What You Think You Know About Auditing
In a world where students can choose to become anything from a software engineer to rocket scientist (with the actual possibility of going to Mars), why would you choose to become an auditor? Auditing is a topic that has not been the subject of Hollywood movies or prime time TV shows and it has a bad reputation for being boring. However, hidden underneath the unappetizing cover of Auditing 101 textbooks, is a world of opportunity, leadership development, and innovation. Most recently, a post by Robert Mortiz the US Chariman for PwC made a passionate appeal for why our profession is more dynamic and interesting than ever. Here’s the big things we took away from that great piece, which might just convince you to choose the accounting and auditing life.
Become an Auditor to Help Build Trust
Mr Moritz’s piece starts by making the great case that Auditors help build more trust in society. Today’s society is really only characterized by one constant: change. As demographics, social boundaries, environmental issues, stock market expectations, and everything else that surround businesses change, so do the needs and demands of investors, governments, industry bodies, and others that on an auditor’s work. Rather than merely being a check for information that comes into the market, auditor’s today are helping craft the story of modern business and communicate what really is important to a constantly changing world.
Auditors Become Leaders
Big public accounting firms (such as PwC) recognize the challenges that their new graduates will face in their career and are doubling down on leadership and development training. New auditors can expect to not only become technically proficient in understanding how a business works, but will be equipped with the communication and leadership skills they need to be successful at an executive level.
Work Life Balance is Prioritized
Five or ten years ago the idea of work life balance would have been laughed at within a large CPA firm. Young graduates were there to learn and deliver. The tune is changing though, and companies are looking to retain and grow more of their own high powered individuals. That’s why this statement just jumped off the page for us reading Mr Moritz’s article:
“We’re giving our people more career models and options for flexibility — through our use of technology, a greater focus on team plans that accommodate both client and personal commitments, and flexible talent networks. We know it’s critical that our people balance a successful career with their interests outside of work, both in how they contribute to their local communities and how they take care of themselves, their friends and family.”
The proof of this commitment will come over time, but knowing today that senior leaders in the accounting and auditing profession recognize the need to rebalance the profession towards better work-life fit is a great sign for accounting students today.
Becoming an Auditor Means Getting High Tech
Once upon a time, auditing involved calculators and meticulous mathematical skills. Today, it’s more about interpreting and understanding results, and translating that into the real world. Underlying this change from “numbers person” to “business analyst” has been the auditing profession’s adoption of technology. While auditor’s are not quite Iron Man yet, the profession’s adoption of analytical tools and data crunching techniques means they are now spend more time discussing and solving business problems and less time punching calculator keys.
The Future of Auditing is Exciting
Mr Mortiz’s article concludes with a summary of his 30 years in the profession. He faces challenges today he would never have foreseen when he started in the job. For auditors and accounting students, the promise is that the world you will work in – the impact you deliver – will be equally unpredictable over your career. You’ll need to hold onto your core values and find way to keep delivering on them in a new and exciting world.
Interested in becoming an auditor? See our Accounting Career Path guide to better understand this choice and all of your options!