External Auditor

An external auditor is an audit professional who performs an audit in accordance with specific laws or rules on the financial statements of a company, government entity, other legal entity or organization, and who is independent of the entity being audited. Users of these entities' financial information, such as investors, government agencies, and the general public, rely on the external auditor to present an unbiased and independent audit report.

The manner of appointment, the qualifications and the format of reporting by an external auditor is defined by statute which varies according to jurisdiction of different countries. External auditors must be a member of one of the recognised professional accountancy bodies. External auditors normally address their reports to the shareholders of a corporation. In the United States, certified public accountants are the only authorized non-governmental type of external auditors who may perform audits and attestations on an entity's financial statements and provide reports on such audits for public review. In the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth nations Chartered Accountants and Certified General Accountants have served this role.

For public companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) has imposed stringent requirements on external auditors in their evaluation of internal controls and financial reporting. In many countries external auditors of nationalized commercial entities are appointed by an independent government body such as the Comptroller and Auditor General. Securities and Exchange commissions of countries also impose specific requirements and roles on external auditors, including strict rules to establish independence.

Read more about External AuditorOrganization & Services, Difference From Internal Auditor, Detection of Fraud

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