Accountant vs Auditor
We all know what an accountant does, right? He is the person who is hired by a company to record all its transactions and to collect and present them in an appropriate manner in the financial statements of the company. And we all know what the role of an auditor is. He is the person who is hired by a company to analyze and evaluate the books kept by an accountant in a transparent manner so as to generate confidence in the stakeholders of the company. Why then is there any confusion regarding the roles and functions of an auditor and an accountant. However, just because an auditor is also basically an accountant, a chartered public accountant at that, that there is so much of a confusion regarding differences between an auditor and an accountant. This article will highlight the differences between these two qualified personnel.
It is clear from the above discussion that while an accountant is a person who prepares the documents pertaining to financial transactions, an auditor is a person who analyzes, scrutinizes and evaluates the work of the accountant. Another major difference between the two persons is that though they belong to the same profession, and often posses same educational qualifications, an accountant is a permanent employee of the organization, an auditor is an outsider who ensures that the books of the company are kept in the most transparent manner and he is thus a neutral person who is unbiased.
Accountant performs his day to day duty of maintaining the accounts, and works under the directives of the board of directors (according to their financial strategy). At the end of every financial year, he prepares the financial statements of the company including a financial summary of the performance of the company. Auditor comes from outside, and his duty is to perform a check of the statements prepared by the accountant (to ensure their accuracy) so that there is no misrepresentation of the facts and the financial interests of the stakeholders are not compromised with. Auditor checks that the entries have been correctly made and also to correct ledgers. He verifies that the assets and liabilities mentioned in the financial statements really do exist and performs their valuation impartially.
So while an accountant’s job is to keep the books correctly, an auditor’s job is to verify the work of the accountant and try to spot any fraud (if committed by the accountant). One difference that lies is that an accountant need not be a certified public accountant while it is mandatory for an auditor to be a CPA.
Difference Between Accountant and Auditor
• While both an accountant as well as an auditor is a specialist in accounting, an accountant is an employee of the organization whereas an auditor is an outsider who is hired to carry out the audit in an impartial manner.
• It is the job of an accountant to carry out book keeping in day to day operations and to come out with financial statements of the company at the end of the financial year.
• An auditor sees to it that the work done by an accountant is appropriate and in accordance with the provisions so that there is no misrepresentation of facts and there is no fraud.