Taking a Walk on the Audit Side

The Forensic and Valuation wing of the 14th floor is usually pretty calm and quiet. Outside of running into someone on the elevator or in the lunch room, I don’t get much interaction with people outside of my department. Busy season 2010 changed that for me: I had the opportunity to work as an associate in the audit department. Not only did I work with auditors at all different levels within the firm, I even had a tax senior sit in my office one day to discuss financials with me! That may be the normal course of business for other employees of Anders, but I found it to be a fairly exciting experience. Even more exciting, I worked with a tax partner, an audit manager, and our HR assistant on a litigation project involving salary research for the past 8 years.

Besides the interaction with my Anders brethren, my time as an auditor also gave me the opportunity to refine some skills that are essential to the projects I work on as a forensic and valuation analyst. The purposes for audits and forensic accounting engagements are different, but similar skills are needed in order properly execute each. Footing and cross-footing, tracing, vouching and re-calculating are some of the skills necessary in order to do an audit. Likewise, these skills are also necessary for forensic accounting and litigation support engagements. Now when I come across a bank reconciliation during a project in my department, it’s almost second nature to foot it and tie it to the bank statement. I sometimes get teased by my co-workers when they see my little tick marks all over the page, but that certainly is not a bad thing.

Although I don’t think I’ll be switching over to the audit department permanently, I truly enjoyed the few months I spent over there. The relationships and the skills I developed will be useful throughout the rest of my career. If you’re ever given the chance to work for another department within your firm, do it, even if it’s just temporary. You never know what you might learn!