This week I decided to take a break from the world of marketing and decided to visit the professional world of an ‘auditor.’ Speaking of auditors, what do they do? They audit companies of course! According to PWC website, an audit is:
‘the examination of the financial report of an organization - as presented in the annual report - by someone independent of that organization. The financial report includes a balance sheet, an income statement, a statement of changes in equity, a cash flow statement, and notes comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.’
If you want to read more about auditing, a detailed explanation of an audit and an auditor’s role is on the PWC web page. The best audit professional I can think of is Anna Salinas, who works at the Office of Natural Resource Revenue as an auditor. I’ve known Anna through Prospanica-Houston chapter since 2015. She recruited me at a volunteer event and got me deeply involved with the organization. I’ve known Anna to be a dedicated methodical worker who is very patient and a great listener. I’ve seen her manage and execute successful events from start to finish. I would say that in addition to being a successful auditor, she has the capacity to manage and execute a successful national level professional event single-handedly. So, without further delay, I would like to introduce you to Anna.
Can you describe your typical workday as an auditor?
During a typical work day, I am usually reading a lot of documentation. Depending on the audit, I request initial documentation that can prove the numbers I am trying to confirm. If the documents do not satisfy my needs I meet with the company to tell them what I am looking for. Sometimes I go onsite to expedite the process. Usually, I am running a lot of spreadsheets trying to make sure the information we have in our internal systems matches the documentation I am receiving from the company. Usually, I have to write reports detailing all the work I did in the spreadsheets and the results from the audit.
BizLatte would like to know a little bit about your journey to this role?
Most financial auditors require a background in accounting. Accounting has many subdisciplines. I studied government and nonprofit accounting, which prepared me for this role in the Federal government. To get a job in the federal government you usually have to apply at USAJobs and go through several interviews. Federal jobs are also advertised at job fairs, which is where I found this one.
Did you have a mentor or a role model to guide you through your career goals?
I didn't have a mentor. I do think a mentor would have been helpful in certain aspects of my career since as a minority just trying to figure out the whole system was difficult for me. However, my parents taught me to work very hard and this work ethic is what I believe has helped me succeed.
You have been active in multiple professional organizations. Since we know each other through Prospanica, we can focus on that organization. Can you describe your experience as a volunteer/board member and how you evolved into a successful leader?
I feel that I worked my way up in becoming a leader in these organizations especially Prospanica. First I became a member to learn a little more what the organization was about. Then, as I got intrigued I became a board member. Eventually, I took a leadership position with the board. Basically, it’s a development process. You learn more and more along the way as time goes on and eventually you know enough about the organization that allows you to lead others.
Can you describe projects you worked on that made you feel that you made a difference in people’s lives?
At work, I was able to work on a project that impacted the entire organization. I was basically a part of a test group that launched a new process to more effectively get companies in compliance with federal regulations. The more in compliance the audited companies are the better for the United States. As a result, we bring in more revenue and this revenue is used in many ways for the benefits of citizens.
I feel almost every nonprofit project I worked on made a difference to others. Usually, it involved mentoring others to make the right choices to get ahead in their education or careers.
What advice would you give to students and professionals who are looking to become successful auditors?
If someone wants to become a successful auditor I suggest that they get an accounting degree and take a lot of auditing classes. Preparing for the CPA exam would be really helpful since auditing is one of the topics covered. Also, studies in business law and financial analysis techniques would be helpful.
Anna has worked for the Office of Natural Resource Revenue within the Department of the Interior for seven years. She holds a BBA in Accounting, MSA from the University of St. Thomas in Houston and an MBA from Rice University.
Anna has been an active board member of Prospanica-Houston for many years. During her tenure, she has held numerous posts ranging from Treasurer, Secretary to EVP. She has hosted and executed many successful events. She also found time to mentor students and professionals and encouraged them to reach their potential.
I am a marketing professional with more than 10 years’ experience. I currently work as a Design QC Specialist contractor with Chevron Creative Studio. I have worked in industries such as non-profit, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, education and consumer goods.
I recently earned my MBA from the University of Houston, BAUER School of Business with a focus in Marketing Analysis. Prior to that, I earned an Associates in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Houston and Masters in English Literature from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.
I was born and raised in India but now consider Houston my home. I am Membership Officer with Prospanica-Houston chapter and Director of Special Events-Marketing with American Marketing Association-Houston chapter.
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