How To Become An Auditor In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how to become registered auditors in Australia.

 

Do you have an interest in finance and a company's internal functioning? If yes, pursuing a career as an Auditor might be perfect for you.

 

Auditors prepare and evaluate a company's or an organisation's financial records to ensure accuracy and compliance with laws. They also examine financial operations to ensure companies run efficiently and pay taxes on time.

 

To become an Auditor in Australia, you need a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Gaining a relevant postgraduate qualification is helpful for those with a non-related undergraduate degree.

 

Read on to learn how to become an auditor in Australia, including the internal and external auditor qualifications, courses, how long it takes, career paths, job opportunities, and much more.

 

 

1. What Is An Auditor?

 

Auditors prepare, inspect, and verify the financial records of companies to determine their accuracy and compliance with the regulations.

 

These independent professionals examine organisations' financial operations, accounting systems, and procedures to ensure they operate legally and efficiently.

 

Auditors can work internally in an organisation or conduct independent external audits of public or commercial organisations.

 

 

2. Who Is An External Auditor?

 

External auditors are public accountants visiting a company or an organisation to conduct an audit per regulatory norms. They present a detailed audit report about the present organisational situation and its plans.

 

External auditors are in charge of evaluating and reviewing financial statements and accounting books. Being independent of all clients, they provide unbiased opinions and reports for review by the CEO, investors, and board members.

 

External auditors conduct the audit annually and have no affiliation with the company. They may work with internal auditors, but their decisions are neutral and impartial.

 

 

3. Who Is An Internal Auditor?

 

Internal auditors provide an independent and objective assessment of the efficiency of a company's processes, systems, and internal controls.

 

They also examine the overall risk management process to lessen the management costs, optimise resources, mitigate overall risk, and identify the areas for enhancement.

 

Internal Auditors report to the company's executives or board members, shareholders, and statutory bodies for the final recommendation.

 

 

4. What Does An Auditor Do?

 

The most common duties and tasks of an Auditor include the following:

 

  • Review the procedures and accounting systems of an organisation

  • Prepare financial statements, including cash flow statements, balance sheets, and income statements, for shareholders and stakeholders of an organisation.

  • Audit, analyse, and formulate reports on the financial specifics and analysis for statutory bodies, senior management, board of directors, and shareholders. 

  • They may coordinate with operations or technology departments when doing a focussed department audit. 

  • Organise pre-audit meetings with taxpayers to discuss the process and scope of the audit

  • Assists with debt management, securities, equity management, and tax planning issues

  • Supervise documenting activities, shares holding, and transfers

  • Conduct risk management assessments

  • Confirm that liabilities and assets stated in reports exist

  • Assess the operational efficiency, performance, and effectiveness of an organisation

  • Assist in a business valuation and stocktake

  • Estimate the risks and cost-effectiveness of operational processes, policies, activities, and systems 

 

 

5. What Subjects Are Needed To Become An Auditor?

 

You need a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or a related field to work as an auditor. The coursework includes studying a wide range of subjects, such as:

 

  • Mathematics

  • Accounting

  • Taxation

  • Financial Accounting

  • Auditing

  • Business communication

  • Business law

 

 

6. Auditor Skills For Success

 

To work and succeed as an Auditor, the following technical and soft skills are desirable:

 

 

Technical Skills

 

  • Computer Literacy

  • Strong Mathematical ability

  • Financial Reporting skills

  • Proficient in using Microsoft Office, spreadsheet programs, and specialised accounting software

  • Capacity to work with large sets of data

 

 

Soft Skills

 

  • Comfortable travelling to different locations to perform audits

  • Patience

  • Impartial

  • Endurance

  • Self-motivated

  • Tenacious 

  • Good problem-solving skills

  • Able to work to deadlines during busy audit times in a year

  • Well-organised 

  • Able to prepare thorough analyses and reports

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills

  • Vigilance

  • Investigative attitude

  • Eye for detail

  • Business Acumen

  • Curiosity

  • Healthy Scepticism

  • Have a methodological approach to tasks

  • Multitasking abilities

  • Able to work long hours 

 

 

7. Auditing Qualifications In Australia

 

 

You need a degree in accounting, commerce, or finance to become an auditor in Australia:

 

  • 18 years and above 

  • Complete your year 12 education with the suitable Universities Admission Index.

  • Complete a 3-year, accredited bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) or Bachelor of Accounting.

  • Though optional, completing a Master of Professional Accounting will improve your employability. This qualification is also helpful if you have studied for an undergraduate degree in another discipline. 

  • Join an industry-based community like the Certified Practising Accountants that offers professional development and networking programs.

  • Register with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to become a Registered Company Auditor. You will need to be capable, fit, and proper and have the necessary qualifications, appropriate skills, experience, and career progression as a practising auditor. 

  • Complete Continuing Professional Development requirements to keep your membership active.

  • driver's licence is required as auditors must travel to visit their clients for audit discussions.

 

 

Click here to learn more about the ASIC Auditor registration requirements.

 

 

8. Steps To Become A Registered Auditor In Australia

 

You must be registered to work as a professional auditor in Australia. Follow these steps to gain the necessary qualification, experience, and licence to work in this role.

 

 

Step 1: Education And Training

 

The first step to becoming an auditor is completing an undergraduate degree in accounting. Some of the recommended options are:

 

  • Bachelor of Accounting

  • Bachelor of Business (Accounting)

 

Do you want to know how to become an auditor with no experience? Consider studying for a Graduate Certificate in Accounting or a Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting to gain fundamental knowledge in auditing and practical skills.

 

 

Step 2: Gain Professional Work Experience

 

To become a licensed auditor, you must obtain at least two years of work experience in audit/assessment disciplines. These include quality assurance, internal or external auditing, compliance, or internal control.

 

As the amount of experience needed for certification varies based on your qualification, you must refer to the IIA eligibility requirement for the work experience requirements.

 

 

Step 3: Get Registered

 

It is the last step to becoming a qualified auditor to work in Australia. You must show that you have the essential qualifications and skillset and are capable, fit, and proper to register with ASIC as an auditor.

 

Candidates must fulfil the auditing competency standards through the Certified Practising Accountants Australia or the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia as a registration requirement with ASIC.

 

If you are an overseas Auditor and want to apply for Auditor registration in Australia, then follow the below steps:

 

  • Complete at least 3000 hours of auditing work during the five years right before the application date in a country that has auditing standards equivalent to Australian standards. 

  • Gain practical experience in Australia (for at least 12 months).

 

 

Industry Bodies:

 

  • CPA Australia 

  • Institute of Public Accountants 

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants 

  • Chartered Secretaries Australia 

 

 

9. What Are The CPA Licensing Requirements For Auditors In Australia?

 

Qualified and experienced Auditors must have the necessary CPA license/registration before they can offer professional audit services in Australia. 

 

The licensing/registration requirements vary based on the way a practitioner intends to run his practice:

 

 

Registered Company Auditor 

 

Public practitioners must register with ASIC to get appointed to the Auditor position in a company or other entities as specified under the Corporations Act 2001. 

 

Auditors may need an RCA registration under specific state or government legislation, professional standards, or industry requirements.

 

 

Registered Auditor With The Registered Organization Commission

 

According to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009, Auditors must complete a separate registration to legally audit Employer Associations and Unions. 

 

Refer to the ROC's resources and podcasts to learn about the expectations of Employer Associations and Unions from Auditors.

 

 

Examiner For Legal Practitioner Trust Accounts

 

It is mandatory for Legal practices in Victoria and Legal practices in NSW to examine their trust records once a year. 

 

For registration, Auditors must be a member of CPA Australia, have an existing Public Practice Certificate, and have completed the relevant course as agreed by the Legal Services Council.

 

 

Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Auditor (SMSF)

 

According to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993, Auditors in this category must meet ASIC Regulatory Guide RG 243 Registration of SMSF and the Competency Standard: Class Order CO 12/168. 

 

They must submit their yearly statement using the ASIC Regulatory Portal.

 

 

10. How To Become An Auditor Without A Degree?

 

If you are a practitioner seeking to establish a career in internal audit, risk, and governance without an undergraduate degree? Then the IIA's Graduate Certification Program In Internal Auditing program will help unlock professional opportunities and demonstrate commitment to internal auditing.

 

IIA is a leading peak body in higher education, representing independent tertiary education providers. This distance learning course is ideal for candidates who want to enter this industry, study a globally recognised certification, or achieve specialisation.

 

This online program provides flexibility to students to study at their convenience. Students develop professional connections and access the best practice in Australian education that helps them build their careers and improve job opportunities.

 

The higher education regulatory body fully accredits this postgraduate qualification per the Australian Qualifications Framework. After you complete this internal auditing qualification of the highest standard, you can apply for IIA professional membership.

 

The fundamental skills and knowledge you gain in internal auditing will help advance your career in internal audit, quality assurance, governance, and risk. Further, it will help find work in the corporate, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

 

The IIA also offers the below professional certifications for practitioners who want to demonstrate their subject-matter expertise and commitment to the profession:

 

 

 

11. Working Conditions For Auditors In Australia

 

Auditors usually work indoors in an office environment within an organisation. They often travel to clients' offices to conduct their services.

 

They generally work standard business hours but may work overtime on special projects or have tight audit completion or report creation deadlines. Auditors can work either alone or within a team.

 

 

12. Where Do Auditors Work In Australia?

 

Internal Auditors generally work with government, corporate, and non-profit organisations, who usually work closely with CFOs, CEOs, and senior managers.

 

Employment opportunities for Auditor are also available in:

 

  • Finance and Insurance sector

  • Accounting, Payroll, Tax Preparation, and Bookkeeping services

  • Management consultancy

 

Auditors may also work self-employed or be on retainer with a company.

 

 

13. Areas Of Specialisation For Auditors

 

An Auditor can specialise in the following areas:

 

  • Risk management

  • Assurance services

  • Education

  • Healthcare

 

 

14. Job Prospects For Auditors In Australia

 

The career prospects for auditors are optimistic in Australia. According to the National Job Outlook website, the number of External Auditors increased over the last five years.

 

Though employment opportunities are available across the country, NSW has the largest share of workers.

 

Professional Services, Public Administration and Safety, and Financial and Insurance Services are the top sectors that hire Auditors in Australia. Around 87% of workers work full-time for 44 hours per week.

 

The average age of employed workers is 36 years, and about half of the workforce is female.

 

 

15. How Much Does An Auditor Earn In Australia?

 

The earning potential of Australian Auditors depends on several variable parameters such as academic and professional record, experience, industry, employer, job profile, and the economic stability of a country.

 

According to Payscale, the average auditor salary in Australia is AU$ 55,810 per year or an hourly equivalent of AU$ 27.17.

 

 

Average Salary Based on Experience

 

  • Entry-level Auditors with (<1-year experience) can earn AU$50,161 

  • Early career Auditors with (1 to 4 years of experience) earn AU$54,878 

  • Mid-career Auditors with (5 to 9 years of experience) earn AU$73,712 

  • Experienced Auditors with (10 to 19 years of experience) earn AU$87,476 

 

 

Top Paying Australian Cities For Auditors

 

  • Wollongong NSW: $133,652 per year

  • Darwin NT: $120,326 per year

  • Newcastle NSW: $112,353 per year

  • Canberra ACT: $104,317 per year

  • Perth WA: $99,534 per year

  • Brisbane QLD: $96,511 per year

  • Melbourne VIC: $90,091 per year

  • Sydney NSW: $85,044 per year

 

 

16. What Are The Pros And Cons Of Working As An Auditor?

 

If you are planning to enter the auditing field, it is worth considering the benefits and disadvantages of the career.

 

 

Benefits:

 

  • Exciting work opportunity to work with different clients and offices 

  • No career ceilings

  • Travel the world

  • A healthy income

  • Plentiful opportunities for career progression

  • On-the-job learning

  • In-demand and future-proof profession

  • Favourable job prospects in Australia 

 

 

Cons:

 

  • As you are responsible for handling the organisation's finances, you may work under pressure to meet strict deadlines

  • Frequent travel to conduct audits may cause stress

  • Long work hours

  • Never-ending study

  • Competing demands

 

 

17. Conclusion

 

The financial operation of a company is only complete if it gets monitored by an Auditor. The job of an Auditor is a highly responsible position in an organisation.

 

Auditors inspect the records of accounts and approve the legitimacy of the numbers. To work in this role, you need to know not only about accounting but also tax, financial regulations, laws, and compliance norms. 

 

A Certified Auditor designation helps you gain and demonstrate professional competence and unlock opportunities to establish a career in auditing.

 

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