1. Auditing isn’t a very exciting career path

If you’ve ever heard a joke about accounting or auditing, you know that the tagline is almost always about it being a boring profession. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, being an auditor gives you exposure to a very diverse range of industries and companies, meaning you’ll always be learning about new business trends and meeting with leaders in almost every industry – all while working in a collaborative team environment made up mostly of your peers who often become your friends and colleagues for life.

Added bonus: According to the CAQ, auditors who work for public accounting firms get to work on a variety of cool projects that will give you big value added, for example, counting votes for popular award shows like the Oscars and the Grammys

  1. Auditors spend most of their time crunching numbers

Other common misconception about auditing is that it’s mostly about analyzing financial statements. Although this is true, it’s not the only part. Auditors also spend time meeting with company executives, conducting site visits, and learning about the company’s particular industries. This background knowledge helps auditors understand more about how the company they are auditing carries out their day-to-day business activities and makes auditing a well-rounded profession that is about much more than number crunching. 

  1. Auditing is mostly a desk job

The idea that auditing is mostly a desk job goes hand-in-hand with the notion that auditors spend most of their time working alone analyzing financial statements. In reality, the opposite is true. Because auditors attend frequent client meetings, they often travel to visit companies all over the country (and sometimes the world) and some auditing work can be done autonomously, auditors are also be able to work anywhere. “One great thing about this job is that my desk is in my backpack. I can basically set up wherever I want,” explains Jesse, an auditor from Atlanta who spole with the CAQ about his decision to go into auditing. Another thing, because public company auditors are in high demand, you can work pretty much anywhere. It might require some extra training, but a career in public company auditing could take you around the world


  1. You need a CPA license to be an auditor

People’s biggest misconceptions about being an auditor is that you need to pass the CPA exam before you can get started. In reality, many auditors are not CPAs, and having your CPA license is not a requirement for the first several years at the job. However, the experts at the CAQ recommend taking the exam for two reasons: 1) It will increase your earning potential, CPAs earn 10 to 15 percent more money than non-CPAs and have better job security, according to the Oklahoma Society of CPAs. 2) It will help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to finding new opportunities and 3) Only a CPA can prepare an audited financial statement or a reviewed financial statement, although any accountant can prepare a compiled financial statement.

  1. Auditors do not have a lot of work-life flexibility

The final misconception about auditing is that employees do not have work-life flexibility. While there may be less flexibility for some auditors during busy season (when companies are filing their annual financial statements or 10Ks), for the most part, auditing offers a lot of flexibility and a proportional schedule. “Auditors work hard but we also have a pretty good work-life balance,” says Ashley, an Auditor from Miami who refers to that balance as one of the key benefits of the job. Even a big company such as KPMG support a healthy balance between work life and personal life. They certainly expect a high level of ambition and drive but they also want their employees to stay fit, healthy, and full of enthusiasm.

Although auditing is sometimes jokingly described as a not-so-exciting career involving a lot of long hours, the truth is that it offers both variety and opportunities for continued development. By knowing what to expect, you’ll have a clear understanding of your potential career path and you’ll be able to decide whether auditing is right for you.