Audit School Leaver (Public Services) Apprenticeship - Manchester
- Manchester (United Kingdom)
- Published: June 13 2021
In most companies today, external auditors are called in periodically to check over their operations and books to (hopefully) give the organisation a clean bill of health.
An auditor’s role therefore involves certifying the company’s accounts, verifying that the information and figures recorded in the company’s accounts are correct. In other words, an auditor’s job is to ensure the accounts reflect the true picture of the company’s economic outlook.
Auditors have to pour over company balance sheets, income statements, as well as various other items, including records of sales, costs, cash transactions, stocks, etc.
Usually, and depending on the size of the company being audited, external auditors work in teams. The make-up of these teams will vary from project to project, but as a general rule will consist of:
The main auditing firms operating today are usually known as the BIG 4 (Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG). The audit departments within these companies are generally structured by sector, e.g. finance, insurance, industry, consumer goods, etc.
Audits generally take place over 3 key phases.
The purpose of this phase is to help auditors really get to know their clients (the companies being audited), in particular:
During the actual audit phase, external auditors travel with their teams to the client’s premises. The team is usually assigned a dedicated room where they’ll be given access to all the documents they need to see, including accounts, invoices, etc. But auditors also have to use this time to meet various contacts within the company to find out supplementary information.
When working on site with their clients, auditors need to identify the internal monitoring systems that oversee the risk areas identified during the preparatory phase.
Once all their on-site checks have been completed, junior auditors will return to their offices to put together - under the careful supervision of senior auditors and managers - their final reports on the company’s accounts. The goal is to reach a final financial assessment of the client’s accounts or make certain adjustments, wherever necessary.
These reports are then presented to the client’s board of directors and shareholders.
When working on site with clients, an auditor’s main contacts include the chief financial officer, the chief accountant, management controllers, as well as operational staff, depending on the areas being investigated (sales managers when checking invoices, production managers when verifying stock levels, etc.).
Auditors may sometimes be called upon to work on projects that are somewhat out of the ordinary for external auditors, particularly during exceptional events in the lifetime of a company, for example, when fraud is detected.
Extremely diligent, comfortable working with numbers, good relationship skills, an analytical mind and a curious and organised nature are all must-haves.
5 years of higher education, including: