Traveling Auditor

Traveling Auditor

Investopedia / Jessica Olah

What Is a Traveling Auditor?

A traveling auditor reviews and analyzes financial records to determine their accuracy and integrity. They look for evidence of poor controls, duplicated efforts, over-spending, fraud, and non-compliance with laws, regulations, and management policies.

The profession gets its name from the fact that a traveling auditor "spends a disproportionate amount of time conducting audits in distant locations," according to the site Accounting Tools.

Traveling auditors most commonly are employed by accounting firms that have clients with multiple locations in different cities.

Key Takeaways

  • A traveling auditor spends a good deal of time on the road, visiting multiple branch offices of a client.
  • Like any auditor, the traveling auditor reviews the company's financial accounts for accuracy and integrity.
  • A solid background in accounting and business is required.

Understanding a Traveling Auditor

A traveling auditor examines a company's accounting procedures to ensure that its records have been prepared and presented in a correct manner. When undertaking assignments related to taxes, the auditor focuses on tax liability, using knowledge of interest and discount rates, annuities, and the valuation of stocks and bonds.

A traveling auditor may recommend controls to guarantee system reliability and data integrity, prepare detailed reports on the audit findings, and inspect the cash on hand. Traveling auditors note accounts receivable and payable, negotiable securities, and canceled checks to confirm that the records are accurate. The auditor reviews data about material assets, net worth, liabilities, capital stock, surplus, income, and expenditures. The company's inventory also is checked in order to verify journal and ledger entries.

A traveling auditor may conduct an audit on-site, by correspondence, or by summoning clients to their offices. In cases of estate settlement, the auditor examines tax returns and related documents pertaining to the estate.

Traveling Auditor Job Requirements

A candidate for a position as a traveling auditor would be expected to have deep skills and some experience in accounting and business. An associate's degree or a bachelor's degree in accounting or business is helpful but not necessarily a job requirement.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for accountants and auditors in 2020 was $73,560. The median hourly wage was $35.37.

The demand for qualified candidates was seen as growing by 7% per year from 2020 through 2030, an average pace of job growth.

Article Sources
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  1. Accounting Tools. "Traveling auditor definition." Accessed Nov. 17, 2021.

  2. Zippia. "How to Become a Traveling Auditor." Accessed Nov. 7, 2021.

  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Accountants and Auditors." Accessed Nov. 7, 2021.

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