How to Become a Bank Auditor in 5 Steps
Research what it takes to become a bank auditor. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you.
What Does a Bank Auditor Do?
Bank auditors review a financial institution's records for completeness and accuracy. In addition to inspecting a bank's records for accuracy, you may have an accounting staff to supervise and be responsible for developing an effective approach to conduct a yearly auditing program. You may work for the company you do audits for, or you may work for a company that employs you to audit other organizations. After completing audits, you must report your findings to authorities to show that your clients' financial statements have been verified. The chart below may help you decide if a position as a bank auditor would suit your career needs.
|Education Field of Study||Accounting or related field|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||6% growth (for accountants and auditors)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$70,500 (for accountants and auditors)*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What is a Bank Auditor?
A bank auditor is an accounting specialist who evaluates the accuracy, completeness and legitimacy of a bank's financial records. They ensure banks comply with their own procedures and with state and federal finance laws. If and when they discover a security breach or other problems, auditors confer with bank managers and executives about possible fixes and process improvements. Additional duties include coordinating and supervising the activities of an accounting department staff and taking charge of developing, scheduling and executing an annual audit program.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
A bachelor's degree program in accounting helps you develop the necessary skills to work as a bank auditor. Accounting programs clarify the theory and practice of tracking an organization's finances. You learn to record transactions in a double entry format, derive figures for revenues, and draw conclusions about the organization's performance. Opportunities are also available to learn about the variations in the accounting systems used by different types of organizations, tax laws and auditing procedures.
Bachelor's degree programs in finance examine money management, in particular how time and risk affect money management decisions. You also learn about the budgeting, spending and saving decisions that affect individuals, businesses or the government. The program also teaches you how financial institutions, such as banks, make lending decisions. Econometrics, decision modeling, public finance, investing and insurance are also possible course topics.
Step 2: Earn a Master's Degree
A master's degree coupled with a bachelor's degree in accounting provides you with the sufficient academic credit hours necessary to become a certified public accountant (CPA) and improves your prospects for employment. Master's degree programs increase your knowledge of accounting practices and hone your analytical skills. Courses engage core subjects, such as managerial accounting, financial reporting, auditing processes and information systems. Some programs may offer an auditing track or electives that enable you to emphasize auditing. Master's degrees may be completed in 1-2 years.
Step 3: Find Employment as an Auditor
As a bank auditor, you could work directly for a bank, a CPA firm or be self-employed. Entry-level auditors usually work with a supervisor until they are ready, knowledgeable and competent to work as a bank auditor. Figures for bank auditors weren't available, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1,259,930 people worked as accountants and auditors in 2018 (www.bls.gov). Employment is projected to increase 6% by 2018.
Step 4: Obtain Certification
Becoming certified will improve your employment prospects. The field's most widely recognized credential is the Certified Bank Auditor certification offered by the Bank Administration Institute. To be eligible, you must have a bachelor's degree and two years of bank auditing experience, or a bachelor's degree and master's degree in accounting or business. The exam covers accounting, bank regulations and laws, auditing principles, auditing practices and general business.
You could also consider becoming a CPA. As of 2018, most states required candidates to have a bachelor's degree and 150 credit hours of college coursework. Earning both a bachelor's and master's degree would fulfill this requirement. Administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the main content areas covered in the CPA exam include auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Financial analysts guide clients through the process of making investments and analyze these investments. Cost estimators gather and assess data to gauge how many resources are needed to manufacture a product or provide a service, typically in a specific industry. Employees in these fields must hold bachelor's degrees.