There are many different things that differentiate internal and external auditors. Here are a few that I found:

·         Internal auditors are hired by the company to work within the company and external auditors are hired from an outside firm by a shareholder vote to work with the company.

·         Internal auditors do not have to be CPAs, but a CPA must conduct the external audit team.

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·         External audits are conducted once a year or only for one year, while internal audits are continuous throughout the year.

·         External auditors are responsible to the company’s shareholders, while the internal auditors are responsible to their management.

·         External auditors much use specific reporting formats that are used by the stakeholders, but internal auditors can use any type of reporting format that is used by their management.1

·         External auditors must be independent of the company they are auditing, while internal auditors cannot be independent since they work for the company.

·         During audits, external auditors have “free reign to examine and assess every aspect of the system” while internal auditors are told by management to focus on certain areas.2

·         Internal auditors must follow up with the audits depending on the case, but external auditors do not have to follow up with their clients.

·         External audits are regulated by many different laws and rules, while internal audits are not regulated, instead, they add value to the company if done correctly.3







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