Audit and assurance accountants work for accounting companies, such as Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. They also work for finance and insurance groups and for government agencies. Nearly 1.3 million accountants are employed in the United States, according to the Department of Labor.
A good way to get a foot in the door is through an internship in an accounting company that provides audit and assurance services. The accounting field is expected to grow in the coming years, which could mean more entry-level positions opening up in audit and assurance. Competition for these jobs will be keen at the top accounting agencies; those with an advanced degree and professional recognition, particularly Certified Public Accountants, will have the best job prospects.
Audit and assurance accountants have various career paths. They may enter the field through an internship and advance to become junior accountants and then, after one to two years, be promoted to accountants. Some may start as audit and assurance accountants in small local agencies and move up to large international accounting companies. They may get certified as public accountants to secure better jobs and more clients. With three or more years of proving themselves in the job, they may advance to become senior audit and assurance accountants or managers of audit and assurance services departments. Some advance by getting a master's degree in accounting or business administration with a focus on accounting. Certification in other types of accounting and business areas, such as business valuation or risk management assurance, also advances skills and improves employment opportunities.
Get an internship or part-time job in an accounting firm, large or small, that offers audit and assurance accounting services.
Learn more about accounting careers and specializations by visiting the careers section of the AICPA Web site, https://www.aicpa.org/career/careerpaths.html.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants provides a host of information about accounting and auditing in the publications section of its Web site, https://www.aicpa.org/publications/accountingauditing.html.
Find the audit and assurance sections of accounting agencies' Web sites to learn more about current topics and issues, and to search for job openings. For example, visit PwC's audit and assurance group's page, at https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/audit-assurance.html.