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
Arts and Humanities
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
You might use software like this on the job:
Sage 50 Accounting
Word processing software
Financial analysis software
Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.