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Qualifications to become an auditor

Why come up with sophisticated descriptions describing jobs in public accounting? This is really what it should be -

We are seeking students who graduated from college with an Accounting Major. That's really it. We don't care what your extracurricular activities were.
Responsibilities include-
a) Tying out numbers, i.e. making sure a number in one "authentic" sheet is the same as the number in company records
b) Ticking numbers,i.e. adding symbols next to numbers showing that you have looked at the number and then adding legends explaining what those numbers mean.
c) Working around 45-50 hours a week on average from April-December and 55-65 hours a week from January-March. PS: This doesn't include lunch.
d) Going to company warehouses, counting 25 items and making sure they're on some company sheet, and then looking at the sheet and making sure 25 items on the sheet are on the floor.
e) Mailing out confirms, i.e. letters to banks asking them how much your client has in their bank account.
f) Comparing numbers this year to last year's numbers and getting the company to give you explanations for the changes. For example, if revenue increases, we need to make sure the company can tell us why. Then we can add symbols explaining this. It enables you to showcase your artistic skills.
g) Develop your people skills, i.e. dealing with crazy managers and senior managers who expect symbols to be perfectly symmetrical, otherwise this could confuse them.
And many many more. Oh, and you won't get paid as much as the others working hours similar to you. But you know what, it's a great learning experience.

What other qualifications do you think it takes to become an auditor?


Anonymous said…
you make it seem like you are so unhappy at your job, or do you just report on the bad things?
notfordisplay said…
I've only been reporting on the bad things, but I will make an effort to write about the positive aspects of public accounting too. Honestly though, this seems to be the sentiment amongst most Big 4 auditors in their first 4-5 years with the firm.
Anonymous said…
why not leave then? I heard it is common to get offered six figures after your first 2-3 years at a big 4.
notfordisplay said…
Good point,
but the $$ are for Controller positions and such, which I have no interest in.
My issue is that the structure in the big 4 can be changed, and if it does, I think more people will be happier.
Anonymous said…
Have you started using tickmarks that are creative? Snowflakes, horses, houses, wingdings, monotype sorts...Manager comments like, "WTF does a house tickmark mean?" Ahhh - good times in audit land.
notfordisplay said…
haha, I have actually used funky tickmarks but was told by my manager not to, and that he just wanted numbers or alphabets. They just steal any form of creativity you can utilize in auditing. Although when I did get to senior jobs, I allowed my intern to do whatever she wanted, which she was excited about. Once I opened the workpaper, I saw pink highlights, flourescent green highlights, crosses as tickmarks and all sorts of fun stuff. It would be nice, but I guess, if the PCAOB does look at it as part of their review process, they might consider it unprofessional and ding us.
Horses and Houses are a great touch to otherwise mundane workpapers though.
Anonymous said…
lol i like this post alot. This is so true!
Krupo said…
The place where a detailed description is key is in IT audit.

Though it's safe to say that copying out the course syllabus for computer auditing covers much of it. ;)
Anonymous said…
it's fun + funny !

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