An auditor trainee assists licensed or certified auditors or upper-level trainees in performing basic audit tasks such as examining controls. With the exception of providing formal audit results, the trainee performs the same tasks as a regular auditor. Without supervision, he simply cannot do so.
Identifying the records, controls, or activities that require investigation and testing based on the scope of the audit is one of the fundamental skills that an auditor trainee learns. A tax auditor trainee, for example, might learn which tax forms to request from clients. This is crucial to the audit process because it provides the auditor with a lot of the data he or she needs to conduct analysis and make recommendations. The trainee learns how to organize the acquired data for review as he learns which records and activities are relevant.
Going to a business and observing how it operates is sometimes the only way to truly understand how it operates. In these cases, an auditor trainee visits the company with an upper-level auditor. The upper-level auditor explains how the trainee should observe the company’s operations and what to look for. The trainee may make notes about what he sees and how it might affect the company’s success or failure.
Interacting with the client is a big part of any audit. Auditors, for example, meet with clients in advance to clarify the audit scope, how and when the audit will be conducted, and what resources will be available. Similarly, auditors may need to interview specific people during the data collection process in order to verify information, test controls, or obtain clarifications. As a result, an auditor trainee attends these meetings and interviews with the auditor, participating with the auditor’s guidance and, if possible, answering questions.
Upper-level auditors demonstrate how to analyze all of the data collected auditor trainees. Having clear audit objectives assists the trainee in determining what data is relevant and what data is not. Trainees sharpen their objectivity skills as well, refining their analyses to be free of personal bias and solely focused on the data.
The preparation of a formal audit report is an essential component of any audit. The audit findings and the auditor’s recommendations are contained in this document, which the auditor formally presents to and discusses with the client. Although the format is predictable, the report must be concise and clear. Audit trainees assist auditors in the preparation of these reports, with the auditors providing grammar and content advice. Examining previous audit documentation helps the trainee understand what a good report should say and how it should be written.
It is the responsibility of all auditors to complete audits on time. As a result, audit trainees assist senior auditors in developing a realistic audit schedule with the client. They may send courtesy letters or make brief phone calls to remind the client of upcoming audit events, requirements, or deadlines. The trainee may draft and send closing correspondence, schedule follow-up audits, or file all related paperwork, including the client’s response to the audit report, at the conclusion of the audit.