Supervisor vs. Manager

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EsotericEsoteric asked 3 years ago

Hey everyone, I am interviewing for an Audit Supervisor position at a couple of top 10 firms and wanted to know the difference between Senior, Supervisor and Manager? For example, the Big 4 doesn’t have any Supervisor titles, but a couple of mid size/smaller firms have a Supervisor title.
Can anyone provide some color on this? It would be greatly appreciated!

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2 Answers
Tax4everTax4ever answered 2 years ago

Hey Esoteric 
This has been my experience. (Caveat: from a tax perspective and I’m in industry).
Our tax department has staff, seniors, supervisors, then managers and so on. Our group uses staff and seniors as “preparers” for most assignments. Supervisors here should be your first stop for general or assignment specific questions; they are considered to do the first level of review.
At firms that move individuals from staff to senior to manager, the senior role is where you take on the responsibility of doing a first review. 

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MelanieCPAMelanieCPA answered 2 years ago

Hi Esoteric,
When I was in corporate audit, the hierarchy changed as I was there. At first, the levels were Auditor I, Auditor II, Auditor III, Audit Senior, and then Audit Manager. When I left that company, the roles were Consultant, Audit Senior, Audit Supervisor, and Audit Manager. The reason I am sharing this information is because these are just titles. You won’t know the responsibilities just based on the title.
When I started as an Auditor I, I didn’t lead any reviews. I just did whatever work was assigned to me. After a few months of them getting to know my work ethic, they started having me lead reviews and take part in planning. Then, I started training new staff. Once I approached my anniversary, I was promoted to Auditor III and eventually Audit Senior. My role didn’t really change, because honestly, I think things were being made up as we went along. 
Here are my recommendations for preparing for the interview:

  1. Obtain a job description. That should give you a basis for questions to ask during the interview. Look for key phrases like supervise or manage, direct reports, and create or lead. Phrases starting with these words will help you to know if you are in a leadership position or if the title is more so based on experience. 
  2. Research the department. Do this by going on LinkedIn and finding who else is in the role for which you wish to interview. If possible connect with them. Or just view their profiles and get an assessment of their backgrounds. This will help you understand the experience level of your potential coworkers. 
  3. Prepare your questions. The worst thing you can do in an interview is not have good questions prepared to ask. If you are not clear on what your role will be, then ask them about their expectations. Interview them. You’re not just going on these interviews to see if you are a good fit for the company, but you are also going on the interviews to ensure the company is a good fit for you

Hope this helps!
Based on your question, I’m not sure if you have been in an audit role before. If not, then this blog may be helpful:

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