Elena Chwal is an instructor with the School of Accounting at Curtin University. She worked as an auditor for nine years and certainly enjoyed the work.
Here are some of the things that she believes made auditing an interesting and enjoyable occupation:
- Auditing is mentally challenging and stimulating. Although auditing does not ‘create’ or ‘make’ things, it’s highly analytical.
- Auditors normally work in teams. A lot of learning happens on the job through team interactions. You learn from more senior colleagues and get to teach and mentor junior staff. Very tight deadlines are also a common feature of an audit engagement and it is essential to have support and cooperation from everyone on a team to achieve a task, therefore, you often form strong bonds and friendships.
- Variety is a typical feature of the job. You regularly move from client to client and from office to office applying your skills and knowledge to a new set of circumstances continuously building your experience and expertise without being bored of doing the same thing.
- Conflicts with the clients and within a team are sometimes unavoidable so you learn to negotiate and be assertive at the same time.
- Travel can be a great part of the job, whether it’s a remote mine site in Leonora, a client’s office in Jakarta or an inter-state training seminar at a country resort.
- A good sense of humour is necessary, especially during a high-pressure, long-hours assignment with a client. Practical jokes amongst team members are not uncommon!
- At the end of a big engagement there is often an all-expenses paid client’s dinner where everyone gets together to relax, socialise and celebrate a job well done.
Start considering areas within accounting where you feel you would shine. Some key employers in Audit include the Office of the Auditor General, the Big Four, Banks and many mid-tier firms. Recruiters like Robert Half are also currently looking for internal auditors due to demand. They also give a good description of the work involved in audit.