Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Modern Auditors: Have you got what it takes?

Throughout the years auditing has changed.  According to one of the interviewees in the article The New Breed of Auditor by Bill Carlino, auditing was far simpler thirty years ago than it is today.  In that era of auditing, "you found out what an asset cost and figured out how to get the income statement properly matched with revenue.”  They also used historical cost instead of fair value. 

So what does the current auditor require to do his job?    Not the worksheets and checklist of yesteryear.  Modern auditors need to be familiar with the International Financial Reporting Standard.  In today’s global market even smaller companies participate in foreign markets.  They are also expected to use technology to enhance their auditing with paperless auditing software. 
But what Mr. Carlino seemed to find in his article is beyond the technology and stricter regulations; there are new ideologies as well.  Today’s auditors' greatest tools are critical thinking and the ability to communicate.  They need to be able to think independently and think fluidly on their feet.  They need to understand data analytics.  They also need specialization of knowledge by industry.

Obviously the field of auditing is not for the weak of heart.  It is a field that is now under public, governmental and agency scrutiny.  Progressing into the future, it is easy to see that regulations are going to continue to get stricter and the auditor’s role will become more and more difficult as it has become more and more important.  At one point I had considered doing auditing, but this one little article makes it sound a bit more difficult than I’d originally thought.  Hopefully an auditing class will help me decide if it is something I should try outside academia.

"The new breed of auditors; A&A used to mean checklists and workpapers, but not anymore." Accounting Today 26.5 (2012): 20. Academic OneFile. Web. 7 May 2012.

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