Auditors? They are only interested in numbers, only work in winter and even then do nothing but check the box. So much for the prejudices. But the job of the auditor is far more diverse than the usual clichés suggest. One of the main tasks of the independent auditors is actually the statutory annual audit of commercial enterprises , which takes place in the winter months. But auditors also have a lot to do outside of the so-called “busy season”. For example, they advise companies on financial and tax matters or assess the value of a company as independent appraisers.
How do I become an auditor?
According to HETONGDIY, auditors are among the freelance professions . Your career opportunities and earning potential are considered good. But to be sworn in as an independent auditor, you have to have a long and demanding training behind you. The classic way to become an auditor consists of studying economics. After an assistantship of at least three years in an auditing company, the graduates can then register for the auditor examination. Most of the preparation for this dreaded exam takes place at home and in expensive revision courses. But even with intensive preparation, only about fifty percent of candidates pass the exam on their first attempt.
New paths to becoming an auditor: Bachelor and Master
Recently, some universities and technical colleges have been offering bachelor’s and master’s programs that specifically prepare students for their later professional life and shorten the lengthy educational path. This training path is based on Section 8a of the Wirtschaftsprüferordnung. Accordingly, prospective auditors must first complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration , economics , business law or taxation. After only one year of assistantship in an auditing company, they can then join a part-time master’s course. This prepares the students specifically for their later career and the exam. The study achievements are partly credited towards the auditor examination. Up to three of a total of seven exams are omitted. In this way, 75 percent of all candidates pass the demanding test.
The bachelor’s programs in the field of taxation and auditing prepare students intensively for activities in tax consulting and auditing. Since these are economics courses, the basic subjects of mathematics , statistics or general business administration are taught at the beginning of the course . Right from the start, however, the curriculum also includes specific content from the areas of auditing, business law and taxation . Personal and social skills are trained in subjects such as project management , rhetoric and negotiation.
The part-time master’s programs deepen the content from the areas of auditing, taxation, business law, business administration and economics. Typical modules are controlling, accounting or accounting tax law. Business English and the teaching of soft skills such as conflict management also play a major role in the master’s programs.
Who is suitable for studying auditing?
Every auditor should have a weakness for numbers and be able to think economically . Apart from that, auditors must also have social skills such as communication skills, trustworthiness and integrity in their later professional life. In addition to maths skills, the requirements for the course also include a good command of English .
After passing the auditor exam, the graduates have to work as examination assistants for two more years before they can be officially appointed as auditors.
As independent auditors, various professional fields are then open to them. Many work in auditing or tax consultancy firms, independent law firms, cooperative auditing associations or the Chamber of Auditors. You prepare statutory and voluntarily requested annual financial statements for small and large companies, banks and insurance companies.
Due to their professional ethos and their extensive legal and business knowledge, they often also work as consultants. For example, they determine the value of a company on behalf of investors or merger candidates and advise companies on tax and legal issues. Fiduciary activities such as asset management or the execution of wills are also possible.
Why study abroad?
German companies that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange are required to report in accordance with US accounting principles. Internationally recognized accounting standards are also frequently used in other listed companies . Anyone who would like to be able to check later for international companies can spend part of their studies abroad. During one or two semesters abroad, students not only have the opportunity to expand their specialist knowledge. At the same time, they train their foreign language skills and intercultural skills, which are becoming increasingly important for professional life.