Difference Between Accountant and Auditor
We are aware of an accountant’s job. He is hired by a company for recording all its transactions and assembling and presenting them in a suitable way 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 scrutinize and estimate the books kept by an accountant in a transparent manner so as to make confidence in the stakeholders of the company. Why then is there any perplexity regarding the roles and functions of an auditor and an accountant. An auditor is an accountant- a chartered public accountant. Hence, there is a lot of confusion as to who is an auditor and who is an accountant. This article will emphasize the differences between these two qualified personnel.
It is clear from the above conversation that an accountant is a person who prepares the documents pertaining to financial transactions, while an auditor analyzes, scrutinizes and evaluates an accountant’s work. Another chief difference is that though they belong to the same profession, and have 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 behavior. That is, he is impartial.
An accountant maintains the accounts everyday and works under the directives of the board of directors (according to their financial strategy). At the end of the financial year, he prepares the financial statements of the company counting a financial summary of the performance of the company. An auditor is an outsider. His duty is to check the statements prepared by the accountant (to ensure their accuracy) so that there is no falsification of the facts and the stakeholders’ financial interests are not compromised with. Auditor checks that the entries have been correctly made. He also corrects the ledgers. He verifies the existence of assets and liabilities mentioned in the financial statements and perform their valuation neutrally.
So while an accountant’s job is to keep the books properly, 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 obligatory for an auditor to be a CPA.