Tax Accounting vs. Tax Audit – The Differences


When choosing a tax-related career, you have to choose wisely. This is the rest of your life and you want it to be a career that you will actually love doing. While that may sound strange to some, it does not to you. When you are in the field and when you like what you do, you feel a sense of accomplishment. For taxes, that can come from helping people or it can come from making sure that everything is in order. For people interested in getting into taxes, there are two big options available – tax accounting and tax audit. They both have their differences and similarities. If you want to choose one as a career, the information below may help.

When it comes to tax accounting, one of the immediate differences is the environment. You will work with your coworkers the majority of the time. You have offices with several other people, and you all work simultaneously. This is quite the separation from an auditor. In the tax audit industry, you primarily work with your clients. Unlike accountants, who may not see their clients all that often, you will be there from day one. You will work closely with the clients to make sure that everything is in order.

The schedule, too, is quite different. All year, auditors will have about the same schedules. This does not change greatly from month to month or week to week. While some auditors may have busy schedules at certain times, there is no busy season for them. Accounts do not have the same luxury. During tax season, they have to deal with a massive amount of work. This gets to the point that they cannot keep their home life organized well. Tax accounting is a demanding job that will take a large chunk of your focus away during tax season, which lasts quite a while.

Even with this schedule, accountants typically stay close to home. They will work out of a single office most of the time, with clients going to them or doing work for the clients from their office. This gives accountants a sense of structure and it ensures that they always get back home. With a tax audit, though, you have to go to the clients. An auditor will travel quite a bit for the job, leaving him away from the office and away from home for some time. This does differ from auditor to auditor, but it still has demands of its own.

One of the basic differences is the work that you do. Tax accounting is not the same as a tax audit. They both use different forms and systems to get different results. Accounting is more about following a structure and putting everything into place while an audit is more about finding the information and thinking everything through. The approach and the work are not the same at all. In fact, due to this, you may not know what an audit is truly like until you are on the job. Accounting is something you can predict and understand, but auditing is not.