What Is the Difference Between an Auditor and an Accountant?

The difference between an accountant and an auditor is that an accountant records the financial transactions of a company or an individual, while an auditor analyzes the financial records to verify an accountant's work. An accountant has a daily role, while an auditor audits a company either quarterly or annually.

An accountant prepares a company's financial statements in accordance with accounting standards and government regulations. An auditor compares financial records to proof documents to determine the integrity of the financial records. An auditor also confirms that a company's financial records are in compliance with the relevant accounting standards and government regulations, such as IFRS.

An accountant can perform a management role of allocating a company's resources to maximize efficiency and profitability, while an auditor cannot perform such a role. An accountant is typically an employee of the same company, while an auditor is typically from an independent company with no ties to the company being audited. An auditor must submit an audit report upon completing the audit.

A similarity between accountants and auditors is that both professionals must understand accounting procedures thoroughly; the two usually have similar educational and professional qualifications. An accountant and an auditor have the same role of ensuring that a company's financial records are an accurate reflection of its financial position.