Financial examiners enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations that govern securities and financial institutions as well as real estate and financial transactions. Financial examiners evaluate and verify that records are correct and also establish the authenticity of records. They also examine a company's or an individual's tax return for accuracy and to verify that credits and deductions are legitimate.
Financial examiners employed by private companies examine the company's tax documents prior to filing in order to avoid errors. Some examiners create internal audit procedures and execute internal audits and risk assessments. Some of the common job titles are internal auditor, compliance analyst, compliance officer and compliance specialist.
A financial examiner is sometimes asked to design and manage accounting procedures for automated PC or large computer accounting and auditing systems. Entry-level financial examiners often perform a variety of clerical tasks such as placing tax information into computer databases for processing.
- Verify and examine cash reserves, bank owned securities and assigned collateral
- Offer recommendations for coordinating existing systems with examination procedures
- Create guidelines for procedures and policies that comply with new and revised regulations
- Analyze the minutes of meetings of stockholders, directors and committees in order to examine the specific authority extended at the various management levels
- Ensure legality of transactions and operations and financial solvency
- Recommend actions in order to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and to protect the solvency of institutions
- Examine proposed, new and revised laws, policies, regulations and procedures in order to understand their meaning and their impact
- Analyze a variety of financial activities in order to determine their conformance to regulations, their public interest value and to recommend acceptance or rejection
- Investigate the activities of institutions in order to enforce laws and regulations
- Resolve problems regarding the overall financial integrity of banking institutions
Financial examiners sometimes are involved in meetings with trustees, bank directors, outside accountants, senior management, counsels and consultants.
Financial examiners need skills in analyzing, investigating and communicating. They should also be detail oriented.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the job growth rate for financial examiners will be slower than average, which is primarily due to the streamlining of the Internal Revenue Agency. The job market for tax examiners is somewhat based on the health of the economy, particularly with state and local tax agencies. However, the employment prospects with private companies is likely to improve as businesses seek to avoid external audits and to keep accurate tax records.
The median annual wage in 2008 was $70,930. The median salary for financial examiners varies by employment sector. The top paying industries in descending order are federal executive branch (OES designation), electric power generation, transmission and distribution; investment pools and funds; monetary authorities-Central Bank, and the securities and commodity industry. Those working on the federal level typically make a higher salary than local tax examiners.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
A bachelor's degree in accounting is often required for entry-level financial examiner jobs with private and public organizations. Financial examiners need skills in computer databases and other relevant types of software. Some employers may require credentials such as CPA, CISA and CISSP.
The major employers for financial examiners are state agencies, the federal government and private corporations. Companies involved with securities and commodity contracts, financial investment activities and deposit credit intermediation are also major employers.
Schools for Financial Examiners are listed in the Browse Schools Section.