Is IT Auditing a good career option?

Date: 31 January 2022

The accounting sector is becoming increasingly reliant on information technology (IT). As a result, if you're interested in both auditing and IT, pursuing a career in IT auditing could be extremely helpful. So, who is an IT auditor or why should one pursue their career in IT Auditing? This blog seeks to answer these questions and more. 

Who is an IT Auditor?

An IT auditor's job is to analyse and examine a company's technological infrastructure in order to give assurance that processes and systems work correctly and efficiently, while being secure and compliant with regulations. 

Any IT issues that fall under the audit, particularly those linked to security and risk management, are also identified by an IT auditor.

Why should you pursue a career as an IT auditor?

Firstly, this is a rewarding career with a good pay potential and a high demand for IT auditing skills. However, it is worth noting that this is also one of the most hectic and challenging professions today. One also has to constantly learn so as to keep up with the pace of evolving technology. 

The IT auditor is one of the most in-demand finance and accounting professions in today's job market, according to the 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals. Many organisations are hiring IT auditors because of risk and compliance concerns, especially in highly regulated industries like banking, insurance, healthcare, and financial services. 

Below is a representative salary chart, published on the internet, to give you an idea of IT auditors’ salaries. See Source for more details.

 

SENIORITY

Lowest

Median

Highest

0- 1 Year

$42,250

$61,000

$80,250

1-3 Years

$62,250

$90,250

$119,000

3-5 years

$75,750

$109,750

$145,750

5-10 years

$97,500

$140,750

$185,500

 

Source - https://ipasstheciaexam.com/cisa-salary/

IT auditor job requirements

Generally speaking, below are the basic expectations from an IT auditor:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, management information systems, accounting or finance.
  • Strong background in IT or IS and experience in public accounting or internal auditing
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills 
  • Auditing certifications CISA, ISO 27001 LA (desired but not mandatory)

Work life balance and working hours

There is no doubt that auditing is a busy profession. A typical day would start at 9 am and would go on till 5 pm with many back-to-back meetings. The auditor focuses on completing documentation in between the meetings and also constantly plans ahead to ensure that the audit work is able to make progress  and meet completion deadlines. This certainly has some impact on your personal life and this impact could vary for each one of us.

IT auditors should also anticipate working long hours regardless of specialisation, sometimes spending between 45 to 50 hours per week during peak season (e.g., from 8:45 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Monday through Friday). You should be aware, however, that IT auditors working for understaffed organisations may be required to work significantly more hours than their counterparts at well staffed organisations. So, if you work for a company that is understaffed, expect to work long hours and weekends.

Work for a Big 4 firm or industry?

You have 2 options - either to work for a Big 4 firm or work as an internal auditor with an organisation in the industry. Some ambitious IT Auditors will accept a graduation position with one of the Big 4 accounting firms (PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, or EY), while others may choose to work for a corporation in-house. There is no right or wrong, it all lands down to what you like more. 

In a Big 4 firm, your clients will change and you will have more diverse experience whereas in the industry, working for a single firm, you might be auditing systems and technology they are using more frequently. 

Promotions

If you opt to work for one of the Big 4, you'll likely start as an Associate before progressing to Senior IT Auditor, Assistant IT Audit Manager, Manager, Senior Manager, and then go higher up the management ladder, with the goal of eventually becoming a Director and ultimately a Partner.

Alternatively, you may work in-house within your chosen industry, avoiding the Big 4 totally. In this case, your career path would most likely start with a position as a systems engineer or analyst, followed by IT Auditor, IT Audit Manager, Senior IT Audit Manager or AVP (Assistant Vice-President), VP (Vice President), SVP (Senior Vice President), and finally Head of IT Audit.

Learning

Breadth of experience and Great Exposure - The best part about the IT Auditing profession is the exposure one can get working in various spheres across the industry sectors or even within an organisation. 

This breadth and depth of experience, combined with technical and communication skills, makes an IT auditor a valuable asset to any organisation, opening up opportunities in areas such as IT Risk Management, IT Compliance, Technology Operations, and high-paying niche areas like Cyber and Information Security.

IT auditor certifications

If one wishes to become a qualified IT auditor, here are some of the specialised qualifications to pursue:

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): The ISACA offers the CISA certification, which is created exclusively for information security professionals and IT auditors. You'll need at least 5 years of professional experience in the sector to acquire your CISA certification.

 

  • Certificate of Cloud Auditing Knowledge (CCAK): The CCAK prepares IT professionals to deal with the particular problems of cloud auditing, including maintaining the appropriate controls for confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility, as well as limiting the risks and costs of audit management and non-compliance.

 

  • PECB ISO 27001 LA: During this training session, you will learn how to plan and conduct internal and external audits in accordance with ISO 19011 and ISO/IEC 17021-1 certification requirements. One will be able to learn audit procedures and become competent to manage an audit programme, audit team, customer communication, and conflict resolution through practical exercises.

 

Know more about our CISA Training course

You may also be interested in our CRISC course.


         Author: Abhinav Goyal

Abhinav Goyal is a professional CISSP trainer within Cyber Management Alliance’s training pool. He is CM-Alliance’s CISSP/CISA/ISO 27001/SOX/Information Risk Management/SAP Cyber security trainer. He has an MBA (Finance), along with qualifications in Computer Engineering, CISSP, CISA, ITIL (expert), COBIT (foundations), and SAP security.

If you are interested in exploring our CISSP Training & Mentorship programme details and register for your Free CISSP session – click here or contact us at info@cm-alliance.com. 

 

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