Financial auditor

A financial auditor


Financial auditors collect and examine financial data for clients, organisations and companies. They ensure the financial data is properly maintained and free of material misstatements due to error or fraud, that it adds up, and functions legally and effectively. They review lending and credit policies or numbers in databases and documents, evaluate, consult and assist the source of the transaction if necessary. They use their review of the client’s financial governance as assurance to give testimony to the shareholders, stakeholders and board of directors of the organisation or company that all is up to par.

The duties of a financial auditor typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing financial statements, documents, and data to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations.
  • Identifying errors and fraud within corporate documents.
  • Conducting cost-benefit analyses to determine value.
  • Evaluating and testing internal controls and governance.
  • Analyzing risk management processes to provide objective opinions on whether the systems are adequate, efficient, and effective.
  • Uncovering, investigating, and preventing all kinds of fraud within an organization.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to financial auditor:

internal auditor
external auditors
bank examiners
internal auditors
bank auditor
internal examiner
finance auditor
audit manager
finances auditor
senior internal auditor
chartered accountant
financial examiner
external auditor
bank examiner
external examiner
financial systems analyst

Working conditions

Financial auditors typically work in office settings, but they may need to travel to various locations, especially when conducting audits for multiple branches or subsidiaries. The role requires attention to detail, analytical skills, and the ability to work independently. Depending on the organization’s audit schedule, the workload may have periods of high demand.

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field is typically required for a career as a financial auditor. Many auditors also hold certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), or Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Relevant work experience in auditing, accounting, or finance is crucial for developing the necessary skills in financial analysis, risk assessment, and compliance.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Financial auditor is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Financial auditor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to financial auditor.

financial fraud examiner
bank treasurer
accounting analyst
audit supervisor
financial controller

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of financial auditor.

  • Accounting department processes: The different processes, duties, jargon, role in an organisation, and other specificities of the accounting department within an organisation such as bookkeeping, invoices, recording, and taxing.
  • Financial department processes: The different processes, duties, jargon, role in an organisation, and other specificities of the financial department within an organisation. Understanding of financial statements, investments, disclosing policies, etc.
  • Accounting techniques: The techniques of recording and summarising business and financial transactions and analysing, verifying, and reporting the results.
  • Economics: Economic principles and practices, financial and commodity markets, banking and the analysis of financial data.
  • Financial analysis: The process of assessing the financial possibilities, means, and status of an organisation or individual by analysing financial statements and reports in order to make well informed business or financial decisions.
  • Accounting entries: The financial transactions recorded in accounting systems or books of a company together with the metadata linked to the entry such as the date, the amount, the accounts affected, and a description of the transaction.
  • Corporate law: The legal rules that govern how corporate stakeholders (such as shareholders, employees, directors, consumers, etc) interact with one another, and the responsibilities corporations have to their stakeholders.
  • Accounting: The documentation and processing of data regarding financial activities.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of financial auditor.

  • Inspect tax returns: Inspect the documents which declare liability for taxation which is not automatically withheld from wages and salaries to ensure correct taxes are being paid by the liable individuals and organisations.
  • Control financial resources: Monitor and control budgets and financial resources providing capable stewardship in company management.
  • Prepare financial auditing reports: Compile information on audit findings of financial statements and financial management in order to prepare reports, point out improvement possibilities, and confirm governability.
  • Interpret financial statements: Read, understand, and interpret the key lines and indicators in financial statements. Extract the most important information from financial statements depending on the needs and integrate this information in the development of the department’s plans.
  • Check accounting records: Revise the accounting records of the quarter and year and ensure that the accounting information reflects with accuracy the financial transactions of the company.
  • Obtain financial information: Gather information on securities, market conditions, governmental regulations and the financial situation, goals and needs of clients or companies.
  • Conduct financial audits: Evaluate and monitor the financial health, the operations and financial movements expressed in the financial statements of the company. Revise the financial records to ensure stewardship and governability.
  • Pose questions referring to documents: Revise and formulate questions in regards to documents in general. Investigate about the completeness, confidentiality measures, style of the document, and specific instructions to handle documents.
  • Observe confidentiality: Observe the set of rules establishing the nondisclosure of information except to another authorised person.
  • Monitor banking activities: Supervise and review banking activities such as lending and other transactions to ensure legality of these actions.
  • Arrange audit: Arrange a systematic examination of books, accounts, documents, and vouchers to ascertain how far the financial statements present a true and fair view, and to ensure that the books of accounts are properly maintained as required by law.
  • Present reports: Display results, statistics and conclusions to an audience in a transparent and straightforward way.
  • Analyse financial risk: Identify and analyse risks that could impact an organisation or individual financially, such as credit and market risks, and propose solutions to cover against those risks.
  • Develop audit plan: Define all organisational tasks (time, place and order) and develop a checklist concerning the topics to be audited.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of financial auditor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Mergers and acquisitions: The process of joining together separate companies and relatively equal in size, and the purchase of a smaller company by a bigger one. The financial deals, the legal implications, and the consolidation of financial records and statements at the end of the fiscal year.
  • Financial products: The different types of instruments that apply to the management of cash flow that are available on the market, such as shares, bonds, options or funds.
  • International tariffs: Know international tariffs, taxes, or duties that must be paid on a particular class of import or export materials.
  • Banking activities: The broad and continuously growing banking activities and financial products managed by banks ranging from personal banking, corporate banking, investment banking, private banking, up to insurance, foreign exchange trading, commodity trading, trading in equities, futures and options trading.
  • Financial statements: The set of financial records disclosing the financial position of a company at the end of a set period or of the accounting year. The financial statements consisting of five parts which are the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity (SOCE), the statement of cash flows and notes.
  • International financial reporting standards: The set of accounting standards and rules aimed at companies listed in the stock exchange which are required to publish and disclose their financial statements.
  • Financial management: The field of finance that concerns the practical process analysis and tools for designating financial resources. It encompasses the structure of businesses, the investment sources, and the value increase of corporations due to managerial decision-making.
  • Fraud detection: The techniques used to identify fraudulous activities.
  • Joint ventures: The legal agreement between companies which get together to create a temporary legal entity where they can share knowledge, technology, and other assets aiming at developing new products or services appealing to the market. Also, to share the expenses and revenues of the venture.
  • Internal auditing: The practice of observing, testing, and evaluating in a systematic manner the processes of the organisation in order to improve effectivity, reduce risks, and add value to the organisation by installing a preventive culture.
  • Insolvency law: The legal rules regulating the incapacity to pay debts when they fall due.
  • National generally accepted accounting principles: The accounting standard accepted in a region or country specifying the rules and procedures to disclose financial data.
  • Commercial law: The legal regulations that govern a specific commercial activity.
  • Tax legislation: Tax legislation applicable to a specific area of specialisation, such as import tax, government tax, etc.
  • Financial jurisdiction: Financial rules and procedures applicable to a certain location, whose regulatory bodies decide on its jurisdiction

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of financial auditor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Trace financial transactions: Observe, track and analyse financial transactions made in companies or in banks. Determine the validity of the transaction and check for suspicious or high-risk transactions in order to avoid mismanagement.
  • Produce statistical financial records: Review and analyse individual and company financial data in order to produce statistical reports or records.
  • Advise on credit rating: Share your expertise in the evaluation process which assesses the debtor’s ability, be it a government institution or a business, to pay back its debt.
  • Advise on tax planning: Advise on appropriate strategies to include taxes in the overall financial plan in order to reduce the tax load. Advise on questions related to tax legislation and provide advise on the possible implications that decisions in financial matters can cause in a tax declaration.. Advise on questions concerning things such as the creation of a company, investments, recruitments, or company successions.
  • Use consulting techniques: Advise clients in different personal or professional matters.
  • Develop financial statistics reports: Create financial and statistical reports based on collected data which are to be presented to managing bodies of an organisation.
  • Maintain records of financial transactions: Collate all the financial transactions done in the daily operations of a business and record them in their respective accounts.
  • Evaluate budgets: Read budget plans, analyse the expenditures and incomes planned during certain period, and provide judgement on their abidance to the general plans of the company or organism.
  • Communicate with banking professionals: Communicate with professionals in the field of banking in order to obtain information on a specific financial case or project for personal or business purposes, or on behalf of a client.
  • Provide support in financial calculation: Provide colleagues, clients or other parties with financial support for complex files or calculations.
  • Advise on financial matters: Consult, advise, and propose solutions with regards to financial management such as acquiring new assets, incurring in investments, and tax efficiency methods.
  • Follow the statutory obligations: Understand, abide by, and apply the statutory obligations of the company in the daily performance of the job.
  • Identify accounting errors: Trace accounts, revise the accuracy of the records, and determine the faults in order to solve them.
  • Analyse financial performance of a company: Based on accounts, records, financial statements and external information of the market, analyse the performance of the company in financial matters in order to identify improvement actions that could increase profit.
  • Liaise with shareholders: Communicate and serve as communication point with shareholders in order to provide an overview on their investments, returns, and long-term plans of the company to increase profitability.
  • Maintain trusts: Handle the money meant for investing into a trust and ensure it is placed into the trust, as well as ensure that the due outgoing payments are made to the beneficiaries compliant with the terms of the trust.
  • Disseminate information on tax legislation: Provide advise on the possible implications for companies or individuals on decisions regarding tax declaration based on tax legislation. Advise on the favourable tax strategies that could be followed depending on the needs of the client.
  • Ensure compliance with accounting conventions: Exercise accounting management and abidance by generally accepted accounting conventions such as recording transactions at the current price, quantifying goods, separating personal accounts of managers from those of the company, making effective the transfer of legal ownership of assets in its realisation time, and ensuring the principle of materiality.
  • Ensure compliance with disclosure criteria of accounting information: Revise the accounting information of the company to make sure it meets the commonly agreed criteria for its disclosure such as understandability, relevance, consistency, comparability, reliability, and objectivity.
  • Idenfify if a company is a going concern: Analyse financial statements, financial information and the outlook of the company in order to determine the going concern of the company.
  • Make strategic business decisions: Analyse business information and consult directors for decision making purposes in a varied array of aspects affecting the prospect, productivity and sustainable operation of a company. Consider the options and alternatives to a challenge and make sound rational decisions based on analysis and experience.
  • Maintain financial records: Keep track of and finalise all formal documents representing the financial transactions of a business or project.

ISCO group and title

2411 – Accountants

  1. Financial auditor – ESCO
  2. Financial Auditor: Career Path and Qualifications – Investopedia
  3. Financial Auditor Job Description – Betterteam
  4. Featured image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Last updated on August 28, 2023