Comparing Auditors to Financial Analysts
Auditors, like accountants, work on the financial books of a company or business and look for discrepancies or waste. Financial analysts help people and companies with their investment questions by analyzing the markets as they affect that person or company. Below is a comparison of these two financial careers along with some salary details.
|Job Title||Education Requirements||Median Salary* (2016)||Job Growth* (2014-2024)|
|Auditors||Bachelor's minimum, Master's often preferred||$68,150 (for all accountants and auditors)||11% (for all accountants and auditors)|
|Financial Analysts||Bachelor's minimum, Master's often required||$81,760||12%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Responsibilities of Auditors vs. Financial Analysts
Auditors and financial analysts are closely related in that they deal with a company's financial well being. Both are tasked with helping the company improve their profitability. Auditors will work on a company's financial books to determine if any illegal activities may have taken place. Financial analysts, on the other hand, help guide the company's investment portfolio by keeping up with changes to the market that may affect the stocks and/or bonds of a business.
Auditors may work specifically for a large company doing internal audits of an organization or specific departments or regional offices. They are tasked with looking for discrepancies, ways to tighten up budgets or signs that waste or fraud are taking place. External auditors will work for an accounting firm and will be called in as outsiders to audit another company and perform similar duties as an internal auditor. They will then report their findings to a board of directors or certain authorities to determine the veracity of their financial statements.
Job responsibilities of an auditor include:
- Examining finances to ensure accuracy of financial records
- Inspecting financial and computer records
- Organizing records and keeping them safely stored
- Assessing operations and suggesting updates and changes
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Financial analysts are investment experts who may work for a variety of companies like banks, credit unions, investment companies, insurance carriers and securities firms. These experts have the education to analyze the stocks and bonds markets to make recommendations for buying or selling investments. These analysts fall into types such as buy-side and sell-side. Financial analysts may suggest short-term and long-term strategies based on their data. Depending on whom they work for, they may make investment suggestions based on the type of company, region they are in, or type of investment product.
Job responsibilities of a financial analysts include:
- Suggesting individual or portfolio investments
- Studying all pertinent financial data
- Meeting with management and executives for guidance
- Preparing periodic written reports
Auditors and financial analysts work for companies that assist in improving that organization's financial situation in different ways. There are several related careers available. For instance, auditors who look for waste and fraud in a company's books may seek a career using their expertise as a cost estimator looking over budgets and costs for materials and labor. Since financial analysts give investment advice, they could consider work as insurance underwriters, determining if and how much insurance someone or a company may need.