Audit assistants work under the guidance of senior auditors to evaluate firms' operating controls and policies, financial reporting mechanisms, adherence to regulatory guidelines and key business indicators. They also help firms comply with tax regulations and follow up with segments' heads where control weaknesses are noted to gauge progress in remediation.
Internal Controls Testing
Audit assistants help senior auditors verify operating policies and guidelines, evaluate whether controls are adequate and operating effectively, review personnel procedures and examine segment managers' responsibilities. They also check whether such procedures are in line with regulatory guidelines applicable to industries. Assistants note control deficiencies identified in areas under review and help audit managers draft reports to senior management. They could also follow up with segment heads to determine whether control weaknesses are corrected. For example, an audit assistant might review human resource policies and advise management that such policies do not comply with EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) guidelines.
Assistants help firms identify and evaluate procedures and operating policies in tax-reporting processes and verify that such procedures are in accordance with tax laws and regulatory guidelines. In the United States, Internal Revenue Service laws apply to tax reporting and filing. Assistants conduct research on new pieces of legislation and advise management whether they are applicable to firms' operations. Audit assistants also help firms evaluate compliance with sales tax procedures. For example, an assistant at New York-based XYZ Store might review the firm's sales tax policies and monthly amounts to determine whether reimbursements are being sent on time to state revenue services.
Assistants review firms' financial statements and verify that amounts recorded are accurate and complete. They also work under the guidance of senior auditors to determine whether financial transactions are reported in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in industries in which firms are operating. For firms listed on securities exchanges, quarterly and annual statements must be filed with regulatory bodies. In the United States, such bodies include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Assistants also may follow up with segment heads to verify that deficiencies noted in financial reporting processes are corrected.
Financial and Budget Analysis
Some auditing assistants operate as financial analysts to help firms evaluate short- and long-term operating needs, working capital constraints, capital structure models and key performance indicators. They also work with corporate finance specialists to assess financing needs and advise management on debt or equity issuance to raise funds. Budget analysts use statistical and economic methods to compare historical and current data, evaluate performance across business segments and propose budget adjustments in nonperforming areas.