Economics and Accounting
The knowledge of economics and accounting to an audit professional is of paramount importance. Broad understanding of macro and micro economic principles play a key role in the auditor’s professional life – in understanding the internal business situation and correlating it to the environment outside in either making or advising on strategic issues. Now coupling this with accounting knowledge – accounting knowledge is the fundamental knowledge element for an auditor.
Being aware of how entries are made to awareness of how things can be actually made up – especially in view of what the global economy has seen in the recent past – AIG, CITI, Satyam etc is predominantly critical. Going way beyond basics is also critical – including accounting standards – global (GAAP) or country specific accounting standards in situations of trans-national operations. Self-competence assessment on my strength: Rating myself on a scale of 1-to-10 I would rate myself at 7. 5.
My accounting knowledge is extremely good – that is substantiated by the “Meticulous Accountant” recognition that I have received at my work place for 3 consecutive quarters. This highlights my understanding of the entire accounting system starting from making entries, posting them properly and creating Final Accounts Statements like the Balance Sheet. Going beyond this I have made additional effort to get a certification on “Systems Audit” which enables me to audit even accounts maintained in various computer systems.
I have total understanding of US GAAP norms as I have exhibited the same during the various seminars during my student years. Clearly, areas of improvement for me would include study of Accepted Accounting Norms in the European Union and the Asian Countries. May be knowledge accepted and recommended by strongly growing economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC Nations) would be an added professional edge for me. I have a decent grasp of the micro and macroeconomic fundamentals. Skills: Time Management Definition: “Managing one’s own time and the time of others (O*Net Online, 2007).
The importance to the occupation: Being an auditor means the ability to bring in “fresh” information to the table for various stake holders to study, understand, and assimilate thereby enabling informed decisions. This means that Time Management is one of the key skills for a successful audit professional. Auditing rarely is a lone ranger profile. Auditors need to essential work with teams both of accounting professionals and outside of it. This translates to having to work across teams with different priorities and methods of thought processes.
This translates to setting timelines and priorities clearly in a way that all team members can appreciate and adhere to. Hence Time Management is a critical skill for an audit professional Self-competence assessment on my weakness On a scale of 1-to-10 I would rate myself at a poor 5. While I do not have issues in setting timeline goals for myself and adhering to them rigorously, I have a wide scope for improvement in setting time lines for others objectively. I have issues in this regard especially so when the time lines are extremely tight.
I am on the horns of dilemma when coming to chose between accuracy of my reports vs. Timeliness of the report. I believe as an audit professional it’s paramount to deliver extremely accurate information to the stake holders as they tend to take all the information that I authorize at the face value and take decisions based on that. So I believe accuracy is paramount. While I am driven by accuracy I have observed that I tend to slip on timelines by approximately 10% for which I have been penalized a few times in the last 20 months or so.