Switching From Audit To Consulting

You might be looking to switch from your current line of work of auditing to the consulting field and this article will help you understand the nitty-gritty and how-to of the same. Auditors are known for their skills in calculation, documentation, and inspection but what this job misses out on is the emotional or human element that one can apply to work in order to understand and formulate what customers require when they use a product or buy a service. A consultant helps companies increase their revenue by listening to the needs of their customers and creating solutions that meet those needs. Let us know about that the Switching From Audit To Consulting.

Switching From Audit To Consulting


Audit is a branch or department of a company that inspects financial documents and checks for legitimacy and errors that might occur within an organization. This work is usually performed by accountants or people with a formal education in auditing. Usually, people working in the audit stream for a public company are required to have a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license. 


On the other hand, consulting is performed, usually, by MBAs or people who have an education in Finance. In the consulting industry, it is common to see employees who have studied STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) subjects as well. Consulting has been subdivided further into areas of expertise such as technology consulting or management consulting, where experts in this role advise customers on growing their earnings and revenue, as well as spinning off subsidiaries into independent companies. Some of the prominent consulting companies in the US are Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Company.

Benefits of Making the Switch

The foremost reason to consider making a switch is because one might require a change in the type of work. To move from auditing to something more actively creative and engaging would be an apt reason to consider moving from one line of work to another. The next possible reason to make a switch to consulting is that it pays more than auditing does. There is not much of re-learning to do and, for the most part, one would need to change their approach to tasks in order to perform consulting well. To make more money without drastically changing lanes of work, is an apt reason to switch. More benefits of moving from auditing to consulting are more engaging work, more opportunities to grow, and regular promotion with little chances of a dead-end. If these seem to be something that interests you, the it is wise to make the move.

Types Of Work

People in auditing must be calculative and crunch numbers despite undertaking repetitive tasks. It entails following more or less pre-noted inspection measures and looking for anomalies in a company’s financial accounts. 

Talking of consulting, the work would take a very different approach compared to what is done in auditing. The person needs to be creative and think for themselves and not follow a rulebook or a strategy book. This job position would require an individual to come up with ideas on how to improve the company’s health and formulate strategies for it to achieve its targets.

A key difference to note here would be that consulting is forward-looking in its approach whereas audit is, in its way of work, analyzing past statements, documents, and results. Consulting will require active, creative thinking kind of work. Auditing, on the other hand, is more of an inspecting type of job that requires checking and verification of documents.

Monetary Perspective

Seen from a financial perspective or, rather, a monetary one, the switch from audit to consulting seems like a brilliant idea as, on average, statistically, in consulting, one makes approximately $94000 per annum at entry-level positions compared to $49000 per annum in auditing.

A jump of almost 2 times in salary is almost a no-brainer when seen from this angle.  Consulting, in addition to a base salary, has a bonus payment in place as well. This bonus is, at times, equal to or more than the base salary. This bonus element of the salary is based on the quality and amount of work performed by the employee. Compensation for this element is also target-based. This compensation usually takes place on the successful completion of projects. A percentage share of the fees for the project or a fixed amount (either being close-to-equal) can be expected by the employee. This form of payment is usually not available in the work area of audit, where the form of salary is fixed.

Salary increments are way more frequent in the consulting industry over than that in auditing.

In consulting, a salary increase can be expected every two to three years. In auditing, the wait for an increment usually would be 4 years or more.

Chances Of Promotion

In consulting, like investment banking, the job titles range from entry-level to Managing Director and further. Every stage or designation will take about 3 years to move to, depending on job performance criteria. 

In Auditing, there, too, is a well-structured hierarchy structure ranging from “Analyst” to “Audit Head” and further. Promotion here, too, adds to responsibilities, like in consulting, but the work most certainly tends to not get way more hands-on or anything of that sort. This has partly to do with the type of work audit is compared to consulting. 

Growth Opportunities

Learning and achieving career-growth targets in a short period is easier in the field of consulting over auditing. The amount of learning, and activities that require thinking for oneself, and decision-making work that goes into consulting is intensive and it is the entire activity of the business. Auditing, when compared, does have the same characteristics but in a significantly little amount. Being routine, in work, and following a playbook requires little creativity. What does matter in a great amount, in both fields, however, is the efficiency of the employee.

With a list of areas to grow in and perform better at work, consulting takes the lead over audit here again.

How To Move from Audit to Consulting?

Before applying to different firms for a consulting job, it makes sense to try the shift to consulting within the organization that the employee works for already. Large-size financial companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and Ernst & Young have both departments in-house. As the employee would already be quite familiar with the culture and with the ways of the company, it would be beneficial time-wise to apply within the company and hit the ground running. 

Another way to shift to consulting would be by applying to various companies and going through their hiring processes. This option beats applying within the same company when the new company that one is applying to pays consultants significantly more than the current place of one’s employment.

Basic Steps to Make the Shift

When applying within the organization of current employment, it pays to inform one’s superior or manager of the plans to make the career shift. The manager, usually, would give valuable advice and speed up the process by offering to talk to his/her colleagues in advance. The supervisor or the manager might also provide references and strong recommendations in favour of the person wanting to make the shift.

Networking, as in any profession, is important in this scenario of shifting careers. One can always use their network to get in touch with employers or managers at potential places of employment. Landing an interview with the company’s hiring team is a huge task for most people. This task can be made easier by using one’s network for recommendations, references, and connections.

Another way to increase one’s chances of landing a good consulting job would be to get an MBA degree. At this stage, an Executive MBA or a part-time MBA for working professionals seems to be the most reasonable. One could take a sabbatical from the company to complete an Executive MBA program or one could work out an agreement with their employers regarding the hours and days of work to attend a part-time MBA program at a business school near them. It is important to note that an MBA degree acquired online might not be considered very valuable to potential employers. An offline MBA, be it Executive or part-time, teaches one in an environment where one can develop case studies, interpersonal relationships, strategies for solutions, and modify their way of thinking to one where management strategies and forward-looking plans can be developed. The cost of doing an MBA in the US is around $120000 to $190000, which is in no way cheap so this decision is an expensive one and must require thought and reasoning. One can also, apply to the consulting position first, and then, after 6 months or so, opt to go for an MBA, in which case, employers, at times, offer to cover the cost for the program on conditions like one must come and work for the company after the degree is over. This decision would be financially sound and one also gets the business school experience and education.


It is evident that the move from audit to consulting is a smart one and will only lead to progress, a better growth experience, and better pay. 

Before making this move, one must primarily keep in mind if they are right for the consulting job. If the only reason to make this shift is the pay while not being creative and being weak in decision-making, they will have a tough time succeeding in consulting.

Switching From Audit To Consulting

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