Broadly, there are three qualities of a good auditor, these include knowledge on financial principles & audit processes, certain personality characteristics, and experience in the audit industry. Let’s discuss how these qualities/attributes contribute to make a good auditor.
1-Knowledge of work, financial terms, accounting principles and the audit process:
To conduct an audit one requires identification and understanding of various company reports that can only be done by a person who has knowledge of such reports and in-depth information of its content. An auditor must know what to look for in the reports and how the data can be used in the audit process.
Auditors must know the ISO standards, accounting principles, financial language, structure of report, and the appropriate steps in the audit process. An individual who wants to gain knowledge of auditing can go for studies in accounting and finance such as a bachelors, masters, ACCA, CPA, diploma and read multiple case studies on company audits.
An auditor must understand company and industry laws and policies along with taxation laws for conducting a proper audit. Technological knowledge and computer literacy is a plus point for auditor. Knowing the relevant software apps and tools speed up the audit process and improve accuracy of results. Further, it’s important to note that audit companies like big five audit firms in the world use their internally developed audit processing tool. By using this tool, the companies ensure they perform audit in a systematic way and do not miss any of the risks/procedures while collecting audit evidence.
2-Experience in the industry:
While the relevant qualifications are necessary to become a good auditor, work experience in the industry is valued more as it is more practical. Experience with the audit process by handling multiple diverse cases helps individuals to evaluate reports effectively and efficiently. With more practice, it takes less time to go through reports and identify faults leading to more productivity. The decision-making process is also accelerated as professional auditors are confident in their work skills and knowledge. Experienced auditors also know how to deal with people and minimize conflict which is also a vital part of dealing in the workplace.
Aside from qualifications and experience, there are certain personality characteristics that make a good auditor.
Auditing requires being thorough and detail-oriented. A good auditor is meticulous and carefully evaluates financial reports. It is necessary to be vigilant and systematic so that any useful information is not missed. In audits, every word has a meaning and even the smallest piece of data can be an indicator of performance.
Much like police work, auditors are also trying to comb out fraudulent activity. An auditor must be honest with their work and value justice. They must objectively analyze situation and be unbiased to levels of authority. Resistance and disagreements are part of work, an auditor must remain resilient and uphold integrity at all times.
Communication is very important in all professions to express ideas, opinions and suggestion in a way to effectively deliver the message with minimum criticism. An auditor must know how to communicate their findings in a clear, concise and definite manner.
Time management is also essential in all professions and daily life. An auditor must manage their time effectively because of huge amount of data to be evaluated with limited time.
Auditing is a stressful and time consuming process that requires patience. Auditors have to go through huge piles of documents and be meticulous to all forms of data. An auditor must remain calm and composed to complete the audit. They must be emotionally intelligent to endure long isolated working hours and intense working environment.
An auditor must be active and take initiative in work. Auditing requires assessing the performance of a company and an they must find all resources to evaluate company’s operations. Therefore, an auditor must go above and beyond in the investigation process.
An important auditing skill is to have critical thinking abilities. Audits require individuals to step out of their own biased judgments and consider all perspectives to a situation. They must have the skill to look at the bigger picture and provide intellectual reasoning.
Good auditors have an exceptional observation and a keen eye on company matters. Curiosity leads to in-depth investigation with the aid of multiple resources. Inquisitiveness can actually improve the audit process.
The audit process is long and physically tasking. An auditor must be genuinely interested in their work to full commit to the audit process. The fields of finance and accounting are difficult and require utmost attention and dedication of an individual. Therefore, people who are interested in the knowledge and work are the ones who stick the longest while others become frustrated.
Sometimes reports contain untrue information of accounts. It is up to the auditor to crosscheck and find reliable sources of information. Auditors should question all resources provided and actively look out for clues. Some skepticism is required to provide a high-quality audit. Let’s understand what auditors do.
What does an auditor do?
An Audit comprises of the activities related to investigating and judging the validity and reliability of a company and its processes by evaluating financial and other operation-related reports according to a set standard. The goal of an audit is to identify whether a company is fair and honest in their procedures and eliminate corruptive acts. The personnel assigned the duties of audit are called auditor. An auditor accumulates and evaluates evidence to report on the degree of company’s proclamations that they comply with an established set of principles and standards of the industry. Auditors are essential to maintain quality of operations and enforce honest practices in the industry.
Qualities of a good audior summarised:
An auditor is a person responsible for evaluating company reports against set policies and industry standards. A good auditor is known for the following attributes:
- Knowledge of
- Financial reports
- Accounting principles
- Technical software
- Taxation laws
- Company policies
- Industry standards
- The complete audit process
- Years of work experience and
- Personality characteristics such as:
- Meticulous nature
- Good communication
- Time management
- Emotional Intelligence
- Proactive behavior
- Critical thinking
- Dedication and
- Professional Skepticism