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Can a Night Auditor opportunity open the door to an Internal Auditor position?

night auditor career pathsI have a long-term desire to work as a IT Auditor but I want to get some experience on the financial side of auditing first but since the job market for an Internal Audit opportunity requires a lot of industry experience it's been a challenge because the experience that is required for this role is experience that I currently do not possess (with the exception of having a BA in accounting and computer information systems and currently working on my Master of Professional Accountancy degree). Even the internships that I applied to when I go to the interview they are asking for work experience (@ minimum of 3 mos of experience) in doing payroll, general ledger, quickbooks, reconciliations..etc. I don't have that kind of experience. I do have retail, customer service and technical support/IT Help Desk experience about 5 years worth so far. I have been searching endlessly since 2010 for ways to get into a entry level position that has some dealings with at least accounting, preferably audit. I did some research on the job description of a night auditor and it appears to be a great place to break into the audit industry and it looks like I can get into this role easier than any other role I have applied but am not sure if this is a good role to undertake as a "door opener" to what I want to become. Does anyone have personal experience or know of individuals who worked as a night auditor and later down in their career moved into a internal audit or it audit role? Is a night auditor position a good place to start my career as a IT auditor? What are the career paths that an night auditor can take after having worked in the position for 1+ years? You answers and professional opinions/critics are greatly appreciated!

Answers

Jason M. Jones LPA
Title: Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant
Company: Franklin County Treasurer
(Deputy Treasurer - Staff Accountant, Franklin County Treasurer) |

Anon, the short answer to your main question is, probably not.

A more elaborate explanation I can give you is based on my own experiences: I was a night auditor for a 300-room hotel in a suburb of a large metropolitan city for about a year. The term "auditor" used in the job title is used rather loosely; a night auditor basically confirms, balances, and closes out the daily sales for room rentals and food and beverage (if there is a restaurant and/or bar on the premises) while functioning as a third shift desk clerk. While it's been over 15 years since I worked as a night auditor, most of my memories involved the wacky zany adventures in dealing with a variety of guests than in reconciling the day's cash receipts. But I digress.

The reason why I am so doubtful that being a night auditor will open doors to an internal auditor position is because the experience you get as a night auditor is very limited; you are only "auditing" the company's daily sales, whereas in internal audit, the scope is much more comprehensive and true to form as it pertains to what an audit actually entails; to say nothing of the fact that in night audit, only a percentage of your time is spent actually "auditing" anything, the majority of your experience is functionally as a front desk clerk.

Your best bet if you really want to work in internal or IT auditing would be to talk with your supervisor, HR manager, or even hotel manager about promotion opportunities to become an assistant controller or even assistant controller trainee. Either of these positions will be more suited at equipping you with what you need to know about the financial and operational aspects of the hotel that will familiarize you with its internal systems and controls to help you determine what can and should be audited from an internal standpoint and perhaps once you learn the hotel's internal control functions, you can ask management for a promotion to an internal/IT audit position and if one does not exist, you can plead your case (preferably a well-documented one) for a need to have one created for you.

Hope this helps.

Daniel Berube
Title: Controller
Company: Tensoft, Inc
(Controller, Tensoft, Inc) |

I agree with Jason. While I have many fond memories working night audit for a hotel it is far from what people think of when they think of "auditing". Most of those memories revolve around the people you meet checking in to hotels at 3am - and let me tell you they are their own, unique crowd.

In the morning you do however work closely with either the assistant controller or controller to go over discrepancies and some of the numbers. I was able to use those relationships to apply and get a job in the accounting function at the hotel. The experience gained working for the accounting department is far more applicable to what you are looking for than night audit.

Anonymous
(Finance Director) |

I am not familiar with the night audit, I will like to share with you the below:
For personal experience I can tell you that if you start working in a company in a accounting clerical position, you will be able to learn and earn the experience and requirements needed to work with your BA in accounting, I have also a BA in accounting however I studied and earned the degree in Mexico, I had also worked and earned accounting experience over here but I met my husband and I came to USA 20 yrs ago. I did not speak any English, I had to start working in a clerical position(accounting clerk) to learn the accounting terms and accounting language in English, I worked hard and tried my best. I promoted with in the same company and now I had the highest title/position that an accountant can achieve in this company, Accounting Manager. It is not easy but it is possible, My English is still not perfect or the same as an American (US) but I still compete with people graduated from a US university and more than once I have got the job/promotion. hope it helps and good luck!

Jack Judd
Title: Retired
Company: Retired
(Retired, Retired) |

Consider applying for jobs with professional service firms that help with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements for public companies. You will see many different organizations over the year and help develop and test internal controls. Your background in IT may help you get the job. I believe professional service firms will be open to your eclectic work experience and your desire to learn more. Good luck.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Jason is spot on. I was a controller for a hotel several years ago and the Night Auditor had no background in internal auditing or even the basic knowledge of what to look for to control theft or spot lack of good controls. He basically told the system to perform it's close and assisted any guest needs. While a much needed position in the hospitality industry, doesn't sound like it fits your calling. There are some great recommendations here to provide a solid path for you to seek the position you desire.

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