Why build a career in audit?

Author Kit Corrigan
May 24, 2024

Just like any career, audit offers a number of advantages as well as challenges. A career in audit allows you to develop your skills across a variety of industries while at the same time as building a strong foundation in accounting.

To give a little bit more insight into what a career in audit looks like, Brewer Morris Associate Director, Kit Corrigan spoke to Peter Alabi, Technical Manager at PKF. Peter is a seasoned manager who has recently joined the technical accounting team team at PKF.

What initially drew you to a career in audit?

Several factors initially attracted me to the field of audit but these were the aspects which stood out to me the most:

  • Variety of clients: Working in audit would give me exposure to a diverse array of clients spanning different industries. This diversity keeps the work engaging and intellectually stimulating so I am always learning
  • Professional development: Audit firms offer comprehensive training and support for ongoing professional growth. This includes opportunities to pursue certifications such as Chartered Accountant (CA), enhancing my credentials and expertise
  • Career progression: In audit firms, there’s a clearly defined career path with prospects for advancement to higher roles like Senior Auditor, Manager and even Partner. I felt this structured progression allows for tangible goals to strive for and can give direction
  • Networking opportunities: Audit firms boast extensive networks of clients and industry professionals, helping to facilitate valuable connections in the long term. This networking has proven beneficial, allowing me to work across borders and expand my professional horizons
  • Skill development: Working in an audit firm fosters the development of essential skills like analytical thinking, problem solving and effective communication. These skills are not only valuable within the audit domain but also applicable in broader business contexts so help to build my transferable skills
  • Job stability: Auditing is an indispensable function for businesses, providing a relatively stable career path compared to some other fields. This aspect offers a sense of security and stability, which is essential for long-term career planning

How do you think the industry has changed over recent years?

The audit and professional accounting industry has experienced significant transformations recently, driven by a variety of factors including technological advancements, regulatory changes, globalisation, and evolving client demands.

Technology advancements have not only streamlined the sector, making it much more efficient, but also has meant there is a strong focus on upskilling for auditors and opportunities for individuals like myself to advance my skills in areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and digital forensics. I have found these data analytics tools have become the foundation of my day to day work. We can now more efficiently analyse datasets to find trends and see anomalies. This not only speeds up the work, but means we can present even more insightful information to clients that we just couldn’t do before.

Regulatory changes have also been a big factor in recent years, particularly because we have seen a number of notable financial scandals in the press. This has resulted in a growing emphasis on audit quality, transparency and accountability.

What skills do you think are most important for your role?

There are a number of key skills vital for excelling in audit and professional accounting roles:

  • Adaptability: Auditors must swiftly adapt to changes in regulations, industry standards and client requirements
  • Client relationship management: Cultivating and sustaining positive relationships with clients fosters trust and ensures seamless communication throughout the audit process.
  • Collaboration skills: Collaboration is imperative when working with cross-functional teams or coordinating audits with clients and colleagues
  • Analytical skills: Auditors must adeptly analyse financial data, recognising trends and identifying irregularities or discrepancies
  • Attention to detail: Precision is paramount in auditing to guarantee accurate financial reporting and adherence to regulations
  • Communication skills: Clear communication is essential for conveying complex financial information effectively to clients, colleagues and stakeholders
  • Problem solving abilities: Auditors frequently encounter intricate financial challenges necessitating creative problem solving skills for effective resolution.
  • Technical proficiency: Mastery of accounting principles, financial reporting standards and relevant auditing software is more important than ever

What do you find most rewarding about your career in audit?

I have discovered numerous aspects of my role that I find rewarding, and some of these are highlighted below:

  • Problem solving: There’s a sense of satisfaction in confronting complex financial challenges, analysing data and devising solutions to accounting puzzles
  • Contributing to financial integrity: Ensuring the precision and transparency of financial reporting is fulfilling, as it nurtures trust in businesses and financial markets
  • Continuous learning: The accounting field is constantly evolving, with new regulations, technologies, and industries emerging. I particularly relish the opportunity for ongoing learning and professional growth
  • Client relationships: Building strong rapport with clients is at the heart of what I do and offering valuable insights and guidance is very rewarding
  • Career advancement: There are a number of ways to progress your career within audit ranging from promotions, attaining certifications, or assuming leadership positions
  • Making a difference: Knowing my work contributes to informed decision-making, goal achievement and value creation for stakeholders is deeply fulfilling

If you want to know more about a career in audit, or you think that now is the time for you to make a career move please contact Kit Corrigan.

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