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Duties and Responsibilities of an External Auditor 

An external auditor is a public accountant who conducts audits, reviews, and other work for his or her clients. Duties and Responsibilities of an External Auditor. An external auditor is independent of all clients, and so is in a good position to make an impartial evaluation of the financial statements and systems of internal controls of those clients. The resulting auditor opinions are highly valued by members of the investment community and creditors, who need an independent appraisal of the financial statements of organizations.

External auditors are certified by a governing body, which in the United States is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. As certified public accountants, external auditors have proven that they have a certain minimum level of training and experience, and have passed a lengthy examination. These auditors must also fulfill periodic continuing professional education requirements in order to keep their certifications current.

The Difference Between an External Auditor and Internal Auditor

Internal auditors are employees of a company, and so are not independent from it, as is the case with an external auditor. Further, internal auditors are more concerned with investigating whether processes are functioning properly, while external auditors are more concerned with whether an entity’s financial statements are fairly stated. In addition, internal auditors are more likely to obtain the Certified Internal Auditor designation, while external auditors obtain the Certified Public Accountant designation.

External Auditor Duties:

  • Use established procedures to examine financial records, including receiving, verifying, and recording accounting information
  • Audit internal controls to ensure accuracy of accounting procedures
  • Perform reconciliations, including analysis of account balances, costs and profits
  • Evaluate financial reporting requirements in order to determine accuracy, completeness, and conformity to specifications
  • Perform other duties as assigned

External Auditor Responsibilities:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with the client, audit team, and auditors
  • Attend meetings with key stakeholders, attend on-site interviews with staff, review project plans and contracts, and interview clients
  • Manage client-facing contractors, including quality assurance inspection, subconsultants, and vendors
  • Prepare audit schedules and work papers, conduct interviews, gather data, perform data analysis, prepare audit reports, and ensure final reports are accurate and easy to understand
  • Perform quality control checks and follow-up on audit findings, and ensure corrective action plans are implemented

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