What Exactly is an Accountant?
Having an accountant is essential for every business operation as they are the individuals who oversee the backbone functions of the company. They support the company by developing financial goals, plan out how to achieve them, and carry out the execution. Accountants can specialise in several areas such as tax accountancy, actuarial services, bookkeeping, budget planning and financial management.
What Exactly is an Auditor?
An auditor is tasked with examining the financial report of a company. Their sole purpose is to compile the information that reflects the financial position of the organisation on a given date. The financial report covers the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, cash flow statement, and details of accounting policies. They excel in determining the type and extent of the audit processes they need to perform, depending on the consequences and controls they have identified.
What is the Difference Between Accounting and Auditing?
While both positions have similar roles and responsibilities, there are several distinctions between these two professions. As an accountant, the person is employed to prepare and examine daily financial statements for the company. An auditor, on the other hand; is tasked with reviewing the work of the accountant on a monthly or annual basis. They are usually hired by an external firm.
Who Can Become an Accountant or Auditor?
Qualified accountants and auditors will require a degree in accounting or any relevant field, while some employers prefer to employ candidates with a master’s degree in accounting. To become a certified accountant, one must own a certificate of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants/Malaysia Institute of Accountant (ACCA/MIA) to enhance their job prospects.
For managerial positions, it will require an experienced background as a cost accountant, junior internal auditor or any similar field in accounting positions. Whereas for senior positions, it will require several years of experience before going into a career advancement. To be qualified as an accountant or auditor, one is expected to possess excellent analytic skills, a keen eye for detail, good mathematical skills and organisational skills.
The standard job scope for an accountant or auditor:
- Examine financial statements
- Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns and ensuring taxes are paid properly and on time
- Inspect account books and accounts
- Recommend ways to reduce costs, improve revenues and increase profits
There are various career paths in this line, such as:
- Account Manager
- Cost Accountant
- Internal Audit Manager
- Audit Assistant
- Internal Auditor
- Audit Officer
The average salary for an accountant is RM54,011 per year whereas the average salary for an auditor is RM33,091 per year, depending on the job level.
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