Guatemalan companies and institutions, whether public or private, are required to submit to an audit at least once a year. Even organizations that work with international cooperation funds, such as foundations and NGOs, must carry out internal audits, in order to be accountable to their contributors.
Thus, whether or not a company or institution plans to increase its number of employees, what is certain is that they should be visited by at least one internal auditor and, in other cases, also by external auditors, with the in order to ensure optimal compliance with legal regulations in the different transactions carried out over a certain period of time.
According to data recently published by the CentralAmericaData.com portal, the hiring expectations of Guatemalan companies remain stable for the first half of 2019. This, without a doubt, is good news for all professionals who are looking for work or who are considering changing from their current job. Thus, it is known that around 14% of the companies based in Guatemala expect to expand their payroll throughout the year.
What is an audit?
Before entering fully into the functions of the auditor, it is important to clarify what an audit is and why it is so important for companies and institutions. Thus, we can say that an audit is the process through which an inspection or verification of the accounting activity of a company or institution is carried out. This process can be carried out either by an external or internal auditor, depending on the levels of the transactions that the company carries out, as well as the processes that are required both by the Law and by possible cooperators, investors, shareholders or donors, according to be the case.
Through an audit, companies can verify that their transactions coincide with the acquired assets, and that fraudulent activities are not being carried out to generate income outside the legal framework.
What should be the profile of an auditor?
The auditor, whether internal or external, beyond mastering accounting processes, must also be a specialist in national and international regulations, in order to verify that no law is being violated, nor is there any suspicion of fraud, tax evasion, laundering of money, etc., within the company or institution being audited. Thus, the expected profile for this professional consists of:
• Solid experience: whether it is an independent professional or a consolidated firm, companies tend to seek the services of professionals who have solid experience in the field, as they guarantees, to a large extent, efficient and quality work.
• Impartiality: Whether it is an internal or external audit, this person must be impartial before the company, that is, not incur faults or omissions in order to benefit the company or, worse, help him avoid legal responsibilities, as they could be penalized by the corresponding authorities.
• Mastery of national to international regulations: An advanced mastery of both Guatemalan laws and international regulations is essential, especially at the economic and commercial level, since these are the ones that must be respected in each of the transactions that the company carries out.
Main skills and characteristics of an auditor
Now that we have defined the audit and what the auditor’s profile is, we can delve into the main characteristics and skills that this professional should possess. Below, we highlight some of them:
• He is an honest professional: he stands firm before the rules and evidences before the company any fault or irregularity that is being committed, with respect to the processes and transactions carried out.
• It is discreet: the information you know about the companies you work with is confidential, you do not disclose it to third parties unless required as part of a legal process.
• It’s responsible: The professionals who are dedicated to this area must be highly responsible, capable of carrying out long working hours, carefully reviewing all the processes that the company has carried out.
• Has a high capacity for observation: one of his main skills is to be meticulous and pay attention to details, in order to identify different anomalies that the company may incur.
Main functions of an auditor
Although not all auditors perform exactly the same functions, we can highlight the following:
• Evaluate accounting processes: their main function is to carry out a thorough evaluation of the company’s own accounting processes, reviewing its internal rules to perform purchases, payments to suppliers, payroll payments, etc.
• It prioritizes actions that can be optimized: after the evaluation, it has the function of identifying those actions that are a priority to be optimized, that is, to improve in an opportune way, with the aim of preventing the company from falling into non-compliance with regulations or carrying out processes that are too slow, which can have repercussions of various kinds.
• Identify various areas for improvement: After prioritizing the aspects that can be optimized, the auditor fulfills the function of identifying those areas that can be improved in the short, medium and long term, suggesting various steps to follow to do so.
• Proposes new policies and procedures: in addition to the previous functions, the auditor must propose new procedures that the company can carry out, with the aim of improving its accounting procedures, in general.
Competitive advantages of working in audit
Although this professional field requires a lot of experience in the area, it also has several competitive advantages, among which we can mention:
• Possibilities of working independently
With the experience acquired, an auditor has the possibility of offering his services independently, That will allow you to establish more open contracts with companies and institutions, as well as to have your time with greater flexibility.
• Recognition by companies and institutions
By working with various companies and institutions, you have the possibility of being recognized and recommended by them, which will expand your network of contacts, opening up new job opportunities.
• Ability to work with transnational companies
Since the auditor’s work is quite similar in the countries of the region, it also has the advantage of being able to work in transnational companies or even aspire to job opportunities abroad.
Careers I can take to be an auditor
There are various professions that can provide you with the knowledge and skills to work as an auditor. Among them, it is worth highlighting:
• Business administrator.
• Bachelor’s degree in accounting.
• Business engineering.
• Skill in administration.
• Master of Finance.
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