Accountants & Auditors
Also called: Accountant, Auditor, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Financial Auditor
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
What's the difference between an accountant and an auditor? Basically, accountants keep track of an organization’s money, and auditors check their work. But there's much more to the work than simply balancing the books. These financial professionals make sure the organization’s finances operate properly. They are involved in analyzing financial information and records, and preparing reports related to budgeting, cost control, employee compensation, new product development, and of course... calculating taxes. If money's involved, accountants and auditors are too. In fact, so many areas need accounting and auditing services that many professionals opt to specialize. Some become tax specialists. Others become employee benefits experts, while still others concentrate on preparing the income statements and balance sheets every publicly-held corporation must file. Auditors and accountants work in a wide range of industries – from accounting companies to hospitals, insurance firms to manufacturing. To take full advantage of the many opportunities for accountants and auditors, you need to have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting. To become a "Certified Public Accountant" or "CPA," in many states you will need 150 hours of college coursework to qualify to take the state licensing exam. And, as long as there is money to spend, accountants and auditors will be needed to make sure it’s accurately recorded.
What they do:Examine, analyze, and interpret accounting records to prepare financial statements, give advice, or audit and evaluate statements prepared by others. Install or advise on systems of recording costs or other financial and budgetary data.
On the job, you would:
- Prepare detailed reports on audit findings.
- Report to management about asset utilization and audit results, and recommend changes in operations and financial activities.
- Collect and analyze data to detect deficient controls, duplicated effort, extravagance, fraud, or non-compliance with laws, regulations, and management policies.
- accounting and economics
- customer service
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Safety and Government
- law and government
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- reading work related information
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- communicate by speaking
- read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
- use rules to solve problems
- notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Word processing software
Financial analysis software
- Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
- Tropics workers' compensation software
- Bookkeeping, Accounting, & Auditing Clerks
- Financial Examiners
- Financial Managers
- Tax Examiners & Collectors, & Revenue Agents
- Treasurers & Controllers
You might like a career in one of these industries: