JustJob Interviews: Senior Auditor

JustJobs interviews professionals working in a variety of fields. The good folks there have given me permission to post some of their interviews here. So if you’re wondering what it’s like to work in a specific field, you might want to check in here frequently. I’ll be posting interviews as I get them.

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This Senior Auditor’s secret to success is not a magic potion or an elaborate plan, it’s simply hard work.  This is a true story told to . Other hispanic professionals, like a Banking Branch Manager and an Administrative Assitant have shared their story with us.

What is your job title? How many years of experience do you have in that field?

My current job title is Senior Auditor. I have had almost two years experience in this position, but a few more years of experience in lower level positions.

Would you describe the things you do on a typical day?

On my typical day, I review financial statements of several large companies searching for any possible errors. When companies want to have their stock in the stock exchange, they must get their financial statements approved by an auditor. I also have to visit these companies at least once a month to check their infrastructure to get a better understanding of their business and how they operate.

What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what response worked best?

I am male of Panamanian descent. I think more than my ethnic background, my economic background has helped me realize that you always have to work your hardest if you want to succeed. When you are not from money, nothing is going to be handed to you, you have to work for everything you get in life. I also think that everyone experiences discrimination at some time in their life, not just because of your race, but kids and people are discriminated against because of their weight, their looks or even a physical problem. I usually just ignore any negative comments and go on with my day.

Do you speak any language other than English? If so, how has it helped you in your job?

I speak both English and Spanish. I believe this has helped me in my job because it allows me to conduct business with the foreign companies my company deals with. Business is now done on a global spectrum, so you have to know about other cultures to succeed.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What would it take to increase that rating?

If I had to rate my job satisfaction, I would give it a 9. If I was able to work a few less hours each week, then the number would go up to 10.

What did you learn the hard way in this job and how did that happen?

One thing about the job that I learn the hard way is that you have to own up to your mistakes. If you find out that you did something wrong, it is much better to notify your superiors about it than to try to hide it and hope nobody finds out. The truth does come out eventually and the consequences can be a lot worse if you wait.

What don’t they teach in school that would’ve been helpful to you?

School doesn’t teach that it is alright to mess up on the job, as long as it does not keep happening. I was so afraid to get something wrong that my stress levels were too high and that made me make more mistakes, so every task took forever. I had to learn to relax and now my motto is: If you screw up, just fix it and do not make the same mistake again.

How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?

I took some accounting classes my last year of high school and I really like them. I then decided that I wanted to major in accounting in college. The class I most enjoyed there was auditing, so I decided to go into that line of work after I got out of school and I would not change a thing if I had the chance.

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?

I do not really deal with too many people on a daily basis, so nothing too strange has ever happened to me. I wish I had one of those funny stories though.

On a good day when things are going well, can you give an example of something that really makes you feel good?

If I can get my work done without any problems and get home at a decent hour to see my family, then I’ve had a great day at work. Everything I do is to support my family.

When nothing seems to go right, what kind of snafus do you handle and what do you dislike the most?

I’m not a confrontational person, and I do not like pointing out the mistakes people make. Since some of the easier aspects of the auditing process are done by a few people that are just getting started in their career, they can make mistakes, which then affect the work I do. That’s usually what goes wrong and the part I dislike about my job.

How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance?

My job can be rather stressful at times. If my work is not done properly, people can lose millions of dollars. I am able to maintain a comfortable work-life balance by leaving work at the office. I try not to think about it while I am at home and enjoy my time off.

What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough considering your responsibilities?

The salary range for my job is slightly above $100,000. I currently live in the Midwest, so the salary would potentially be higher in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles.

What’s the most rewarding moment you’ve experienced in this position? Of all the things you’ve done at work, what are you most proud of?

The most rewarding moment of the job was when I was first promoted to this position. I had work hard for several years to obtain it, and it felt nice to be rewarded. Im’ proud of having started at the bottom and having worked my way up the ladder.

What’s the most challenging moment you’ve experienced? What would you prefer to forget?

The most challenging moment of my career was when I started my first job at my current company. I was not making the money I thought I should be, but I knew if I continued to work hard it would eventually pay off. It did!

What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?

To get hired and succeed in my field you would need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A masters in accounting or business administration will help you get even further in the field.

What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?

If I had a friend entering this line of work, I would tell them that it will be very hard work but you will be compensated very well if you are able to handle the stress and do a good job.

How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?

I currently get four weeks of vacation time every year. I usually take one or two weeks to get away and actually go on vacation or take a trip. I take a few days here and there throughout the year, whenever I feel I need a brake. For me that is enough time.

Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?

I think that many people only think of taxes and the IRS when they think of an auditor. While that is one of the applications, this career has a broader spectrum, and most people don’t even know it.

Does this job move your heart? If not, what does?

This job moves my heart because it allows me to take care of my family.

If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?

I would be happy if I was still doing the same job in five years. However, if I could write my own ticked, I would be either in a top executive level position already or working towards it.

Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?

There is nothing unique about my situation. I got where I am by working hard and not giving up, like most people that have succeeded in their careers.

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