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What does an Auditor do?

As an auditor, you will assess and verify the accuracy of an organization’s or government’s internal records. Through this line of work, you will search for fraud, waste, or misconduct. The extent of this assessment can vary depending on the specific job, but it may include evaluating a financial system, management protocol, and the company policies that are being used to protect against waste or fraud. An addition to an overall assessment, an auditor may also work to ensure that taxes are paid, and that financial records are accurately kept. A company can succeed or fail depending on the auditor that they hire, and being an auditor can be quite a rewarding experience as you work to make a difference in each and every company that you work with.

auditor

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an auditor?

The best and most logical first step towards becoming an auditor is to earn a business degree. While it is possible to become an auditor with a bachelor’s degree, you will likely require an additional year of education relating to auditing such as advanced financial accounting. After this additional year of schooling, you will likely find that it is easier to just take the extra step to obtain a Masters in Business Administration.

In addition to your education, you will also need to take and pass the CPA exam in order to become an auditor. The CPA exam consists of a wide-variety of test questions related to accounting and provides all sorts of simulations that allow you to demonstrate your expertise. Through this exam, you will display your knowledge in auditing, business transactions, financial accounting, and federal taxation. Upon passing this exam, you will obtain your license which will allow you to begin to work as an auditor.

What does a Finance Director do?

Are you a creative problem solver with strong interpersonal and analytical skills? Would you like to study something in college that permits you to choose from a variety of career paths, many of which pay dividends in the six-figure range? If you can honestly answer “yes” to both, you may want to consider becoming a financial manager. It takes a lot of hard work but the rewards are more than worth the effort.

finance director

Job requirements for financial managers and finance directors

Finance directors work with a variety of organizations, directing investment activities, overseeing the preparation of financial reports, and executing cash management strategies. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that financial managers typically enter the job with at least a bachelor’s degree, but many also hold a master’s degree or some form of professional certification. Common areas of study for the aspiring financial manager or director include finance, accounting, economics and business administration.

The BLS goes on to stress that possessing strong interpersonal, math and business skills goes a long way toward success in this field.

One of the most attractive aspects of pursuing this career path in college is that it qualifies you for a variety of lucrative financial opportunities. Financial managers may be best thought of as a collection of highly trained financial specialists whose specific duties vary with their titles. Some examples of jobs financial managers hold include the following:

  • Controllers
  • Treasurers and finance officers
  • Credit managers
  • Cash managers
  • Risk and insurance managers
  • Branch managers

Job outlook and salary information for finance managers

The BLS expects overall employment growth for this industry to occur at a rate that’s about as fast as average for all occupations, around eight percent. Job growth should be fueled primarily by regulatory changes, economic expansion, and the continuing globalization of financial activities. In particular, branch, risk and insurance managers should be in high demand.

Yet even with this kind of healthy occupational growth, competition for jobs remains keen. The BLS states that candidates who have obtained graduate degrees and certification enjoy the best opportunities for employment.

What does a Financial Controller do?

If you are considering a career as a financial controller, you can expect excellent rewards in terms of salary and a varied and challenging range of responsibilities. But you can also expect to work hard to gain these benefits–with long hours and ongoing education being the norm for financial management occupations.

financial controller

Common duties of the financial controller’s career

Financial controllers play an important role in the financial management of the organization that employs them. They may be employed on a long-term basis, or hired on a short-term contractual basis to manage or advise on a specific issue or project.

The specific responsibilities of a Financial Controller depend upon the size of the organization for which they work and the sector in which it operates but, as a general rule, a financial controller’s job is to manage and report on the financial position of an organization by performing many duties:

  • Analyzing income and expenditure
  • Planning and forecasting financial transactions
  • Developing financial strategies
  • Setting targets and monitoring performance
  • Preparing financial reports

They may also oversee the work of other financial departments such as audit, accounting, and budgets, or activities specific to a certain industry such as lending, investments, or fund management.

Ongoing education for the control of others’ finances

The knowledge and skills required to undertake the responsibilities outlined above are developed through a combination of education and experience. You need at least a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as accounting, economics, or finance, and many financial controllers also hold a master’s degree or professional qualification plus several years experience in a finance role such as accounting.

Gaining professional certification can also help to further your career and find employment as a financial controller. There are many professional certification programs available:

  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Certified Treasury Professional
  • Certified Management Accountant

Financial controllers, like other financial managers, need to commit to ongoing education and training to ensure that they maintain their credentials and remain up-to-date with changing laws, regulations, and financial practices.

Career prospects for financial controllers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8 percent job growth for financial managers–about the same as average for all occupations. The increased demand created by a growing economy, increased globalization, and regulatory changes are expected to be offset by corporate downsizing, mergers and acquisitions.

Of course, job prospects and salaries vary across the country. The highest concentration of workers in financial management in the U.S. was in the District of Columbia, while the top-paying state for financial managers was New York.