The following article discusses the career path of Internal Auditor. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Internal Auditors.<!- mfunc feat_school ->
Internal auditors ensure that everything in the companies is done appropriately. They monitor and investigate in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. They report to various individuals depending on who they work for, although it is usually someone in senior management, such as members of the Board of Directors or the Audit Committee. If the company is publicly traded, then the internal auditor must, by law, report to the CEO.
Exactly what is analyzed and evaluated will depend on the company, as they will have the task of scrutinizing different parts of the business. Often, they have to focus on specific standards to determine they are applied appropriately within the organization. Typically, they work in accounting, ensuring that the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) are followed, and that no fraud is committed. They may also work for risk management, internal structure, or corporate operations.
Other job duties of an internal auditor are:
- To conduct SOX, financial, compliance, and operational audits in an organization
- To be the spokesperson between internal departments about audits, and also with external auditors
- To document and monitor proposed and existing controls and procedures
- To recommend improvements in practices, procedures, and policies to upper management
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1.4 million accountants and auditors in 2016. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services: 25%
- Government: 8%
- Finance and insurance: 8%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
- Self-employed workers: 7%
How to Become
In order for someone to become an internal auditor, they must be highly educated. A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or related field is the minimum starting point. They must also have an in-depth understanding of the GAAP. Many internal auditors are, or are training to be, CFEs or CPAs. Additionally, it is expected that an auditor has at least four years professional experience.
A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement, with a major in accounting, finance, or related field. Those with a master’s degree are usually in higher demand, particularly those with a master in business administration (MBA) with an accounting concentration.
If internal auditors have to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), they must be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This means that they have to complete education beyond their bachelor’s degree and pass the CPA exam. Most internal auditors are expected to be a CPA, which is why most have the master’s degree as this enables them to meet and exceed the 150 semester hours of coursework requirement for the certification examination. The CPA examination is offered by the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). CPA certification must be maintained through continuous education.
Other certifications can also be beneficial for someone working as an internal auditor, including:
- Certified Management Accountant (CMA) offered by the Institute of Management Accountants
- Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
- Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA) offered by the IIA
- Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) offered by the IIA
- Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) offered by the IIA
- Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) offered by the IIA
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA)
- CPA Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) offered by AICPA
- CPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) offered by AICPA
- CPA Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) offered by AICPA
Traits & Qualities
The most effective internal auditors have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Strong analytical skills
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Detail oriented
- Excellent mathematical skills
- Strong organizational skills
The national average salary estimate for Internal Auditor was $83,754. This number is estimated from over 2,308,024 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $43.62 and monthly of $6,980.
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Salary by State
The following section lists Internal Auditor salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Arkansas had the largest quoted salary of $107,143 while Alaska had the smallest quoted salary of $27,916.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Internal Auditor. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Accounting Career Network||Arkansas||$186,495|
|GQR Global Markets||California||$169,054|
|The Pursell Group||New York||$148,363|
|Phillips Staffing Solutions||New York||$148,131|
|MedExec International||New York||$148,131|
|The Hastings Group||New York||$148,131|
|Professional Recruiting Partners, LLC||California||$147,752|
|MJ Recruiters, LLC||California||$147,481|
|Ploeger Recruiting Services||California||$147,481|
|Lodestar Executive Search||California||$147,481|
|AutoPro Technical Recruiting||California||$147,481|
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Systems Project Manager||$86,680|
|Supply Chain Manager||$85,591|
|Information Technology Manager||$83,668|
|Business Systems Analyst||$82,655|