An auditor evaluates some aspect of a business or corporation, usually financial records. Auditors, regardless of their field, need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Professional certification, while not required, may be beneficial to a career.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment for auditors and accountants will grow by 11% from 2014-2024. While job duties across differing auditing fields may be similar, the wages and salaries can vary greatly between internal, governmental and external auditors.
|Career Options||Internal Auditor||Governmental Auditor||External Auditor|
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field||Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field||Bachelor's degree in accounting or related field|
|Job Outlook for Accountants and Auditors (2014-24)||11%*||11%*||11%*|
|Annual Salary||$53,323 (median 2016)**||$94,520 for federal government accountants and auditors (average 2015)*||$41,400 - $118,930 (average 2015)*|
**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com
Internal auditors are commonly hired as an employee of a business rather than an outside consultant. The primary goal of an internal auditor is to review and assess a company's procedures and policies, and then make an overall assessment of the company's performance based on these factors. Internal auditors review financial records, assess compliance with many company policies, as well as evaluating the efficiency of company operations. According to PayScale.com, the median salary for an internal auditor was $53,323 in January 2016, with a range extending from $39,299 to $76,492.
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Governmental auditors include accountants employed by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the auditing and accounting branch of Congress. The main duties of government auditors are to maintain and examine the records of individual divisions and agencies of the government. They also audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are regulated or taxed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
According to the BLS, the average salary of a governmental auditor was highly dependent on the field of governmental employment, and stated the following salaries for accountants and auditors in May 2015 (www.bls.gov):
- Federal executive branch: $94,520
- Local government: $64,370
- State government: $60,270
The main difference between an internal auditor and an external, or independent, auditor is that an external auditor is neither an employee of the organization being audited, nor an employee of the government. An external auditor performs an examination similar to that of an internal auditor, with the objective of issuing a report containing a professional opinion on the business in question's financial statements, records and reports.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an auditor working for a private practice or firm, such as those that provide external auditing services for other companies, ranged from $41,400 to $118,930 in May 2015.
There are many types of auditors - internal, external, governmental - and their salaries range from $39,299 to $94,520 depending on that position.