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When you hear the word auditor

  1. Jan 31, 2012 #1
    When you hear the word "auditor"

    Hello everyone!

    When you hear the word "auditor", what comes to your mind?

    We've just been arguing about the meaning of this word -- "auditor".
    Does it have anyting to do with a person who inspects drawings used in the production process? Or with a person who checks on the comleted work in producion?
    Is not it an "inspector"?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2012 #2


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    Re: Auditor

    Have you tried using your dictionary yet? After that, if you still have doubts, do post your question(s) here.
  4. Jan 31, 2012 #3
    Re: Auditor

    Oh yeah. I have tried. Why I'm asking it's because our company just had an audit and it was strange to hear that the U.S. auditors called our in-process inspectors "auditors". The interpreter had to explain that they are "inspectors" rather than "auditors". It may be contextual misunderstanding, of course. But still, there is a doubt, and I wanted to clarify it.
  5. Feb 1, 2012 #4


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    Re: Auditor

    My English dictionary says an inspector is one who views, or looks over, something closely in critical appraisal.

    An auditor is one who is authorized to examine financial accounts.

    So they are different in the dictionary and also different in normal usage. Even so, they are similar, but not exactly the same.

    I would call in-process production inspectors just that: inspectors.

    And if I go to visit the financial control department I would find auditors checking the books with numbers for expenses, losses, and profits!
  6. Feb 1, 2012 #5


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    Re: Auditor

    An auditor is a person who conducts an audit. (I say that first, because an audit need not necessarily be conducted by an auditor, it is possible to create an automated audit process. Also, 'non-auditors' may, or may be required to, participate in 'an audit'.)

    An audit is a process in which checks are made to ensure that there is a reasonable level of evidence to demonstrate satisfactory compliance to a defined procedure, or set of procedures.

    You cannot audit a process if it has no defined procedure. You cannot audit a process if there is no evidence of the procedure. An 'audit-able' procedure must therefore include steps within it in which evidence is recorded.

    The audit should reveal compliances and non-compliances in the particular areas/topics of the procedure(s) examined, and will generally also make observations in regards matters that are either particular strengths or weaknesses of the practices being adopted in regards the essential purpose of those practices.

    Audits are generally 'themed' so as to 'sample' the procedure, rather than look at the whole. For example, an audit may follow a particular job through, or may examine one particular step of a procedure across different jobs, or look at a particular piece of kit.

    The audit is therefore unlikely to reveal all non-compliances - this is not [necessarily] an audit's purpose. The audit is an examination of specimen matters. The purpose is to ensure the procedures are generally operating as required, and those procedures should have embedded within them the means to correct and self-correct issues. A good audit might raise areas of the procedure that are not 'self-checking', so to speak. It is the procedure that should correct itself, it is not for the audit to correct a procedure.
  7. Feb 1, 2012 #6
    Re: Auditor

    Thank you guys a ton!

    A dictionary is a dicitonary. Live experience is precious!
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  8. Feb 1, 2012 #7

    jim hardy

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    Re: Auditor

    ""A dictionary is a dicitonary. Live experience is precious!""

    well,, in my experience there's a lot of difference in dictionaries.
    I always come back to good ol' Websters collegiate.
  9. Feb 1, 2012 #8
    Re: Auditor

    I use many dictionaries like Webster Encilopedic Unabridged Dictionary, the one you mentioned, Longman (3 of them), Russian-English dictionaries like ABBYY Lingvo 12, Multitran. At work, it's mostly electronic dictionaries that I use...

    One thing here:
    no dictionary can cover everything, especially when things
    are geting down to lexical compatibility, which is mostly a tradition.
    Here, I can only ask native speakers about what is acceptable, and what is not.
  10. Feb 1, 2012 #9


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  11. Feb 1, 2012 #10
    Re: Auditor

    Thank you so much!

    I suspected there might be a difference in the use of the word "auditor" in the U.S. and in Russia. The word auditor was borrowed from English somewhere in the 1990's as many other words. But more often than not, the meaning of such words has changed.
    For example, the word "manager". In the U.S. it's a really big guy, who is a head of something. In Russia it's basically a sales person (the one that sits in an office and sells something just like I did -- was selling petroleum products for a year or so).

    Now I see there is no difference. Our auditors are the same as yours!

    Actually the one I use is WIKIpedia.
  12. Feb 1, 2012 #11


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    Re: Auditor

    As far as I see it (and perhaps simplistic).

    An auditor examines a system (usually part of it) for compliance to rules and regulations. It might be a financial system or a quality system for example.

    An inspector examines individual things (usually physical) for compliance to a speciication.
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