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Career Profile: Senior Internal Auditor

Why Is Senior Internal Auditing a Job of Tomorrow?
Senior internal auditors will be needed more than ever to ensure that businesses are being run efficiently without financial loss so that they may prosper for years to come. Even for nonprofit organizations, internal auditors must make sure that these groups break even in their work, or else they face the risk of going into debt and shuttering. Employment opportunities for internal auditors are expected to increase 18 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Internal auditors make an average salary of $54,630 annually, although earnings can vary greatly depending on the specific employer.

What Does a Senior Internal Auditor Do?
Internal auditors work in-house at an organization and remedy incidents of mismanagement, waste and fraud. This is especially important, as it is estimated that 6 percent of U.S. company revenue was lost through employee fraud in 2002 alone, according to a report from the American Accounting Association. Internal auditors ensure that all of the records kept by the organization are accurate and up-to-date, and they check for suspicious activities and errors. Internal auditors also review company policies, operations and management systems to determine whether there are ways to make the business run more efficiently and whether effort, time and money are being wasted on a particular aspect of the organization. Senior internal auditors have vast amounts of experience and they are charged with overseeing the entire internal auditing process of an organization. Large organizations may have a few auditors who all report to one senior internal auditor.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Senior Internal Auditor?
Senior internal auditors must have a bachelor's degree in business, accounting or a related field. A bachelor's degree takes four years to complete, and courses cover business administration tactics, mathematics and finances. Most major companies prefer internal auditors who have completed a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting, which takes an additional two to three years to earn after obtaining a bachelor's. Auditors may seek certification to increase their marketability. Specific requirements for certification vary by state.