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Audit is very closely linked to accountancy and even the training processes are very similar, but there are distinct differences between the two professions.
At its simplest level, an auditor investigates a company’s finances and accounts to check that everything is in order. Sometimes companies will hire an external auditor to come in and analyse the work of their internal finance team, providing advice and potentially highlighting areas that could be improved. Whilst accountants will have a similar amount of work to conduct throughout the year, auditors may have their busier periods quarterly, or towards the end of the tax or financial year.
Most auditors are employed by an auditing firm or agency. This is so that the auditors can remain unbiased in their reviews as they have no direct responsibility for the accounts of the clients who they are working for. Impartial, accurate and objective assessment of a company’s accounts is often a legal requirement, particularly for larger businesses.