What Are The Different Audit Roles?

What Are The Different Audit Roles?

Auditor walking to work - Samuel Olsen Recruitment

Auditing provides a diverse range of career opportunities, both inside and outside the financial industry, so what are the different audit roles in the finance industry?

It could be that a career as an auditor may be right for you, if you enjoy dissecting the inner workings of almost any aspect of a business. 

Whatever type of auditor you are, you will find yourself poring over financial statements and expense reports to ensure that companies and agencies comply with government regulations.

However, not all auditing roles require prior experience or even a relevant degree – although these things always help during the recruitment process

Continue reading to find out if a career in auditing is the right path for you.

Internal Auditor

As an internal auditor, you’ll provide independent assurance that a company’s risk management, control processes and governance are in good standing.

You will work within organisations to monitor and assess risk management, business operations, and internal processes.

Auditing also includes advising leadership on ways to improve their systems and processes.

Internal auditors’ work differs from external auditors in that they examine more than just financial and accounting risks. They also consider reputation, growth, environmental impact, employee treatment, and ethics.

Qualifications Needed

Internal auditing is one of the few financial careers that doesn’t require an accounting degree.

Graduates with any degree can transition into internal auditing without prior experience, as much of the knowledge needed for the role is gained on the job.

As such, it’s a diverse role filled by people from a variety of backgrounds and educational levels. 

However, for the best chances of employment and success in the role, a background in one of the following subjects is advantageous; 

  • Accountancy
  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Information Technology

If you don’t have a degree or any relevant work experience, you can also take an apprenticeship through the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

Income and Demand for Internal Auditors

There is a steady demand for new and experienced internal auditors, with promotions accelerating many auditors up the ranks.

For the best chance of gaining employment and furthering your career, it’s wise to be flexible about relocation, both between companies and cities.

The average pay for an internal auditor in the UK is £22-35,000 in the first few years, increasing steadily over time up to around £53,000 for those with seven years of experience.

At the management and director level, you can expect a salary of over £70,000.

External Auditor

As an external auditor, you will be a qualified accountant, but your work will go far beyond just financial auditing.

The two core areas of external auditing can be split into financial auditing and corporate auditing, both of which require you to make recommendations based on your analysis, which will steer decision-making. 

Your role is to help clients pinpoint and manage risks across all business areas. 

You’ll examine financial records and other data to provide companies, market regulators and investors with a clear picture of how they’re performing.

In addition, you will provide advice on how best to proceed based on the available data. 

Along with your great analytical skills, you’ll need to have good interpersonal skills, as your role will require you to build relationships and negotiate while working on-site in clients’ offices. 

Qualifications Needed

To become a practising external auditor, you will need a practising certificate and chartered accountancy qualification awarded by ACAEW, ACCA, ICAS or CAI. 

The usual pathway to get into the profession is to join a graduate training programme, which requires you to hold an undergraduate degree.

Following completion of the course, your employer will usually pay for your relevant qualifications.

Income and Demand for External Auditors

Demand for external auditors is good, and there are many diverse opportunities to advance your career.

If you choose to stay in external auditing after qualifying, you could feasibly become an audit manager in two to three years.

From there, you could advance to senior management and director positions before becoming a partner.

The average pay for an internal auditor in the UK is £28,000 as a graduate, increasing steadily over time up to anywhere between £32,000 and £45,000.

At the management level, you can expect a salary of £50-70,000.


We’re always looking for great candidates to fill auditing roles in the UK. 

If you’re interested in any of the roles discussed above, get in touch with our team



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