Considering a career change, or coming out of uni and picking from the array of choices that Commerce gives you should be exciting! But it’s easy to get caught up worrying about niches, future opportunities and what a day-to-day on the job will actually look like.
Last week was Auditor Proud Day - yes, it’s a real celebration. Here’s the CAANZ link to prove it.
While some may question why auditors even need a day to show pride, we reckon it’s because there is so much to be proud of!
What made this really clear were our answers to the array of questions we were asked at CAANZ’s Auditor Proud Day event by aspiring auditors - some we expected, but some we didn’t realise people were curious about.
Our awesome staff members, Anushtha, Henry Nguyen, Jessica Van Dyk and Libby Williams put together a FAQ from Auditor Proud Day about why you should go into auditing.
What is auditing and what do auditors do?
Auditors are the financial investigators of businesses and charities. In this way, we guard the financial health and reputation of our clients - which means that there’s a lot of trust and relationship building that goes on. Our jobs are to make sure that neither us or our clients are slacking in terms of records, systems and processes and that everything on the books is accurate, compliant, and transparent.
It also means our advice and insights make a difference. Auditing is like the oldest child of financial services - we’re responsible and on-time. Ethics and integrity are second to none.
We have to be critical thinkers because we uncover discrepancies and risks - the fun part of this is that then it allows us to find solutions! Creative thinking is what we use to mitigate future issues, so auditing isn’t just a short term solution - we can play as much of a part in our clients’ businesses as is needed.
But isn't audit boring?
Nah. It might seem like that because everyone thinks we’re just human calculators in suits. But we basically get a front-row seat in so many industries that it keeps things interesting. For example, our RSM work has involved everything from multinational companies, new and emerging tech, agriculture, and HNWI (High-net-worth individuals).
The uniqueness of the New Zealand market keeps us on our toes, we work with established and well-known companies, right to the underground disrupters who might be low key, but turnover millions of dollars. So there is always something new to learn about and engage with.
We’re never really stuck to our desks because we're often on-site with the client. So if you like to travel, be in different places, and meet new people, auditing would be a great fit!
Plus, we really dress for our day. It’s not all suit and ties even though we do like to dress to impress. For example if client is rocks up in jandals and shorts, nice jeans and sneakers is usually all good.
Is auditing just numbers?
We speak for all auditors when we say that auditors aren't just number crunchers. Our work requires a decent blend of both technical and interpersonal skills.
We look for people who are all rounders and have drive to learn because we have a supportive environment and prioritise your training. We all have a grade or two on our transcripts where we know we could've done better, but if you're a great problem solver or can pick out trends and patters and communicate - these are great traits for auditing!
For all the people-persons out there - we know that being in a room alone with nothing but a spreadsheet can be daunting, but don't worry! That's not what audit is. You do have lots of talking time with the team members and your clients, and these relationships are key to maintaining integrity and curiosity.
Auditing suits extroverts too, especially because auditors can’t compromise on communication. We have to work super closely with lots of personalities - and we have to be able to explain our analysis, findings, and recommendations in a way that everyone can understand.
Will auditing narrow my career opportunities or progression?
Don’t let your commitment issues scare you from auditing! There’s lots of growth and development here, and you won’t niche yourself into a lifetime of auditing if you try it out and feel that it’s not right for you.
Here are a couple reasons why:
- We learn skills that are transferable across different jobs and industries
- Progression is pretty much guaranteed, you start as a junior but can work your way up to different levels of seniority, management, and even specialise in areas you enjoy
- We become highly trained in understanding business needs and processes
- We tend come from various educational backgrounds and even non-business disciplines so there is lots of cross-learning for those who like new topics, emerging industries, and changing client and social needs
- We join huge networks and ecosystems due to the nature of our work
Auditors are in high demand - in New Zealand and abroad. This is only due to grow, so there's unlikely to be shortage of work or opportunities. That’s how significant the mahi is. RSM is a great place for an audit career because we're a global network with offices all over the world! And not just in audit, but in many different areas of consulting.
Do auditors work long hours?
We're pretty good here at RSM.
Sometimes our hours can be longer than usual, especially on deadlines. But because our culture and working relationships with clients is different to larger firms, we're more flexible and don't typically work late at night.
We were asked by a few students who heard that other firms work a lot of overtime. Our answer is that although you may have a long day here or there, it's not a norm for us. You'll also get shorter days over summer, and our clients sometimes force us to stop working even if we try! Our partners and clients are cool as.
What makes auditing at RSM fun?
We’re different because we lead the middle-market. This means that we're well-resourced to support our clients' needs and be proud of our work. No late hours here! We're proud of our work, our clients, and the quality what we do and who we do it with.
Our teams really value working hard and playing hard. We spend a lot of time bonding by enjoying the odd drink together and the auditors are the firm favourites for our activities like:
- Having our own pool table
- Going axe-throwing
- Paintballing and ten-pin bowling
- We're even going on a ski trip!
Our career development has been supported by the in-house training we’ve received from the amazing management team and the support we get from each other doing CA courses together (don't forget that RSM pays for us to complete our CA too!).