Auditors: Job applicants have lower standards than job seekers
The National Audit Office has said job applicants are less likely to meet the requirements of an audit.
The Office for National Statistics has reported the number of people applying to audit jobs has declined for three consecutive quarters, but it is the first time in over a decade the number has fallen.
The latest report shows that just under one in four jobseekers met the requirements for a job.
The report shows the number applying to auditing jobs fell by 8.7 per cent compared to a year earlier, with those seeking auditing job being a “substantial minority”.
The proportion of jobseekers who met the requirement dropped from 17.5 per cent to 16.1 per cent.
There was also a fall in the number seeking audited jobs from 4.1 million to 4.0 million, although the total number was down by about 1.2 million.
The ONS also said it was not able to confirm the number who applied to audite jobs, but a survey conducted in October found the number was “near the peak” of the last financial year.
The fall in applications was seen across all areas of the economy, with jobs accounting for the largest number of job vacancies.
“Job applicants appear to have been less likely than job-seekers to meet audit requirements for the audit and financial reporting professions, including those in accounting and auditing,” the report said.
It added that, while it was too soon to say if the trend would persist into next year, it would be the first downturn in three years.
“Audit and financial accounting jobs have seen a sharp fall in employment over the past year and are likely to continue to be a significant source of job losses,” the Office for Budget Responsibility said.
The ONSC said the fall in jobs had been due to a drop in people applying for auditing, while there were fewer jobseekers applying for financial reporting jobs.
“A significant proportion of jobs were not audited in any particular year,” it said.
“There are also significant differences in the types of audited and non-audited roles, which can affect the number and nature of auditing auditing and financial report jobs available to people.”
The number of auditors applying to jobs fell from 15.4 per cent in December to 14.8 per cent last year, but the drop in applicants was smaller than in the previous three quarters.
In the previous year, there were an estimated 16,500 jobs available for auditors and financial auditors.
The survey also found that there were a range of reasons why people applied for audited roles.
“People were more likely to be applying to job roles in areas with a large number of high-level financial auditing positions,” the ONSC found.
It said those with a strong financial background were more than three times more likely than those with no financial background to apply for audits.
A recent report by the Financial Services Authority found that more than half of job applicants in the UK were either financial audited or financial auditered in their previous year.
Its chief executive, Nick White, said: “People who are auditing to become auditors, or financial audits, or those in finance roles are often overlooked in recruitment because they may not be qualified.”
The Office of the Audit Director said that it was vital for people to be aware of the job requirements of audit jobs.
“Many people don’t realise they have to pass a job application, or have no idea what they have got to do, and may not have been trained in how to do it,” it added.
Audit auditors also need to have a good knowledge of auditable documents.
They need to be able to do a basic financial audit of their own, and pass a written exam in a short period of time, it said, and should have an advanced knowledge of the auditing profession.
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