How to Start an Auditing Business

by Michael Elkins; Updated September 26, 2017
Man at desk with laptop, using telephone

You can start an auditing business with a minimal investment, often by working from your home on nights and weekends until you build a customer base. Some kinds of auditing only require intelligence and a bachelor's degree, or equivalent work experience. Other auditing areas require specialized training, but all auditors should be detail-oriented, have strong organization skills and work well independently.

Understanding Types of Auditing Businesses

Choose from the four basic types of outside auditing services that most organizations recognize: financial, compliance, operational and information technology. Subcategories include medical coding, which takes extensive training, energy auditing, health and safety checks, OSHA compliance, EPA monitoring and regulatory compliance auditing. Choose your specialty, assess your skills, study the market and get certifications and training as needed for the auditing specialty you plan to offer.

Ensuring Proper Training and Licensing

Professional certifications, testimonials and transparent backgrounds are important when you're asking people to trust you with confidential information and the financial details of a business. If you plan to offer financial auditing, CPA accreditation is required by most states. If you plan to conduct energy audits, accounting and Certified Professional Environmental Auditor certifications will make your service more attractive to business clients. Other certifications include Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner and Certification in Control Self-Assessment.

Exploring Auditing Opportunities

Study the market, assess the competition and consider whether to open an office, work from home, or start your business in a different area with more opportunities. You often can begin your auditing business on a part-time basis while you build clients. Managed office facilities are another option to explore. Sharing an office with other professionals provides strong prospects for clients in-house. Some aspiring entrepreneurs combine auditing with other services like accounting, consulting, retail sales, Internet marketing or IT services. Another possibility is buying an existing firm or franchise. Make sure that the prospective auditing firm has a strong and loyal client base, and audit the firm's finances or franchise agreement carefully because it will be one of the most important jobs you ever do.

Getting Customers for Your Business

The strategy for promoting your business depends on your targeted clients and type of auditing you offer. However, general rules for promoting an accounting business apply. Instead of traditional media advertising, create value for customers by pointing out the potential benefits of outside audits through newsletters, social media post and articles and letters to authoritative journals. Join social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, and become an expert resource by providing tax tips, information on accounting issues and answering members' questions. Networking with businesses who use your kind of auditing service and asking clients directly for referrals also work well when promoting professional services.

About the Author

Michael Elkins has worked in writing, advertising and publishing jobs for more than 40 years. Elkins has published several tabloid newspapers, sold advertising for metropolitan yellow page organizations and worked with state officials to promote tourism in Virginia. In addition to advertising experience, Elkins owned and operated a full-service restaurant for many years.

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