I work in various teams auditing the financial statements of client companies that vary from global listed companies to smaller family businesses. In addition to auditing the financial figures, we also focus on the effectivity of the internal control environment and financial processes of our clients. As a senior member of my teams, I am the main everyday contact for the client and my responsibilities include a lot of coaching of the younger team members and reviewing their work in addition to the audit procedures I perform myself.
Also, I am involved in internal training sessions and longer courses as a trainer/lecturer which gives a nice variability to my job.
Most of the year I work at client sites around the capital area of Finland and the nearby cities. Normally I meet my team at the client's office around 9 am and we go through the agenda of our current visit with the team and the client. The time spent at one client varies depending on the client, but on average it varies between a couple of days and two weeks.
During the day we normally work with my team in a client's meeting room with our own laptops. I have usually prepared a list of procedures to be performed for the whole team and allocated the tasks beforehand. Each of us then works with our own tasks. The normal procedures I perform could include for example analysing the client's project revenues and forecasts, evaluating the calculation basis of booked provisions, discussing the trends of the business with the client or compiling reports for teams in other countries.
The days are usually very hectic and full and mostly contain a lot of working with excel as well as communicating with clients. At the end of the day my responsibility is to check the status of my teams work so far and give some updates and follow-ups if needed.
We finish our day at the client's office normally around 5 pm but during the busy season when most of the companies are closing their books I usually drive from the client site to our office to continue working for some more hours, or continue at home.
My job provides me a great opportunity to learn from new challenges every day since the days can be very different. This is due to the fact that I work with a wide range of different companies of different sizes and operating in very different industries. Also, I like that if I manage to do my job well, I am constantly given new opportunities and challenges so I won't get bored!
However, the best thing in the job are definitely the most amazing colleagues with whom it is always great to work even under pressure. We have a great team spirit in all of my teams!
Especially during the busy season the days can be very long and often it is difficult to get out of the working mode when I get home. Also, when working everyday at client site, a day in the office once in a while would be welcome to catch up with the never-ending to-do list :)
From what you learn at school, good knowledge of accounting basics and strong excel skills give a good start, but the most important is a good attitude towards different people and teamwork. Focus on actively listening to other people and think what you could learn from them. What comes to the critical and analytical thinking, I always recommend to think some of your old summer job or your favorite shop or cafeteria as an example, which usually makes it easier to understand the sometimes complex processes of the client and the points where there could be a risk of something going wrong. Also, it is important to remember that the auditors are not trying to do their best to find mistakes, but serving the customer and helping them to enhance their processes to be able to rely more on the figures.