Field Auditor

Article byPriya Choubey
Edited byShreya Bansal
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Field Auditor?

A Field Auditor is a learned individual who performs on-site evaluations of a firm’s financial records, operational processes, and internal controls at the respective client or auditee’s location. They aim to verify the accuracy, identify any discrepancies, and check adherence to the applicable laws, regulations, policies, and practices.

Field Auditor

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Such professionals hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Government agencies and auditing companies commonly employ them to gauge the financial risk and non-compliance in both private and public entities. Hence, they play a vital role in upholding financial integrity and fostering transparency in corporate setup. Moreover, this profession requires frequent traveling to different places for audit purposes.

Key Takeaways

  • A field auditor is a skilled professional who scrutinizes the financial and accounting records, internal controls, and business operations of the client or audited firm at their location to ensure accuracy and identify errors or irregularities.
  • They play a crucial role in examining financial practices to check regulatory, legal, and policy compliance and add to the overall transparency and goodness of an organization’s financial operations and internal accounting process.
  • It is a growing career that initially requires a bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting, with at least three years of auditing experience as an intern or at entry-level positions.

Field Auditor Explained

A field auditor plays a vital role in ensuring financial transparency and compliance with regulatory standards for businesses. They are responsible for identifying discrepancies, documenting these for management action, mitigating risks, and upholding the integrity of financial data. Additionally, they evaluate store security and cash handling protocols and analyze loss prevention data to support these efforts. Thus, they are instrumental in building trust among stakeholders and promoting ethical business practices.

They begin their audits according to instructions from their employers. It is important to note that while the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also conducts audits, mainly to verify the accuracy of tax returns and financial transactions, their focus is more specific to tax-related issues. The process of being selected for an IRS audit, often based on random statistical formulas or connections to other audited entities, can result in various outcomes, including no change, an accepted change with additional taxes or penalties, or a disputed change that may lead to mediation or an appeal.

They face numerous challenges, such as dealing with incomplete or inaccurate documentation, resistance from those being audited, logistical difficulties, and continuously evolving regulations and laws. Maintaining objectivity during interpersonal interactions and managing time effectively are crucial skills for these professionals. Therefore, field auditors need to adopt a proactive approach and develop appropriate audit plans to navigate these challenges effectively.

Duties And Responsibilities

A field auditor job description provides an overview of the various duties and responsibilities performed by these individuals related to financial examination and compliance. Some of these include:

  1. Audit planning: Such professionals formulate strategies and a systematic process to perform the audit.
  2. On-site inspections: They are responsible for conducting physical examinations of financial records at the location of the audited entity.
  3. Compliance checks: They ensure that the organization adheres to the relevant laws, regulations, and internal policies.
  4. Financial record analysis: Moreover, they review and analyze a firm’s financial statements, invoices, receipts, and other relevant documents for accuracy and completeness.
  5. Risk assessment: These individuals gauge the potential risks within financial processes and propose measures to mitigate them effectively.
  6. Fraud detection: Also, they actively search for signs of fraudulent activities and take appropriate actions if anomalies are witnessed.
  7. Internal control evaluation: They gauge the efficiency of internal controls to safeguard assets and prevent errors or fraudulent activities.
  8. Documentation management: They collect, maintain, and examine audit documentation related to financial operations and internal accounting for reference and reporting purposes.
  9. Recommendations and actions: They even provide a list of actions required to address the discrepancies found.
  10. Communication of findings: These professionals effectively communicate audit findings, recommendations, and potential issues to management and relevant stakeholders by preparing a comprehensive audit report
  11. Follow-Up: They monitor the implementation of recommended changes and corrective actions, whether taken by the management in response to audit findings.

How To Become?

The field auditor hiring is often based on their education, experience, skills, and knowledge. Let us now understand all these aspects of becoming a field auditor:

1. Education

The primary requirement for a field auditor job is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field. Moreover, a high school degree is sometimes enough for this profession if the candidate has relevant experience. However, some positions may prefer candidates with an associate or master’s degree.

2. Certifications

It is often a plus to secure professional certifications like CPA or CIA to enhance credibility and improve job prospects.

3. Experience

This profession demands at least three years of auditing experience, which can be gained through internships, entry-level positions, or roles involving the analysis of financial records.

4. Skills

Field auditors often work independently, make informed decisions, and communicate findings effectively. They are able to do so because of the following skills they possess:

  • Analytical skills
  • Attention to details
  • Teamwork and communication
  • Time management
  • Technical skills and knowledge of SAP, Microsoft Office and QuickBooks
  • Financial risk interpretation skills
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Organizational skills
  • Planning skills

Further, they need to:

  • Be updated with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards;
  • Seek field auditor positions in government agencies, private companies, or auditing firms;
  • Prepare for interviews by researching common audit questions and practicing responses;
  • Consider starting with internships or entry-level positions to gain hands-on experience and increase chances of securing a field auditor role;
  • Construct a professional network by going to industry events, collaborating with organizations, and connecting with auditing professionals; and
  • Gain knowledge constantly through audit workshops and seminars.

Salary

The field auditors get remuneration in the form of salary from independent audit firms and government agencies for their services. Also, they may receive bonuses or commissions as additional compensation or rewards. Although their earnings depend upon their level of education, knowledge, expertise, and experience in the field, the average total annual pay of a field auditor in the US is $69,072, as per the Glassdoor report updated on December 4, 2023. 

The salary details according to this website are as follows:

  • The total annual pay range is between $54,000 and $88,000.
  • Out of this, the base pay ranges from $51,000 to $83,000 per annum, while
  • The additional pay or compensation amounts between $3,000 to $6,000 yearly.

The companies paying the highest salaries to the field auditors include Central State Funds, with $70,407 average annual pay; Ally Financial, with $68,514 average yearly pay; and Sherwin-Williams, paying $65,035 annually average.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to be a good field auditor?

Given below are some tips for becoming a competent field auditor:
1. Remember, two-way communication is the best source of information.
2. Find the roots of business processes and control for a better understanding of the problem area.
3. Be a good listener and take note of every bit of the issues discussed by the client.
4. Learn from the experiences of colleagues and seniors.
5. Maintain high integrity standards and adopt ethical practices while having complete knowledge of the industry policies, laws, regulations, and practices.
6. Have a sufficient knowledge of emerging technologies and software to simplify the work.

2. Is a field auditor a good career?

With increasing government regulations and compliance requirements, there is a rise in the hiring of field auditors. Moreover, it is a progressive profession providing fair remuneration in the form of base salary, bonus, and commission.

3. Are there any certifications needed for a field auditor?

While certifications are not always mandatory, obtaining professional credentials can significantly enhance career prospects. Popular certifications include Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). These certifications demonstrate a higher level of expertise and commitment to the field, making candidates more attractive to potential employers.

This article has been a guide to what is a Field Auditor. Here, we explain it with its salary, duties & responsibilities, and how to become one. You may also take a look at the useful articles below –

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