Auditors examine the financial statements of companies or organisations and provide an opinion on whether the statements give a true and fair view of their financial performance and position.
Auditors with up to three years' experience usually earn
$37K-$75K per year
Auditors with more than six years' experience usually earn
$75K-$180K per year
Source: Hays, 'Hays 2014 Salary Guide', 2014.
Pay for auditors varies depending on the region they work in and their level of experience.
- With up to three years' experience, auditors can earn between minimum wage and $75,000 a year.
- With three to six years' experience, auditors can earn between $75,000 and $90,000.
- Senior auditors and auditor managers can expect to earn between $75,000 and $180,000.
Source: Hays, 'Hays 2014 Salary Guide', 2014.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Auditors may do some or all of the following:
- study the accounting methods of business clients
- decide if the company financial reports give an accurate view of the business
- check that funds are used wisely and within the law, especially if working for a government department or agency
- ensure that financial statements comply with professional accounting standards in New Zealand
- oversee the stocktake of a business to ensure staff are following accounting procedures correctly.
Skills and knowledge
Auditors need to have:
- an understanding of the principles of finance and accounting
- knowledge of tax law
- knowledge of accounting systems and practices.
- usually work regular business hours, but may need to work evenings and weekends, or be on call
- work in offices at accounting firms, government departments and private businesses
- may travel locally to clients' businesses.
What's the job really like?
Nicola Hankinson - Audit Manager
"I thought I would study international business and marketing at uni. But as I was flicking through the paper, I realised there were no jobs ads for international business, and the ads for marketing wanted you to have experience but not necessarily a degree," says Nicola Hankinson.
"Then I noticed that there were heaps of ads for auditors and thought, 'Aha, that might be better!' "
Nicola doesn't regret her decision for a moment. "What I really enjoy is the fact that you learn so much about different businesses. You meet different people and it's just a really broadening experience."
Travel perks can be part of the job
"After I became CA [Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand] qualified, I travelled around Europe and came back with the travel bug. Thankfully, when I returned to work at Audit New Zealand I was required to travel, which was great! I was sent to Samoa and Niue, and it was good to feel I was still getting out there."
To become an auditor you need a commerce, business or accounting degree, majoring in accounting.
To become an auditor in information and communication technology (ICT), a degree in information systems or related subjects is useful.
Most employers require you to be a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA).
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, English, maths with statistics and/or calculus, and economics.
Auditors need to be:
- able to keep information private
- logical and able to make sound judgements
- good at solving problems
- methodical and accurate, with an eye for detail
- able to work well under pressure
- good at communicating
- able to analyse and interpret data.
It helps if you're reasonably outgoing. You have to go to lots of different businesses and if you're able to relate well with the clients and get across important information to them, then that's a plus.
Useful experience for auditors includes work in:
Membership with Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand is recommended.
Find out more about training
- Audit New Zealand
- (04) 496 3099 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.auditnz.govt.nz
- Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA)
- 0800 469 422 - email@example.com - www.charteredaccountantsanz.com
- Office of the Controller and Auditor-General
- (04) 917 1500 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.oag.govt.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Your chances of getting work are best if you are an experienced auditor with strong problem-solving and people skills.
Experienced auditors are in demand due to:
- changes to tax
- the economy improving
- an ageing workforce, with many auditors retiring.
Most auditors employed by accounting firms
Most auditors work for accounting firms, which can range in size from small firms employing just a few people, to large, nationwide firms employing hundreds of people.
Other types of businesses that employ auditors include:
- legal firms
- central and local government departments and organisations.
- Hays, '2014 Hays Salary Guide: Salary and Recruiting Trends', 2014.
- Hays, 'Quarterly Report – Accounting and Finance, April-June 2015', April 2015, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Kelly Services Australia and New Zealand, 'Kelly Salary Guide 2014', accessed April 2015, (www.kellyservices.co.nz).
- Michael Page,' New Zealand 2014/2015 Salary and Employment Forecast', accessed April 2015, (www.michaelpage.co.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Occupation Outlook 2015', 2015.
- Robert Half, 'Robert Half Salary Guide 2014', 2014, (www.roberthalf.co.nz).
- Statistics New Zealand '2013 Census', 2015.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Auditors may progress to work as:
- audit managers
- associate directors/partners
- audit directors, after gaining experience as an associate director/partner.
Auditors may specialise in:
- computer audits
- environmental audits
- tax services
- trust account audits
- trustee supervision
- risk management
- external audits – when an organisation contracts in an auditor
- internal audits – when an organisation is audited by an employee
- forensic accounting – investigating unusual financial transactions that could be illegal
- corporate governance support - making sure that management, boards, shareholders and other stakeholders know about professional accounting standards.
Last updated 2 October 2019