAs to enhance their careers1. Some academic institutions might offer specialzed degree programs designed specifically for students interested in pursuing a career in internal auditing.  Students enrolled in a masters degree program for internal auditing might take courses in topics such as:

  • Internal Auditing
  • Operational Auditing
  • IT Auditing and Advanced Accounting Information Systems
  • Fraud Examination

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