A Career in Audit

A career in external audit in the UK involves working in the field of auditing, typically for an audit firm, and focusing on providing assurance and verification services for the financial statements of organisations. Here are the key aspects and responsibilities of a career in external audit in the UK:

Financial Statement Audits:

The primary responsibility of an external auditor is to examine and verify a client's financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and accompanying notes. The aim is to provide an independent opinion on whether the financial statements are free from material misstatements and fairly represent the financial position of the organisation.

Compliance with Auditing Standards:

Auditors must follow auditing standards and principles, including International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) or UK Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (UK GAAS). They need to ensure that the audit is conducted in accordance with these standards to maintain the quality and credibility of the audit.

Risk Assessment:

Auditors perform risk assessments to identify potential areas of material misstatement in the financial statements. They assess the internal controls in place, business processes, and financial transactions to determine the nature and extent of audit procedures.

Audit Planning:

Before beginning an audit, auditors develop an audit plan. This plan outlines the scope of the audit, the audit objectives, the audit team's responsibilities, and the timeline for completing the audit.

Testing and Evidence Gathering:

Auditors conduct substantive testing and test controls to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence. This involves examining records, transactions, and other relevant documentation to confirm the accuracy of financial information.

Client Interaction:

Auditors regularly interact with clients to request information, discuss findings, and clarify audit-related matters. Effective communication is vital to building and maintaining client relationships.


Thorough documentation is essential throughout the audit process. Auditors keep detailed records of their work, findings, and conclusions to support their audit opinions and to meet regulatory requirements.


At the conclusion of the audit, auditors prepare an audit report. This report includes the auditor's opinion on the financial statements, highlighting any material misstatements or issues. The report is addressed to the client's shareholders or stakeholders.

Continuing Professional Development: Auditors need to stay updated on changes in accounting standards, auditing regulations, and industry developments. Many auditors pursue professional qualifications, such as the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) or Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Regulatory Compliance:

Auditors in the UK are subject to oversight by regulatory bodies such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). Compliance with ethical standards and regulatory requirements is essential.

Career opportunities:

Career opportunities in external audit exist in audit firms, including the "Big Four" firms (Deloitte, PWC, EY, and KPMG), as well as mid-tier and smaller audit firms. External auditors may work with a diverse range of clients, including public and private companies, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. It's a profession that offers opportunities for career advancement and specialisation in various industries and sectors.

Earning potential:

Auditors are in extremely high demand, below is a table with the average salaries in the UK.


Small to Medium firm

Medium to Large firm

Partner/Director (Equity)

80k +

120k +

Partner/Director (Salary)



Audit - Senior Manager



Audit - Manager



Audit Senior (3 Year’s + PQE)



Audit Senior (Newly Qualified)



Audit Semi-Senior (2 year’s + Experience)

22-28k + study support

24-30k + study support

Audit Trainee

17-21k + study support

17-21k + study support