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Financial auditing is a necessity for both small businesses and large companies. Not only is it necessary to ensure tax law compliance, but also to support proper budgeting and financial planning. As a qualified and registered financial practitioner, you can offer auditing services to Australian businesses. If you'd like to take those skills and start your own business, our guide will take you through the qualifications and legal requirements you'll need to get your venture off the ground.
A financial auditing business inspects other business's financial accounts in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. An auditor validates a company's financial statements to ensure they're fair and true.
Use this checklist to set up a financial auditing business:
Financial auditors examine the financial records of organisations to ensure they are prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). They investigate financial records for instances of errors and fraud, ensuring accuracy and authenticity, as well as compliance with securities and tax laws.
To start a financial auditing business, you should:
Beyond auditing skills, you will have to know how to market your business, communicate effectively with client organisations' financial teams during audit processes and oversee auditing engagements to completion.
You have to be fully qualified to offer financial auditing services to companies in Australia. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) maintains a register of qualified auditors in the country. To register, you should:
ASIC goes into detail on each of these requirements. For example, to meet its practical experience standards, you must have either:
To be considered a fit and proper person, you should not have been convicted of an offence that involves an element of dishonesty in the last 10 years or be found civilly liable for breach of trust or fiduciary duty in a similar period.
Here is a list of websites that offer accounting courses:
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
You will need an office or workspace for your business. You can lease a commercial space, set up a home office or even book a desk at a coworking space if you are starting on your own. You will need to purchase office equipment such as:
You will need to purchase accounting software such as QuickBooks, project management software and also consider creating a website for your business. On your website, it's a good idea to include an "About Me" page detailing your qualifications, licences, experience and recognitions.
You will have to register your business with the government before starting operations. In brief, follow these steps to registration:
First choose a name for your business and then purchase its domain name. You could also consider registering the business name as a trademark.
Afterward, register a structure for your business. Each has its pros and cons, as well as tax implications:
Note that you can register as a financial auditor with ASIC as an individual or company. Take into account:
The exact documents you need will depend on your specific business, but you may need to use some of the following legal documents in your business:
You can charge your clients a fixed fee for every project or an hourly fee. You can also opt to set up a retainer pay structure for repeat clients, securing steady cash flow for your business.
Many startup financial auditing firms start with an hourly pay structure as they use more time to complete projects and have not yet figured out an accurate pricing model to ensure profitability. Later on, when they accumulate enough experience and can estimate a project's scope more accurately, they go with fixed fee models. You can reach out to competitors in your area to get their quotes, then determine a suitable fee for your services.
One way to build your customer base is by aggressive networking. Attend business events and trade association conferences to meet new clients, tell them about your services and hand them your business cards. Once you have a base of customers, word of mouth becomes an efficient way to bring new clients.
Next, set up profiles on professional networking sites like LinkedIn and offer valuable general tips on financial planning and taxes, positioning yourself as an approachable authority on all matters related to auditing. You can even invite businesses to join your newsletter and receive additional financial tips. The more you engage with businesses, the more likely you will grow your customer base.
You can also opt to list your services on online marketplaces like Airtasker and Upwork, or on online business directories like White Pages and True Local.
What insurance do you need as a financial auditor?
You need Professional Indemnity Insurance to be registered as an auditor with ASIC. Also consider Errors and Omissions Insurance.
Is there demand for financial auditing?
Job listing platform Seek projects a 9.9% job growth for financial auditors from 2019 to 2024.
Do auditors do the same work as accountants?
Accountants provide organisations with everyday bookkeeping support. They track revenue and expenses, create financial reports and prepare taxes. Auditors come in later to verify the accuracy and authenticity of financial reports and taxes.Back to top
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