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What is an Assistant Auditor? The School Leaver Guide

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What is an Assistant Auditor?

The role of an assistant auditor is to assess the truth and accuracy in the reporting of an organisation's finances. Most auditors work for external audit firms, although there are internal audit positions available at larger companies, too.

They perform independent external financial and risk management audits and also internal financial audits within commercial and public sector companies.

What does an Assistant Auditor do?

The role of an auditor is structured around financial reporting deadlines: monthly, quarterly, half-year and annual reports. An auditor is most busy approaching the financial year-end, when the annual accounts are prepared and need to be audited. Away from these reporting deadlines, there is still plenty of work for auditors to do.

Some of the day-to-day responsibilities of an assistant auditor include:


  • Ensuring a company’s assets are safeguarded

  • Assist with the reporting of the required daily/monthly/yearly financial reports

  • Working closely with the rest of the Finance team to ensure that they have the required information to conduct a proper audit

  • Checking financial reports and records are accurate and reliable

  • Preparing balance sheets and conducting testing to check that they are accurate and reliable

  • Ensuring procedures, policies, legislation and regulations are correctly followed and complied with

  • Inspect and correlate the overall audit report

  • Preparing reports, commentaries and financial statements

  • Identifying if and where processes are not working as they should and advising on changes to be made

  • Collating, checking and analysing spreadsheet data

  • Examining company accounts and financial control systems

  • Working to assist an auditor with the coordination of required activities

  • Financial risks

  • Liaising with managerial staff and presenting findings and recommendations

  • Ensuring duties comply with industry standards and regulations

  • Undertaking reviews of wages

Skills & interests required for an Assistant Auditor

Auditors need both strong numeracy skills and also a high level of personal responsibility: annual audits are a legal requirement for many organisations, and the diligence of the auditors is highly important to ensuring that investors, regulators, members of the public and the tax authorities can have confidence that an organisation’s accounts are true and accurate.

If they work for an external audit firm, assistant auditors need to be comfortable working across a range of projects with a variety of clients. That can entail attending clients’ offices, which can involve significant amounts of travel.

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Accounting
- Attention to detail
- Auditing
- Communication
- Dependability
- Mathematical ability
- Microsoft Excel
- Numeracy
- Problem Solving
- Teamwork
- Time Management

Working hours

An assistant auditor can expect to work typical hours, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Working extra hours or during the weekend to meet deadlines, particularly during the end of the financial year, will be required.

Work base

Assistant auditors either work in-house as part of an organisation’s Finance team, or work for an audit firm: in the latter case their role will involve working as part of an audit team at a client’s premises (mostly office-based, but perhaps also visiting factories, production facilities and warehouses).

Travel

Auditors will often travel to meet clients or visit other organisations.

Salary ranges & earning potential

A salary for an assistant auditor depends on location and company. If you are beginning an apprenticeship scheme as an assistant auditor you can expect to earn significantly above the national minimum wage.

Salaries within audit are high in general, and once you become qualified you can expect to earn between £35,000 and £50,000 per annum. At larger audit firms, many of the senior team members will earn close to (or above) £100,000 per annum.

Perks & benefits

Often audit firms will have attractive benefits packages, including annual bonuses, which go alongside the higher salaries. Most firms will also sponsor their employees to achieve a professional accounting qualification (the ACA, ACCA or CIMA).

Education requirements

There are a variety of schemes available for both university graduates and school leavers that will provide a strong start to a career as an assistant auditor. The different routes depend on pursuing a role as an internal assistant auditor or an external assistant auditor.

External auditors must first qualify as chartered accountants. Most audit firms offer structured internal and external training programmes designed to support you in securing your qualification while you gain practical experience working in a supporting role on audit projects.

As an internal auditor subjects such as accountancy, maths IT and economics are particularly beneficial.

If you are thinking of entering this profession as a school-leaver via an apprenticeship, you will likely need at least 5 strong GCSE grades including English and maths. Many firms will also insist that you have strong A-level grades, too.

Useful subjects to study at school


  • Accountancy

  • Finance

  • Maths

  • Economics

  • IT

  • Business Studies

Useful resources

Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors