What Is the Role of an Auditor in Accounting?

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics describes an auditor as a type of accountant that specializes in the examination of financial documents. Auditors scrutinize records for accuracy, look for signs of mismanagement and identify wasteful business practices. Some auditors work solely with computer systems, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of digital financial data.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, auditors are employed in a variety of workplaces, including hospitals, financial institutions, corporations and government agencies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission splits auditors into two groups: internal and independent. Internal auditors are employed by the organization that produces the records to be audited. Independent auditors are employed by a third-party firm or government agency and are brought in to provide an outside look at an organization's financial records.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that auditors are required to have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, although specialized certifications in accounting and master's degrees in accounting or business administration are seen as an advantage by some employers. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires that all auditors working for or with publicly traded companies also be certified public accountants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many auditors hold additional accreditations as certified internal auditors or certified information systems auditors, although these are not always a requirement for employment.