Qualities of an Auditor – In India, a person can work as an auditor only if he has received a degree of Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. However, apart from legal and business qualifications, a person should also possess the following qualities in order to do the work of auditing efficiently and effectively:
Qualities of an Auditor
(1) Complete Knowledge of Book-keeping and Accountancy – It is very important for an auditor to be well versed with the theoretical and practical aspects of accountancy and book-keeping. He should be aware of the various aspects and techniques of accountancy and book-keeping. In the absence of such knowledge the auditor will not be able to conclude whether the accounts of the organisation are correct or not.
(2) Knowledge of Nature of the Business – The auditor should have complete knowledge about the nature of business of the organisation whose accounts he is auditing. He should be familiar not only with the basic nature of the business of the organisation whose books he is auditing, rather he should have complete and comprehensive knowledge about all its special aspects. In this context, it would be beneficial for him if he inspects the organisation himself before commencing the audit.
(3) Knowledge of Various Acts – The auditor should possess knowledge of all business laws, as well as the amendments being made in them from time to time. Some of the important economic enactments are as follows:
- The Partnership Act.
- The Companies Act.
- The Income Tax Act.
- The Factory Act.
- The Sales Tax Act.
- The Sale of Goods Act.
- The Contract Act
- The Negotiable Instruments Act
(4) Expert in the Work of Auditing – The auditor should be an expert in the work of auditing Such expertise is achieved through complete knowledge and actual practising of the knowledge.
(5) Impartial and Honest – The auditor, in order to dispense his duties, should not be influenced by any person, directly or indirectly. He should do his work with complete honesty and should not certify to anything whose truthfulness he is not sure. While remaining unbiased and honest, he should state all true facts in his report.
(6) Industrious, Vigilant and Clever – It is very necessary for an auditor to be industrious, since in order to detect frauds and errors in the accounts of a business an auditor has to put in a lot of hardwork. While doing his work he should always be vigilant and alert and he should display his competence and intelligence while doing his work.
(7) Practical – During the continuance of the audit, the auditor often requires several explanations and information from the employees of the organisation, and usually people who have committed frauds are reluctant to give the auditor such information and explanations. Hence, an auditor has to be practical when demanding such information and explanations, so that he does not end up asking for unnecessary clarification and in the minimum possible time the maximum possible information is derived, and the person giving the information does not get annoyed. Practicality demands politeness, humility and restrain on the part of the auditor. Hence, it is very necessary for the auditor to have these personal attributes.
(8) Independent and Fearless – The auditor should examine the correctness and truthfulness of the accounts in an independent and unbiased manner. He should also be fearless and should not try to hide any frauds or errors detected by him. He should not turn away from the truth due to pressure.
(9) Secrecy – The auditor has the right to access and examine all the books of accounts of the business. Hence, during the course of the audit he comes to know a lot of things about the organisation which are confidential. The auditor should not disclose these things to any third party.
(10) Not Unduly Suspicious – An auditor should not be unduly suspicious, and should not do any thing which gives rise to unnecessary felines of suspicion. He should never begin the examination assuming that the accounts will contain frauds and errors. He should not criticise anybody merely on the basis of suspicion and should give due opportunity to employees to substantiate their statements.
(11) Ability to Express Himself Clearly and Influentially – The auditor should always present his report in a brief yet influential manner. However, by being ‘brief’ it does not imply that he may resort to use of terms having ambiguous meaning, thus giving rise to suspicious in the minds of the reader. The auditor should possess the quality of being able to say what he wants to say in few yet unambiguous words.