The Audit and Assurance Career Path
Your gateway to business.
What is audit and assurance exactly? It’s the science (and art) of providing expert and independent assessments that support smart business decisions.
As an audit associate, you will assist in performing audits for a client. The goal of an audit is to assure investors, regulators, bankers and others that a company’s balance sheet, cash flows and profit and loss statements deliver a reasonable depiction of its financial health.
Most audits handled by large public accounting firms are extended engagements in which a team of associates takes a deep dive into the finances and processes of an organization. The goal is to “follow the money.” Where does it come from? Where does it go? How is it used? What processes are used to ensure the accuracy and veracity of these transactions?
It’s easy to see that audit and assurance associates have a front row seat to view the inner workings of complex organizations.
Contrary to what many believe, public accounting is a people business, where teamwork is central to success. You’ll have the chance to work with people of many backgrounds and views, and your role will be one that can have real impact. Your career path can lead to a spot as firm partner, as an executive or CEO in the corporate sector, as a consultant or as an entrepreneur.
This challenging career path exposes you to a wide variety of businesses, from startups to global corporations and a range of industries, and offers almost limitless opportunities for growth.
Spotlight: Day in the Life of an Auditor
The typical day for an audit professional can be anything but typical. It’s a fast-paced, challenging environment. You’ll be assigned to client service teams for companies in a variety of industries and you’ll work most days on-site at the client’s location. Some of your responsibilities will run throughout the year; others will emerge overnight as clients’ needs arise. Your job will be to research your work thoroughly, document it carefully and communicate it effectively—with clients and managers in your firm—resolving technical issues through virtual dialogue with content experts around the world.
You’ll hear veterans in the field say that year one in a public accounting profession is similar to a boot camp, but it’s an investment in your future where the rewards are well worth it: great learning experiences, development of technical skills, building relationships with peers and clients and often incentives for outstanding performance.
We consider your success fundamental to our program’s success. That’s why the Vanderbilt MAcc program provides you with personalized career consultation and preparation. We’ll help you get ready for interviews for internship placement and we’ll facilitate several firm-hosted interactions and school-sponsored events so you can learn more about your fit in this dynamic and rewarding profession.
What do you need in the way of support? We know and are ready to provide it!
- Successful placement practices and partner firm involvement
- Candid critique of your resume
- Effective strategies for networking and corresponding with partner firms
- Individualized interview preparation and mock interviewsSeamless scheduling for interviews with partner firms
- Unified process for Becker CPA review course administration, exam scheduling and licensure eligibility
- Facilitated alumni engagement
Just turn to the Vanderbilt MAcc team for answers to these and other questions you may have. Then get ready for an exciting career!