By law many companies and non-profit organisations must have their financial reports independently audited. The audit senior is part of the professional team that completes the audit. As such the audit senior - who will be qualified or studying with a body such as ACCA - is a senior professional.
The audit senior:
- reports directly to an audit manager
- oversees junior members of the audit team
- evaluates and completes reports for the audit
- monitors the budget for the assignment
- verifies compliance with audit standards and regulations
- reports on and makes audit recommendations to the audit manager.
Entry and progression
Working for an accountancy practice which performs audit work of various types, the audit senior will progress from more junior audit roles.
Often employers will be looking for a professional - qualified with a body such as ACCA with 2-4 years’ experience.
ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward-thinking professional accountants, including audit seniors.
Qualified professionals may progress all the way to audit partner.
For those who work as audit seniors, or aspire to be an audit senior, the most relevant exam options are:
Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your audit senior career.
Performance Objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:
Partners and/or directors of firms which undertake public practice work need to obtain an ACCA Practising Certificate. They may also need to complete further requirements depending on the jurisdiction in which they operate.
High level competencies required by audit seniors include:
Audit, Assurance and Advisory
A. Advises on and communicates effectively the role and scope of audit, assurance and advisory engagements to relevant stakeholders.
B. Applies regulatory, legal, professional and ethical standards relating to advisory, audit and assurance engagements.
C. Plans and prepares for audit, assurance and advisory engagements.
D. Performs effective audit, and assurance engagements.
E. Reviews and reports on the findings of audit and assurance engagements.
F. Guides efficient and effective operations.
Ethics and Professionalism
A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.
B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.
C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.
D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.
E. Communicates effectively and influences others.