External Auditor


What does a person in this occupation do?

An external auditor is an independent professional who conducts external audits of companies. An external auditor expresses an opinion on the fair presentation of the companies’ financial statements.

In expressing the opinion an auditor would typically audit the accounting systems, procedures and financial statements of a company, and would evaluate the way in which the company manages corporate funding and financial risk. An auditor would also ensure that a company complies with all the legal requirements of its business and that tax payments are correct and in line with tax legislation and requirements.





Professional designations:

Registered Auditor (RA)




Study path:

To become an auditor you must follow a recognised study path of a professional body accredited by the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), currently only SAICA is accredited. To qualify you must successfully complete the following programmes:

  • A BCom and Honours in Accounting (e.g.Certificate in the Theory of Accounting accredited by SAICA)

  • A recognised core assessment programme(e.g. SAICA’s Part 1: Initial Test of Competence)

  • A recognised professional development and assessment programme(e.g. SAICA’s 3 year training contract, professional programme and Part 2: Assessment of Professional Competence)


On completion of the above the candidate will then enter into the IRBA’s experiential learning period, this period is called the Audit Development Programme (ADP). The ADP is a minimum of 18 months’ work experience undertaken by a qualified professional accountant in the area of audit and assurance. The ADP develops candidate RAs for the role of engagement partner at entry level to the profession. On successful completion of the ADP the candidate will be eligible to register as an RA.





Regulatory bodies:

Auditors must be registered with the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA)