DEFINITION of 'Auditor'

An official whose job it is to carefully check the accuracy of business records. An auditor can be either an independent auditor unaffiliated with the company being audited or a captive auditor, and some are elected public officials. The term is sometimes synonymous with "comptroller." Auditors are used to ensure that organizations are maintaining accurate and honest financial records and statements.


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Auditors can work for many different entities, such as the IRS or a state government. Auditors are also found in the private sector at accounting firms. There are both internal and external auditors; internal auditors are usually employees or contractors with the company they are auditing, while external auditors generally work either directly for or in conjunction with governmental agencies.

  1. Traveling Auditor

    A person that collects and analyzes accounting data to determine ...
  2. Government Accountability Office ...

    A department of the U.S. government that monitors and audits ...
  3. Certified Information Systems Auditor ...

    A certification available for professionals who conduct audits ...
  4. Independent Auditor

    A certified public accountant who examines the financial records ...
  5. Audit

    1. An unbiased examination and evaluation of the financial statements ...
  6. Auditor's Report

    Recorded in the annual report, the auditor's report tests to ...
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  1. What are the benefits of financial sampling?

    Financial sampling allows auditors to approximate the rate of error within financial statements. For accounting purposes, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does stockholders equity accurately reflect a company's worth?

    Stockholders' equity is one method to evaluate a company's worth. It tends to work better for companies in established industries ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How is inherent risk assessed by an auditor?

    Inherent risk is one factor, along with control risk, that an auditor uses to assess the risk of material misstatement associated ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are dividends considered an expense?

    Cash or stock dividends distributed to shareholders are not considered an expense on a company's income statement. Stock ... Read Full Answer >>

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