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Auditor

Kaitātari Kaute

Alternative titles for this job

Auditors examine and report on the financial records and systems of organisations to ensure they are accurate.

Pay

New auditors usually earn

$45K-$54K per year

Senior auditors and audit managers usually earn

$90K-$165K per year

Source: CAANZ, 2019; and Hays and Payscale.com, 2020.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as an auditor are good due to demand for their services.

Pay

Pay for auditors varies depending on experience and what region they work in.

  • New auditors usually earn $45,000 to $54,000 a year.
  • Auditors with up to four years' experience usually earn $54,000 to $70,000.
  • Auditors with five to nine years' experience usually earn $70,000 to $94,000.
  • Senior auditors and audit managers may earn $90,000 to $165,000.

Sources: Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand, 'Remuneration Survey 2018', 2019; Hays, '2019/20 Salary Guide', 2020; and Payscale.com, 2020.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Auditors may do some or all of the following:

  • examine the financial statements and accounting methods of organisations to ensure they are accurate and comply with regulations
  • find and report accounting errors
  • check funds are used wisely and within the law, especially in government departments
  • assess any risks to the business
  • prepare audit reports, explain findings to managers, and advise on solutions to any problems
  • check that organisations have followed audit recommendations.

Skills and knowledge

Auditors need to have:

  • accounting and maths skills
  • a good understanding of auditing and financial accounting systems
  • knowledge of tax law
  • knowledge of business management practices, including business ethics
  • ability to use auditing and accounting software such as Xero, MYOB, iFirm or SAP.

Working conditions

Auditors:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may need to work evenings and weekends, or be on call
  • work in offices at accounting firms, government departments and private businesses
  • may travel locally or internationally to clients' businesses.

What's the job really like?

Rakhee Lala

Rakhee Lala

Senior Auditor

An unplanned but rewarding career

Rakhee Lala didn’t plan on becoming an auditor, but after completing a commerce degree and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting, she started working as an assistant internal auditor for the New Zealand Defence Force.

She is now a senior auditor at the Tertiary Education Commission, and enjoys meeting staff and students at tertiary education providers around New Zealand. 

"My role is to ensure that funded organisations comply with legislative requirements and our funding conditions."

A day in the life of an auditor

"Days vary depending on whether I'm travelling to audit a provider, or completing an audit in the office.

"When visiting, a typical day involves flying or driving to the provider. I meet the managerial staff to discuss the audit and what I’ll be doing while I’m there. I then have interviews with key staff and assess accounts and accounting systems. At the end of the audit I have a meeting to discuss the outcome of the audit, and any issues I may have identified."

Changing perceptions is part of the job

"The most challenging part of my job is changing people’s perceptions of audits and auditors," says Rakhee. "Generally, auditors are seen as people who come in and find problems and tell people what they’re doing wrong.

"However, our role is to add value and work with organisations to help them comply. In some instances, we can help organisations do things in a more efficient and effective way."  

Entry requirements

To become an auditor you need a commerce, business or accounting degree, majoring in accounting.

Most employers require you to be a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ).

Secondary education

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, business studies, English, maths with statistics and/or calculus, and economics.

Personal requirements

Auditors need to be:

  • able to keep information private
  • motivated and organised
  • good at making decisions
  • skilled at solving problems
  • methodical and accurate
  • able to work well under pressure
  • good at communicating 
  • able to analyse and interpret data.

There will always be a need for auditors and the skills they have. For example, communication, problem solving, and relationship management skills.


Photo: Rakhee Lala

Rakhee Lala

Senior Auditor

Useful experience

Useful experience for auditors includes:

  • accounting
  • communications work
  • information technology work.

Registration

Most employers require you to be a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ).

Licensed auditors

Financial issuer auditors must be licensed. Financial issuers are corporations, investment trusts or government agencies.

To become a licensed auditor, the Financial Markets Authority requires you to:

  • complete a commerce, business or accounting degree from an approved university
  • be a member of CAANZ
  • have a New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) Certificate of Public Practice and an NZICA Advanced Certificate of Competence.

Find out more about training

Audit New Zealand
(04) 496 3099 - enquiry@auditnz.govt.nz - www.auditnz.govt.nz
Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ)
0800 469 422 - service@charteredaccountantsanz.com - www.charteredaccountantsanz.com
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Strong demand for auditors

Auditors are in demand due to:

  • a growing economy, which means the number of businesses requiring audits is increasing
  • stricter government regulations for private and public sector organisations, which need auditors to check for compliance
  • an ageing workforce, with many auditors retiring.

Chances of getting work are best if you are an experienced auditor with strong problem-solving and people skills.

According to the Census, 2,178 external auditors and 951 internal auditors worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Most auditors employed by accounting firms

Most auditors work for accounting firms, which can range from small, local businesses to large, national or international firms.

Other types of businesses that employ auditors include:

  • legal and financial firms
  • large private companies and charities
  • central and local government departments such as Audit New Zealand.

Sources

  • Audit New Zealand, 'Careers', accessed February 2020, (www.auditnz.govt.nz).
  • Hays, '2019/20 Salary Guide', 2020, (www.hays.net.nz).
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Medium to Long-Term Employment Projections: Looking Ahead to 2028', August 2019, (www.mbie.govt.nz).
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
  • Stuff, 'Accountants’ Local Knowledge Adds Value in Regions', 25 November 2019, (www.stuff.co.nz).

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Auditors may progress to work as:

  • audit managers
  • associate directors/partners
  • audit directors, after gaining experience as associate directors/partners.

Auditors may specialise in:

  • computer audits
  • environmental audits
  • tax services
  • trust account audits
  • trustee supervision
  • risk management
  • external audits – when an organisation contracts in an auditor
  • internal audits – when an organisation is audited by an employee
  • forensic accounting – investigating unusual financial transactions that could be illegal
  • corporate governance support – making sure that management, boards, shareholders and other stakeholders know about professional accounting standards.
An auditor discusses accounts with a business owner

Auditors examine the financial statements of organisations

Last updated 25 March 2020