Voices PwC reveals 5 crucial characteristics of auditors

By Maria Moats    /    September 28 2017

Today we’re celebrating #AuditorProud—a day when we reflect across our industry about the important work of public company auditors. There’s so much to be proud of in our profession, but I’d like to focus on five characteristics that epitomize auditors and are particularly worth celebrating.

1. Auditors are objective.

Our review of a company’s financial statements must be objective. When we find something that doesn’t look right, that objectivity enables us to ask tough questions, notify management and audit committees, and work through the issue in accordance with professional standards. And when we sign off on our work, we are doing so as an objective third party.

2. Auditors are team players.

Teamwork and collaboration are important parts of our work. Completing an audit in accordance with auditing standards requires a team that brings different strengths and skills to the project. Our teams include highly skilled members with experience regarding accounting systems, tax rules, industry sectors and more. And our diversity doesn’t stop there—time and again we see that team members with different backgrounds and experiences provide the variety of viewpoints that is so essential to a top-quality result. In fact, in fiscal year 2017, 13 percent of new hires in our Assurance practice possessed a background in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math).

3. Auditors must exercise professional skepticism.

Asking tough questions and staying alert are essential to our job. We look at issues, facts and figures from a fresh and skeptical vantage point. We ask questions about data anomalies, scrutinize estimates and validate suppositions. I love a job that keeps me—and others—on our toes.

4. Auditors are tech savvy.

In many ways, I think auditors get the best of both worlds: we combine steadfast integrity with tech-savvy innovation. For more than 10 years, auditors at PwC have been creating new solutions to simplify the audit through innovation. These range from routinizing high-volume, nonjudgmental transactions to investing in new mobile applications, advanced data analytics, visualization techniques and collaboration platforms. One of the best parts of being a tech-savvy auditor is the resulting efficiencies allow us more time to focus on our clients’ more significant issues and challenges, including audit areas that require more judgment.

5. Auditors play an important role in our economy.

As auditors, we play a role in the efficient functioning of the capital markets. As auditors, we provide opinions as to whether public company financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, with GAAP. Through the service we provide, we are helping our clients build trust and transparency in the financial markets.

I’ve been an auditor for 22 years, and I can’t imagine a more rewarding, interesting, varied career. Evolving issues, innovative technology, great colleagues and a crucial role in ensuring the integrity and transparency of our financial markets make me #AuditorProud—today and every day.

On Sept. 28, 2017, join all of us in the profession on social media using #AuditorProud. Follow me @Maria_Moats.

For more on the audit profession, watch the following videos on the five characteristics of auditors:

Objectivity – https://youtu.be/1xc4Ksahafg

Teamwork – https://youtu.be/Dktao56fBDM

Skepticism – https://youtu.be/iOPLopbZsNI

Tech Savvy – https://youtu.be/M1lSwJPDsfY

Purpose – https://youtu.be/1O4mYDeHy0A


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