Careers
Companies
Topics
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Staff Auditor Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 25

Are you open to travel with this position?

1000s of Interview Questions

Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Staff Auditor Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    Are you open to travel with this position?

      The topic of travel will almost certainly come up during your interview. Almost any auditing role involves some travel, so be prepared to articulate how much travel you are comfortable with (for example, 25%, 50%, etc). Most job descriptions will include the expected amount of travel. The interviewer is gauging whether you are a candidate that is willing and able to meet the travel requirement, so try to align your answer with the expectation of the role.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am definitely open to travel. I saw on the job description that travel is estimated to be 25%-50%, which I am comfortable with. Since I am just out of school, I think traveling would be a fantastic opportunity for me to immerse myself in the role and learn as much as possible from my colleagues."

  2. 2.

    How do you manage your manager? In other words, what steps do you take to make sure you get what you need from your boss and make both your lives easier?

      Also known as ‘managing up’, ‘managing your manager’ is a soft skill that can be developed over time. It essentially means doing whatever is necessary to make your manager’s job easier. Some clear-cut benefits of managing up include increased productivity and better working relationships between boss and employee.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am a firm believer in the benefits of managing my manager. At the end of the day, I want to make the audit engagements we work on together run as smoothly as possible. One area where I really focus on is communicating and prioritizing workload on a regular basis. This ensures that I’m always working on the highest-priority items. Another thing that is crucial is understanding my manager’s style. For example, do they like regular check-ins by email throughout the day, scheduled catch-up meetings, etc. Then I tailor my communication to their style."

  3. 3.

    In an audit, who is primarily responsible for the prevention and detection of fraud?

      According to auditing pronouncement AU-C Section 240, the client’s management is primarily responsible for detecting fraud and preventing it in the first place by having effective internal controls. An auditor must conduct an audit in accordance with GAAS (generally accepted auditing standards). However, given the limitations of an audit, there is an inherent risk that not all material misstatements will be detected.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Ultimately, it is the client’s management that is responsible for preventing and detecting fraud within their organization. They can achieve this by implementing effective internal controls and committing to a culture of honesty and ethical behavior. As auditors, we are responsible for conducting our audit in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. However, there will always be an inherent risk that the limitations of an audit prevents us from detecting all material misstatements."

  4. 4.

    How would you deliver excellent customer service to clients?

      Being able to interact and communicate with clients is a key skill for a new auditor, and also shows that the candidate possesses the ability to grow into larger roles within the firm such as manager and director. Even new auditors will need to email and call clients, so be sure to mention that you have attention to detail and are responsive.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I believe that being able to communicate with clients effectively will be key from day one. Whenever I communicate with anyone, I make sure that I am responsive. If I can’t give someone the information they are seeking right away, I make sure to let them know the anticipated timing. If there are unexpected delays, I provide updates. I would also make sure I review any documents or emails I send to the client in order to build trust in my abilities. Finally, I would act professionally while at the client’s place of business."

  5. 5.

    Do you have experience handling massive amounts of data? Give an example of how you used data to solve a problem?

      Due to the advancement of technology, auditors have the ability to take massive amounts of data and analyze it. For example, an auditor may be asked to review exported data from a client’s general ledger. Give a specific example of a time when you used data to answer a question or solve a problem.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Yes, in my internship I was tasked with taking a data export file with 65,000 rows and summarizing by customer type. Utilizing Excel skills I developed in school, I first filtered the data on the required population. I then created a pivot table that allowed me to summarize the data according to the criteria. As technology continues to advance, I understand that it is expected that I can work with Big Data and I feel very comfortable doing so."

  6. 6.

    Have you sat for the CPA exam or are you planning to sit for the CPA exam?

      Obtaining a CPA license is a major step an auditor can take to show they are committed to growing in the accounting profession. These days, many students are able to sit for the CPA exam before they graduate. But if this is not the case for you, it is likely expected that you will obtain your CPA license within the first couple of years of employment at the firm.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Becoming a CPA is a major goal for me in my career, as it will help me grow in the accounting profession. I plan on sitting for all four parts of the exam within the first eighteen months of employment with the goal of becoming a licensed CPA within two years."

  7. 7.

    Identify a time when you made a mistake and the actions you took to correct it.

      Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t be tempted to say you don’t! This is a good opportunity to show that you don’t let a bad situation become worse. It is an opportunity to speak to your honor and integrity.

      Ryan's Answer

      "One time at internship last summer, I caught a formula error in a file that I had already sent to a client. Even though I was embarrassed, I knew that the mistake needed to be corrected. I immediately told the intern manager what had happened and asked for her advice. We called the client and explained what had happened, and they were fine with us sending the corrected file."

  8. 8.

    Explain the steps involved in a bank confirmation process and what it helps evaluate.

      This question dives into a common responsibility for first year staff on audits. Bank confirmations test the existence, ownership and accuracy of bank accounts. Answering this question correctly will show that you paid attention in class and are ready to take on responsibilities right away.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Bank confirmations are a key test for auditing cash. Confirming bank accounts involves compiling a list of the clients bank accounts from the balance sheet and then sending letters to the banks to confirm the balances. By completing these procedures, the existence, accuracy and ownership of the bank accounts on the client’s balance sheet are properly tested."

  9. 9.

    In your opinion, why is it important for organizations to have effective internal controls?

      Internal controls are rules, regulations and safeguards that an organization puts in place to ensure integrity of financial information and to prevent fraud. There are several benefits to having robust and effective internal controls, including preventing fraud/theft, improving accuracy of financial reporting, and complying with laws and regulations.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Internal controls are vital for organizations of all sizes. First and foremost, internal controls are necessary to be in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, strong internal controls are necessary to prevent fraud and theft by employees. Finally, strong and effective internal controls result in improved timeliness and accuracy of financial reporting, which makes for smoother audits."

  10. 10.

    What are some of the ways that you can show professionalism when on an audit engagement?

      In public accounting (as well as many other service-based professions), showing professionalism while interacting with clients is essential. Since professional behavior may not be obvious to someone who is new to the workforce, the interviewer is gauging how much awareness the candidate has.

      Ryan's Answer

      "It is extremely important to display professionalism when we are out in the field conducting audits at the client’s place of business. First and foremost, I know that I must look the part by adhering to the appropriate dress code. On some engagements, a suit is appropriate. At others, business casual attire. Secondly, I know I must act professionally. This means speaking respectfully to all personnel, whether it is the client’s CFO or a security officer. I shouldn’t take personal phone calls or play music loudly. As a general rule, I shouldn’t do or say anything that would harm the firm’s reputation."

  11. 11.

    What is the auditor’s responsibility when planning an audit?

      Auditing standard AU-C Section 300 Planning an Audit covers what the auditor’s responsibility is during the planning phase of the audit. The engagement partner and other key members of the audit team should be involved. As a staff auditor, you will be heavily involved in the planning process, so it’s important to brush up on the requirements detailed in the standard.

      Ryan's Answer

      "During the planning phase of an audit, the engagement partner and other key engagement team members should establish an understanding of the terms of the engagement, assess the continuance of the client relationship and develop an overall audit strategy that sets the scope, timing and direction of the audit."

  12. 12.

    How do you mitigate and manage stress?

      The life of an auditor can be stressful, especially during ‘tax season’ which runs from January through April. The interviewer wants to gain insight into how you react to stressful situations.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Due to tight deadlines and the demands of the auditor role, stress is inevitable. However, there are steps I take to help mitigate stress. First, I try to be as organized as possible. I am constantly prioritizing my workload to make sure time-sensitive tasks are handled before they are due. Next, I try to leave work at work. When not at work, I enjoy hiking, cooking and traveling. Being able to enjoy these activities makes me feel calmer and rejuvenated at work."

  13. 13.

    What is the difference between fraud and error?

      This is a technical topic covered in the auditing standards under AU-C Section 240. The key difference between fraud and error is that the former is intentional and the latter is unintentional. There are two main types of fraud that an auditor should be concerned with: fraudulent reporting and misappropriation of assets (ie theft)

      Ryan's Answer

      "The main difference between fraud and error is that fraud is intentional and errors are unintentional. As auditors, we are primarily concerned with financial misstatements that are caused by fraudulent financial reporting and misstatements that are caused by theft and other misappropriation of assets."

  14. 14.

    How do you keep up with the latest developments in auditing standards?

      This question is to see if you take the initiative to stay current on the latest accounting developments. If you are a CPA, talk about how you use mandatory continuing education requirements to stay up to date on the latest trends and regulations.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I stay up to date in various ways. First, in school we learned the latest and greatest pronouncements and standards. I also subscribe to e-newsletters from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for auditing standards updates and the Financial Accounting Standards Board for updates to generally accepted accounting principles. Additionally, after obtaining my CPA license, I plan on staying up to date with new standards with continuing education courses."

  15. 15.

    What is the purpose of audit documentation?

      This is a technical question to see if you are able to articulate the information that is gathered in the field to support the audit. According to auditing standards (pronouncement AU-C Section 230), the two primary purposes of audit documentation are 1) to provide evidence to support the auditor’s conclusion and 2) to provide evidence that the audit was planned and performed appropriately

      Ryan's Answer

      "There are a couple of important purposes of audit documentation. First, the documentation needs to support the conclusion that the auditor reached in the audit report. Secondly, the documentation serves as evidence that the audit was planned and performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards."

  16. 16.

    How would you handle working in an increasingly remote environment?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  17. 17.

    Why do you want to be an auditor?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  18. 18.

    During an audit, you discover one of the firm’s largest clients uses a questionable methodology to value receivables. What would be your course of action?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  19. 19.

    Explain how the Sarbanes-Oxley Act changed the auditing profession.

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  20. 20.

    Why do you want to work at ABC Public Accountants?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  21. 21.

    How do you feel your education has prepared you for the auditor role?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  22. 22.

    What are the differences between an audit, a review and a compilation?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  23. 23.

    Why do companies require audits?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  24. 24.

    Where do you see yourself in five years?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.
  25. 25.

    What qualities or skills do you believe a good auditor should possess?

      View All 25 Staff Auditor Answers
      Sign up to access our library of 50,000+ Answers,
      plus coaches for one-on-one support, so you can interview more confidently.