Within an organization, internal controls exist to prevent waste, fraud and data breaches and to promote compliance with regulations and reliable financial information. Controls address subjects such as procedures for payments, approval of transactions, access to information, record keeping and oversight of operations. Junior auditors assist compliance and accounting staff and management in encouraging the effectiveness of internal controls. The junior auditor job description highlights the responsibilities, skills and the background in accounting and computers involved in the work of internal controls.
What Does a Junior Auditor Do?
Under the direction of a senior auditor or manager, a junior auditor promotes the success of a company’s internal controls and anti-fraud and anti-waste measures. The junior auditor must have the skills and mental endurance to examine loads of documents (many in digital form) and processes and reach conclusions and recommendations. The junior nature of the position requires accepting assignments from and reporting to supervisors.
Junior Auditor Job Responsibilities – Resume
- Review contracts, payments and other executed documents for evidence or indication of authorization of transaction
- Determine compliance with company controls and procedures for execution of documents and payment methods
- Compile information on employee or staff access to particular forms of data and computer systems
- Retrieve bank or financial statements, receipts, invoices, checks and other documentation of company transactions
- Compare invoices, checks and receipts with statements to find inconsistencies or incomplete documentation
- Examine statements, forms and internal organization controls for compliance with regulatory and accounting standards
- Evaluate reliability of source of financial data
- Identify potential breaches in data or system security, including vulnerability to computer hacking
- Report findings of audit to senior auditors or to management as directed by supervisors
Junior Auditor Essential Skills
Analytical. Junior auditors must grasp the significance of seemingly minor or small details. Analysis includes comparisons of signatures on documents and of financial statements to supporting documents. Auditing involves recognizing trends or patterns in spending and particular transactions or access to data.
Computer. Knowledge of computer systems helps junior auditors understand passwords, firewalls, computer security and how employees or potential hackers can access digitally-stored documents and data. Junior auditors may use spreadsheets, accounting software and auditing and compliance software.
Detail-oriented. The junior auditor job description includes the ability to examine and give meaning to details of the organization’s internal controls, data collection and dissemination systems and record-keeping. An effective audit explores the seemingly minute actions of signatures, handling of computer passwords, dates and times of business transactions and receipts, cancelled checks, invoices and other documents proffered to support a report.
Math. In the auditing context, math skills involve essential operations of adding, subtracting, multiplication and division. Junior auditors need these skills to calculate losses due to inefficient operations or fraudulent activity and the cost per item produced.
Writing. Junior auditors must concisely and accurately report their findings or recommendations to senior auditors or other supervisory staff. The ability to write persuasively is needed to spur the organization or its management to tighten controls or change operating procedures.
Becoming a Junior Auditor
Junior auditors take substantially the same paths as senior auditors. Much of the education and experience follows that of or shares similarities with accounting.
For auditors who may also work in public accounting, licensing is a requirement for practice. Junior internal auditors are not regulated, but can also improve their prospects through certification by groups such as The Institute of Internal Auditors and ISACA. The latter organization certifies informational systems auditors.
Education and Training
Auditors generally must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Typical majors include accounting, internal auditing and business administration. Information systems auditors may earn degrees in computer science or information technology.
Those auditors who ultimately seek to be certified public accountants must have 150 semester hours of college work. As a result, many aspiring Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) (and auditors with a CPA designation) enter five-year programs to earn both a bachelor’s degree and masters of accounting.
Junior auditors gain experience in the role through internships. Public accounting firms, government agencies and auditing or compliance departments of financial institutions may take students as interns. In these programs, auditing students obtain hands-on exposure to regulations, accounting standards and business operations to understand the goals of auditing.
Work experience in compliance or regulatory settings may also help candidates find junior auditing jobs. Helpful positions may include “know your customer” or “anti-money laundering” analysts or positions in company compliance or accounting departments.
The desired certification for auditors impacts the work experience needed by a junior auditor. Two years work experience in internal auditing serves as a prerequisite to certification by the Institute of Internal Auditors. Those seeking certification as a information systems auditor must have five years of work in information systems auditing.
Junior auditors generally work full time and keep traditional daytime hours. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, though, that roughly 20 percent of accountants and auditors log more than 40 hours per week.
The approach of deadlines and urgent needs for auditing can extend an auditor’s work schedule beyond normal office hours. Management may call for audits in the wake of incidents of data breaches, fraud or mismanagement that has blossomed into significant losses or risk of liability for the organization.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the “Accountants and auditors” occupation should grow by 11 percent, or 142,400 new jobs, by 2024. As of May 2024, the United States had 1,332,700 accountants and auditors.
To promote efficiency and prevent loss through fraud, many companies turn to internal and external auditors to evaluate and enforce controls. This will support demand for the work of junior auditors, especially in large and complex businesses and agencies.
With certifications and experience, auditors can advance to more senior roles in companies. Certified auditors and public accountants can offer their services to the public as self-employed professionals or in private practice firms. Other promotions of junior auditors may include accounting manager, compliance director, budget director or even into executive management.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that internal auditors and management accountants often shift positions. These occupations focus on the internal operations of a company and their work serves primarily to advise management.
However, internal auditors and management accountants are less likely to become public accountants. This is because public accountants prepare financial statements often for use by investors and tax returns. Public accountants may become management or internal auditors. With a CPA status, an accountant or auditor might be able to bypass a junior auditing role.
Junior auditors combine a background of and skills in accounting, business and technology to help companies promote accurate reporting, efficient operations and regulatory compliance. These professionals gain valuable experience under the supervision and tutelage of senior auditors that can spring junior auditors into more responsibility and leadership in organizati