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Student questions regarding Auditing for a scholastic research paper. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have a series of questions that are required as part of Financial Accounting course. I have been having trouble finding qualified people in my geographic location to answer the necessary questions that will facilitate an adequate report.

Below is a list of the questions I feel would help in the completeness of my report.

The basic general questions:
Your professional name and title, and firm name if different
How long have you been practicing?
Where did you go to college/graduate from?
Who are your typical clients?
What hours do you normally hold for clients?
Is the work-family balance challenging, and how do you manage it?
The gritty questions:

What are the general skills, knowledge, and abilities (KSA) needed to be a successful auditor?
What are the five most important coursework one should focus on other than the required
accounting courses?
What are the specific accounting skills and knowledge required in Auditing?
What do they perceive to be the major challenges to their profession and in doing their jobs?
What do they like about auditing and what are their dislikes?
Where do they see the profession going in the next ten years?
Have you faced any ethical dilemma in your work? Can you share that experience, especially
how should one handle ethical dilemmas at work?

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Q. Your professional name and title, and firm name if different

Wayne Spivak Consultant, President and CFO – SBA * Consulting LTD

Q. How long have you been practicing?

20+ years

Q. Where did you go to college/graduate from?

Pace Univ (and suggest that one find another college)

Q. Who are your typical clients?

There is no typical, I’ve had client in practically every industry and sector

Q. What hours do you normally hold for clients?

9-5 (but that is 9-5 in their time zone)

Q. Is the work-family balance challenging, and how do you manage it?

We’re use to it.

The gritty questions:

Q. What are the general skills, knowledge, and abilities (KSA) needed to be a successful auditor?

Attention to detail. Understanding the Macro, the business, the processes the systems and the people.

Q. What are the five most important coursework one should focus on other than the required accounting courses?

Public Speaking, Business Writing, Management 101, Marketing 101, Psychology 101. Why? As an auditor you will need to speak at meetings and should know how to present information the audience can and will digest. Business Writing should be self-explanatory, but given what they teach in College (writing) it isn’t. Clear, concise and to the point.

Management and Marketing, so you know why a business isn’t doing well from a managerial style, why they aren’t marketing why and Psychology so you can figure out the motivations (or lack thereof) behind the issues.

Q. What are the specific accounting skills and knowledge required in Auditing?
I’d say besides general accounting, learning the tools to be able to follow what has transpired and to gauge the authenticity of the transactions. I’ve seen transactions made that at the end of the day net to zero, but probably had profound effects on financial statements produced in-between those transactions.

Q. What do they perceive to be the major challenges to their profession and in doing their jobs?

Access to information.

Q. What do they like about auditing and what are their dislikes?

Since I’m not a professional auditor, but do it as a matter of course with my role as CFO, it can be tedious but it’s nice at the end of the day to prove you balance.

Q. Where do they see the profession going in the next ten years?

I see the need for more auditors.

Q. Have you faced any ethical dilemma in your work? Can you share that experience, especially how should one handle ethical dilemmas at work?

Ethics is a slippery slope. It is a thousand points of lights on the gray scale, from just ethical to totally unethical. Who says something has gone too far? There is you and your ethical center point and there is the next persons. If the next person exerts larger influence, that may override your considerations. That is why whistleblower laws are so important.

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