An auditor is a person who is appointed by business enterprise for an independent analysis of their accounting records and financial statements. And thereby issue a report about the accuracy and reliability of financial statements based on the local laws of the country in which the enterprise operates.
Types of Auditors
Basically, there are four types of auditors.
#1 – Internal Auditor
Internal Auditor is a professional employee of the company who is being employed by the company to carry out the audit and examination of the accounts of the company as well the internal controls prevailing in the company. They report to the management of the company.
#2 – External Auditor
Unlike an internal auditor, It doesn’t belong to the company and is an independent external party having professional skills. They address their report to the shareholders of the company.
#3 – Government Auditor
They are appointed by the government authorities to carry out an independent audit of the corporates based on regulations of the government.
#4 – Forensic Auditor
Forensic AuditorForensic AuditorForensic auditing is the structured examination of a business entity's financial records in an investigative manner in order to find evidence that can be used in legal proceedings in court. It is a step up from an internal audit, and the person conducting such audit should have knowledge of the law and legal framework, as well as expert level knowledge of accounting and auditing. are appointed and consulted by law enforcement agencies for carrying out a detailed analysis of the records of the company to detect any crime that is suspected.
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What Does an Auditor Do?
- An auditor analyzes the accounting records of the company and obtains evidence for material transactions to verify their genuineness so that the risk of misstatements in financial statements is reduced.
- An internal auditor ensures that internal controls are effectively working in the organization without any failure.
- He also ensures that the financial statements are prepared based on Generally Accepted Accounting PoliciesGenerally Accepted Accounting PoliciesGenerally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are the minimum standards and uniform guidelines for the accounting and reporting. These standards prohibit firms from engaging in unethical business activities and enable for a more accurate comparison of financial reports to investors. (known as “GAAP”).
- Further, they also evaluate whether the organization is compliant or not of all the applicable laws and regulations.
- After the auditor assures himself that the financial statementsFinancial StatementsFinancial statements are written reports prepared by a company's management to present the company's financial affairs over a given period (quarter, six monthly or yearly). These statements, which include the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flows, and Shareholders Equity Statement, must be prepared in accordance with prescribed and standardized accounting standards to ensure uniformity in reporting at all levels. are free from material misstatements, are prepared in line with GAAP, and are compliant with other laws, he issues his report based on the examination.
- He must possess the necessary educational and statutory qualifications (such as certification) as prescribed in the domestic law.
- It must be well versed in the applicable accounting policies and conceptsAccounting Policies And ConceptsAccounting policies refer to the framework or procedure followed by the management for bookkeeping and preparation of the financial statements. It involves accounting methods and practices determined at the corporate level..
- He should have a working knowledge of all the software that is being employed by the organization.
- He should be aware of all the changes and development in the field of auditing so that he can employ the latest auditing techniques.
- The auditor should have a good understanding of the business and operations of the organization as it will help him in the collection of evidence.
Skills Required to be an Auditor
Apart from the qualifications mentioned above, an auditor must also possess some inter-personal skills.
- Tactful: The auditor should be tactful in dealing with serious issues arising during the audit process.
- Independence: This skill is critical as a true and fair view about the financial statements can be presented when he is independent of the organization.
- Integrity: He needs to be honest so that he can carry out a fair examination of financial records.
- Cautious: It is vital to be cautious and present-minded to not miss out any critical issue.
- Judgment: The auditor shall have an ability to make a proper judgment, which he will be required to make, while he analyzes the financial records. Judgments made by him must be correct and logical.
- Knowledge: The auditor shall know all applicable statutes.
- Reliable: The report issued by the auditor is useful for the stakeholders. Thus, he should be reliable so that his report may be relied upon.
- Confidential: He should keep the information obtained by him during auditing confidential and shall not share the same with outside parties unless required by law.
- Planning: An audit plan shall be made with detailed workflow so that the audit can be completed in a timely and organized manner.
- Documentation: He should ensure that all the material issues and findings are documented so that they justify the basis for his report.
- Obtaining Audit Evidence: The auditor should carry out a proper analysis of the accounting and other financial records of the organization and gather evidence to support his conclusions. He can carry out procedures to obtain assurance about the correctness of those audit evidenceAudit EvidenceAudit evidence is information gathered by auditors during the course of an audit, whether internal, statutory, or otherwise. These facts serve as the foundation for the opinion in the audit report..
- Checking Internal Controls: The auditor shall ensure himself after proper checking, that the internal controlsInternal ControlsInternal control in accounting refers to the process by which a company implements various rules, policies, or procedures to ensure the accuracy of accounting and finance information, safeguard the various assets of the business, promote accountability in the business, and prevent the occurrence of frauds in the company. and policies that are implemented by the management are correct and are in place.
- Checking Compliances: He should ensure that the organization is compliant with all the applicable laws and regulations.
- Issuing Audit Report: Based on the audit evidence obtained by him, they shall draw meaningful conclusions about the completeness and genuineness of the financial statements and issue a detailed report as per the prescribed manner inculcating his comments and observations about the financial statements of the organization.
The auditors who are appointed as employees (in case of internal auditors) are paid salaries by the organization by whom they are employed. On the other hand, the independent auditor charges professional fees from their clients. As per a source, the national average salary for an auditor is $60,064 in the United States.
With the global economy growing and businesses expanding, the demand for him is also increasing globally. Also, since for many organizations, it is mandatory to get audited as per law, auditing is a field that will never be obsolete. They can work as independent professionals and serve their clients, or they may become internal auditors.
Also, many new techniques have emerged which help auditors to carry out better analysis.
Being an auditor is a huge responsibility as the reliance is placed on his report by the stakeholders. It is required that one possesses strong knowledge and an observant mind to draw meaningful conclusions from the financial records. If you think you possess these qualities and like to analyze data, you should try and get the job of the auditor.
This article has been a guide to who is an auditor, and it’s meaning. Here we discuss four types of auditors along with its qualifications, skills, responsibilities, and salary. You can learn more about auditing from the following articles-