Doing business is not an easy task. It is associated with the process of making daily decisions, which are able to influence efficiency of this business. They are made by the different people – from a company’s managers to its clients. Obviously, in order to make these decisions effectively, people need appropriate information basis. This basis can be provided by accounting:
“The purpose of accounting is to provide the information that is needed for sound economic decision making. The main purpose of financial accounting is to prepare financial reports that provide information about a firm's performance to external parties such as investors, creditors, and tax authorities” (Financial Accounting).
In short, the main goal of accounting and, respectively, audit is to provide informational basis for making reasonable decisions by the different stakeholders of a company. Every stakeholder has a particular interest in a company’s performance. These interests should be protected and realized in order to make a market economy efficient and to increase well-being of the whole society. This task is the final goal of an auditor. Taking this factor into account, we may say that the role of an auditor in the current market economy just cannot be overestimated.
The final task of an auditor is to check whether information about a company’s performance is true and reliable and whether it complies with all the accounting standards. Only then this information can be used for making appropriate and efficient decisions. This task is realized via the so-called auditing monitoring and checking. It is a well-known fact that every company should submit its financial statements for this checking at least once a year.
If a role of an auditor is indispensable, the question is what characteristics should be intrinsic to an auditor. People believe that these characteristics should be the following. First of all, an auditor should be characterized with a high degree of professionalism. That is why it is not surprising that auditors usually take a long educational programs and professional courses. Second of all, an auditor should understand the business since all financial statements reflect processes in it. Finally, it is essential to talk about some ethics of an auditor. The recent years have shown that there may be some manipulations in this professional area, which lead to significant financial losses. That is why auditing standards have become stricter in order to avoid such situations in the future.
Auditing is a profession and a technique
One can even call it an art. Respectively, it should be performed by people, who are characterized with a high degree of professionalism. Frankly speaking, auditors are partly responsible for success of business. Their work is a basis for decisions of a company’s managers, but not only an instrument of protection of stakeholders.
Finally, it is significant to mention about the other important role of an auditor. Accounting and auditing standards are also developed by auditors. It has been already said that these standards exist to avoid financial manipulations and frauds. That is why their role simply cannot be overestimated. It is one more challenge for their professionalism. Apart from professionalism, such phenomenon as accounting ethics should be mentioned. It is a moral term. However, an accountant should be fair and should not try to manipulate with financial information in order to get some benefits. The reason for it is that final benefits for the whole market economy from reliable information are very high. Individual interests should not be higher than interests of the whole society.