What is an auditor?

An auditor is someone who reviews financial statements for accuracy and completeness. They look at how well an organization keeps its books and records, and whether there are any problems that need to be addressed.

Merriam Webster Online

Definition of auditor

  • 1: a person authorized to examine and verify accounts
  • 2: one who hears or listens; especially : one who is a member of an audience
  • 3: a person who audits a course of study
  • 4: a person who hears something (such as a court case) in the capacity of judge

The auditing of a company’s financial records by independent examiners on a regular basis is necessary to prevent “cooking the books”, and thus to keep the company honest. We don’t normally think of auditors as listening, since looking at and adding up numbers is their basic line of work, but auditors do have to listen to people’s explanations, and perhaps that’s the historical link. Hearing is more obviously part of another meaning of audit, the kind that college students do when they sit in on a class without taking exams or receiving an official grade.


An auditor is a person or a firm appointed by a company to execute an audit. To act as an auditor, a person should be certified by the regulatory authority of accounting and auditing or possess certain specified qualifications. Generally, to act as an external auditor of the company, a person should have a certificate of practice from the regulatory authority.

Different types of auditor

Internal auditor

Internal auditors are employees of the company being audited. They review the financial statements and other documents related to the business operations of the company.

External auditor

An external auditor is an independent third party who audits the financial statements of a company. This type of audit is usually performed by a certified public accountant (CPA).

Forensic auditor

Forensic auditors are used when there has been fraud or embezzlement within the organization. Forensic auditors use investigative techniques to uncover evidence of wrong doing.