Auditor: What it is, 4 types, and qualifications

Whenever you hear the term “audit,” the next thing that strikes your mind is looking for an auditor. Plus, there are individuals studying accountancy or business and finance who are looking for ways to become an auditor in the UK.

This comprehensive guide gives information on auditors; they might help you.

Table of contents

●  Who is an auditor?
●  How to become an auditor?
●  What is the responsibility of an auditor
●  What are the four types of auditor
●  Conclusion

Hire an Auditor

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Who is an auditor?

An auditor is a professional responsible for examining the company’s accounts, processes, and procedures to ensure the financial statements are true, accurate, and fair and comply with government statutory and accounting standards. On completion of the audit process, they prepare reports depending on their findings and make necessary statements for business improvement.

The average salary of an auditor in the UK is between £19,000 for beginners and £78,000 for experienced ones. They typically work 37-39 hours a week.

How to become an auditor?

To become an auditor, you can explore different ways, like going through

●  A university course
●  An apprenticeship
●  Apply directly
●  Train with an employer approved by a professional body

University course
You can do a degree in accountancy, economics, business and finance, IT and computing, and then join a graduate scheme for further training.

The entry requirements like 4 or 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including English and math, and 3A  levels or equivalent.

Apprenticeship
To become an internal auditor, you can complete an apprenticeship while working with a company, like working a higher apprenticeship as an internal audit practitioner or a level 7 apprenticeship as an internal audit professional.

The entry requirements you need to have for an apprenticeship program are a 4 or 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4 and an A level, or equivalent, for a higher level or degree apprenticeship.

Through direct application
You can join an organisation as a trainee and work as an assistant in the internal auditing team. For this, you must have an A-level qualification or equivalent and can expect to take further training when your career starts developing.

Professional and industry bodies
You can be an external auditor by qualifying as a chartered accountant and being a member of 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)

Furthermore, you need to be a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy to be an auditor in the public sector. For an internal audit, qualifications are less rigid.

Career path and progression

External auditors with experience can move into management roles and become Partner or Finance Directors. They can also establish an independent firm. As an Internal auditor, you can also move into a management role or become a Chief Internal Auditor, Chartered Internal Auditor or a self-employed Consultant.

What skills and knowledge it takes
To become an auditor, you need a set of skills and knowledge, like

●  Good knowledge of economics and accounting
●  You must be thorough and pay attention-to-details
●  Analytical thinking ability
●  Ability to accept criticism and work under pressure
●  Have business management skills
●  Good customer service skills
●  Excellent written communication skills
●  Be assertive and do not succumb to any undue influence
●  Tech savvy and can use computer and software packages confidently

What is the responsibility of an auditor

Auditors have some day-to-day operations they must perform, like

●  Examining Company accounts and the accounting processes
●  Identifying risks to the business
●  Accessing the company’s financial reports
●  Interviewing staff to gather evidence
●  Observing business processes
●  Checking for compliance with government regulations
●  Analysing financial data
●  Examining internal controls
●  Giving necessary recommendations for improvements

What auditors can’t do
There are a few limitations to the auditor’s role in any organisation. They cannot
●  Prepare or make changes to the source documents
●  Prevent and detect fraud
●  Authorise, execute or consummate transactions on clients’ behalf
●  Establish or maintain internal controls
●  Analyse or reconcile accounts, and close your books
●  Select Accounting policies for procedures
●  Prepare financial statements
●  Determine estimates included in financial statements
●  Established value of assets and liabilities
●  Forecast risks and opportunities for business
●  Implementing corrective action plans

Overall, you cannot expect an auditor to perform the role and duties of management unless they qualify for the post.

What are the four types of auditors?

Usually, there are two types of auditors: Internal and external auditors. However, two other types of auditors can be Government and Foreign auditors.

Internal auditors
Companies hire them for internal control processes and evaluation of financial, operational and compliance checks. These auditors need to work independently to provide unbiased reports on their findings.

External auditors
They work primarily with auditing firms in association with government agencies and walk into an organisation to examine your financial statements, accounts, and business processes. Their reports hold more value as they don’t have any personal relationship or interest in your business, and shareholders or investors believe more in their reports.

Government auditors
They are mainly responsible for maintaining and examining government agency reports. They look for frauds and embezzlements, analyse agency accounting controls and check for risks. Government can also send them to different organisations to check if they are following government regulations and if the tax return they are submitting or the financial reports produced have valid data.

Forensic auditors
These auditors specialise in criminal law and are used by law enforcement organisations. Regulatory bodies are higher than obtaining evidence from an organisation charged with financial malpractice or tax evasion. Their reports are accepted as valid evidence in state and federal-level judicial bodies.

However, auditors can choose a niche industry depending on their specialisation, like tax, construction, and investigation auditors.

Hire an Auditor

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Conclusion

An audit is essential in any business; you cannot take it as a hobby. Instead, you need the proper qualification, certification, experience and skills to be an auditor. Similarly, business owners must hire an experienced auditor as their reports can considerably change your business operations. Even shareholders, investors and regulators measure a business’s financial health by an auditor’s report.

Experlu Editorial Team
The editorial team at Experlu is comprised of seasoned financial professionals dedicated to providing high-quality content on accounting and finance. With a wealth of experience and diverse expertise, the team produces insightful articles that have established the Experlu blog as the UK's leading financial and accounting resource. The team includes accountants, auditors, and business advisors who stay updated with the latest industry developments. Their commitment to excellence ensures that Experlu remains a trusted source of information, helping readers stay informed about audit, business, finance, and tax matters.