Auditor vs. Accountant: What’s the Difference?

Accountants are responsible for preparing financial documents, monitoring day-to-day bookkeeping for a firm’s operations, and/or preparing and filing tax forms. Auditors verify the accuracy of financial statements and tax filings and may search for clues as to why some figures don’t quite add up.

Accounting vs Auditing | Top 11 Differences You Must Know!

What does an accountant do?

Accountants create and maintain records and calculations for financial transactions. They may work for a business or individual. Their responsibilities include these tasks:

What does an auditor do?

An auditor makes sure that a company’s or a person’s reported financial information is accurate. They are involved in the following tasks:

Differences between auditors vs. accountants

The roles that auditors and accountants fill at work and how they obtain credentials in their respective fields are different. The following are some key distinctions between an auditor and an accountant:

Types of accountants

Here are the main types of accountants:

Types of auditors

These are the main types of auditors:

Similarities between an auditor vs. accountant

Financial experts who work with clients to examine financial transactions, investments, and tax liabilities include auditors and accountants. Here are some of the similarities between these professions:

Job functions

Accountants and auditors share similar job responsibilities including the following:

Employment

Both auditors and accountants are employed by companies of all sizes, though larger businesses typically have more auditors and accountants on staff. Smaller businesses frequently employ outside accountants and auditors to handle their financial reporting.

Many auditors and accountants work for government and non-profit organizations in addition to internal employment within a business or as part of a financial reporting firm. Accountants may choose to work for both businesses and individuals as independent contractors.

Education

Both auditors and accountants must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program at an accredited university in accounting or a closely related subject like finance. Many of the principles related to financial reporting and the complex calculations involved in both disciplines are studied by both auditors and accountants.

Certifications for an auditor vs. account

Both accountants and auditors are eligible to receive career-enhancing awards from a number of professional associations:

Credentials for accountants

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) offers the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, which is the highest qualification for an accountant. To carry out more powerful accounting tasks like reporting company information to the Securities and Exchange Commission, a federal agency that regulates stock investments, public accountants must obtain the designation of CPA. The Board of Accountancy in each state is where CPAs obtain their license.

The following specialized certifications from the AICPA are also available to CPAs, and they call for a combination of work experience, tests, and credits for continuing education:

Accountants can obtain certification from the Institute of Management Accountants and receive the designation of Certified Management Accountant. Applicants must meet several requirements before earning this title including:

Credentials for auditors

After passing a test and meeting the necessary requirements, auditors can obtain the following certifications from the Institute of Internal Auditors:

For professionals with five or more years of experience auditing information systems, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) also offers the Certified Information Systems Auditor certification.

How to advance in your career as an auditor vs. an accountant

Take into account the following suggestions to advance in your auditing or accounting career:

1. Gain experience

Gaining experience in your industry, whether you work as an auditor or accountant, is crucial to advancing your career. After receiving your degree, search for entry-level jobs by using career resources, networking with other industry professionals, and contacting professional associations for help or job postings. For the majority of certifications, applicants must have at least two years of professional work experience.

2. Earn certifications

After a few years of experience working as an auditor or accountant, you should apply for certifications through professional associations. You might become interested in a particular area of your industry as a result of your work experience. Attend continuing education classes, volunteer to work as a job shadow for other professionals who handle these duties, and look up industry best practices in specialized literature to expand your knowledge in these areas. Find certifications that match your interest and expertise.

3. Pursue an advanced degree

Candidates with an MBA in finance or accounting are frequently preferred by employers who hire auditors and accountants. A typical MBA program lasts two to three years, during which time students take courses that are specialized in a particular area of business. An MBA graduate’s earning potential typically offers significant wage increases.

4. Seek a leadership position

Once you’ve made a name for yourself as an accountant or auditor in the financial reporting sector, look for management or team-leading positions at your current company or elsewhere. Accounting managers work closely with executives while supervising groups of junior accountants. Advanced positions for auditors include managing staff teams or working on more complex reports. Both positions come with higher earning potential.

5. Change your work location

There are more opportunities and higher pay packages for auditing and accounting professionals in some regions. There may be more opportunities than in other parts of the country for major corporations that employ a lot of accountants. One of the highest paying regions for auditors and accountants is the greater Washington, DC, area, followed by New York City.

FAQ

Is auditor same as accountant?

The best response to the question, “What exactly is the difference between an accountant and an auditor?” is that while both of these professionals are in charge of a company’s accounting procedures, an auditor typically has the duty of examining the work of the accountant.

Who makes more money auditor or accountant?

Which specialized accounting field earns more money? is a question that the evidence does not definitively resolve. The data shows that although tax accountants’ range is wider and higher at the upper end of the bell curve than that of auditors, who may initially command higher salaries.

Are all auditors accountants?

Although all accountants are also financial auditors, not all accountants are financial auditors.

What is the difference between audit and accounting?

Accounting maintains the monetary records of a company. Auditing evaluates the financial records and statements produced by accounting.

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