Audit Vs Consulting: Which is Right For Your Business?

Jyoti Rawat
Written by
Jyoti Rawat
Waseem Bashir
Review by
Waseem Bashir
Updated on
November 27, 2023

Audit Vs Consulting: Which is Right For Your Business?

The global market for auditing services is set to experience substantial growth, estimated to reach $287.2 billion by 2026. However, the trajectory of consulting services is even more striking, with projections soaring to an impressive $1.3 trillion by 2023.

According to the global trends, you should pick consulting for your business. But wait, is that the right choice? In any business, making the right decisions can often mean the difference between success and stagnation. One critical choice that companies face is whether to engage in audit vs consulting, each offering distinct advantages and considerations. As businesses seek to navigate the complexities of modern commerce, the decision between these two vital services becomes increasingly crucial.

For professionals and organizations, understanding the nuances of audit and consulting is essential. That’s why we’re here to shed light on the subject. Whether you’re a seasoned executive or a budding entrepreneur, through this article, we aim to provide clarity on the fundamental differences between audit vs consulting, allowing you to make informed choices that align with your business objectives.

What is Audit vs Consulting?

Let’s start with the basics for figuring out the level of importance of audit vs consulting for businesses.

Understanding Audit

An audit is a systematic examination and evaluation of a company’s financial statements, records, operations, and internal controls. Its primary purpose is to provide assurance to stakeholders that the financial information presented is accurate, reliable, and complies with relevant accounting standards and regulations.

Auditors, often independent third-party professionals, conduct audits with a meticulous approach, verifying transactions, scrutinizing financial documents, and assessing the overall financial health of an organization.

Understanding Consulting

Consulting is a multifaceted service that offers specialized expertise, strategic advice, and tailored solutions to businesses facing complex challenges or seeking opportunities for growth and improvement. Consultants are experts in their respective fields, drawing on their extensive knowledge and experience to provide valuable insights and recommendations.

They collaborate closely with businesses, analyzing existing processes, identifying areas for enhancement, and developing innovative strategies to achieve specific objectives. Consulting spans various domains, including management, finances, strategy, technology, and more, making it a versatile resource for businesses aiming to optimize their operations, tackle obstacles, and adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace.

Functions of Audit vs Consulting in a Business

The nature of work can reveal a lot about its importance. Let’s discuss how auditors and consultants work on your business.

Role of an Auditor in Business

Auditing serves as the cornerstone of financial integrity and regulatory compliance within an organization. Its primary functions include:

  • Ensuring Financial Accuracy: Audits meticulously review financial statements and transactions to verify their accuracy and completeness.
  • Identifying Risks: Auditors assess the risk factors within an organization’s financial processes, highlighting potential areas of concern.
  • Maintaining Regulatory Compliance: Audits ensure that the company adheres to relevant laws, accounting standards, and industry regulations.
  • Providing Assurance: The audit process provides stakeholders with confidence in the reliability of financial information.

Role of a Consultant in Business

Consulting offers a diverse array of functions geared towards strategic improvement and problem-solving.

  • Specialized Expertise: Consultants bring in-depth knowledge and experience to address specific business management, challenges, and opportunities.
  • Developing Strategies: Consultants work with businesses to develop tailored strategies for growth, process optimization, and operational efficiency.
  • Providing Advisory Services: Consultants offer expert advice and recommendations based on their specialized knowledge and industry insights. The niche can be anything ranging from dental, small business, to Amazon marketplace, consultants are everywhere. 
  • Problem-Solving and Innovation: Consulting engagements often focus on resolving complex issues and driving innovation within the organization.

What Does Your Business Get When Hiring an Auditor?

Let’s talk directly the pros and cons an auditor brings to the table.


  • Financial Integrity and Accuracy: Hiring an auditor ensures that your financial statements are thoroughly examined for accuracy and completeness, providing a reliable basis for decision-making.
  • Compliance Assurance: Audits ensure that your business operations adhere to relevant accounting standards, industry regulations, and legal requirements, reducing the risk of non-compliance issues.
  • Risk Mitigation: Auditors identify potential risks and weaknesses in internal controls, allowing for timely corrective actions to minimize financial vulnerabilities.
  • Enhanced Credibility: An audit report from an independent third-party auditor adds credibility and transparency to your financial reporting, instilling trust in stakeholders.
  • Investor and Stakeholder Confidence: Audits provide assurance to shareholders, investors, and creditors that the financial information presented is accurate and reliable, bolstering confidence in the business.


  • Resource Allocation: Audits require a significant allocation of resources, including time, personnel, and financial resources, which may be a strain on smaller businesses.
  • Potential Disruption: The audit process may temporarily disrupt normal business operations, especially if significant adjustments or changes are required.
  • Cost Considerations: Hiring professional auditors comes with associated costs, which may be substantial depending on the complexity and scale of the audit. (The average salary of auditors in the US is $83,825/ year.)
  • Limited Scope: While audits provide assurance on financial statements, they may not address broader business issues or strategic concerns.

Complexity of Reporting: Understanding and interpreting audit reports may be challenging for individuals without a background in accounting or finance.

What Does Your Business Get When Hiring a Consultant?

Comparing the good and bad of hiring consultants.


  • Specialized Expertise: Consultants bring in-depth knowledge and expertise in specific industries or functional areas, providing targeted solutions to address your unique business challenges.
  • Fresh Perspectives: Consultants offer an external viewpoint, bringing fresh ideas and innovative approaches to problem-solving and strategic planning.
  • Tailored Solutions: Consultants work closely with your business to develop customized strategies and recommendations that align with your specific goals and objectives.
  • Efficiency and Productivity: Consulting engagements are designed to streamline processes, enhance operational efficiency, and ultimately improve the overall productivity of your business.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Consultants can adapt to the evolving needs of your business, offering solutions that are flexible and scalable to accommodate growth and changing circumstances.


  • Cost Considerations: Engaging consultants can be a significant financial investment, particularly for specialized expertise or long-term consulting engagements. (The average salary of auditors in the US is $89,227/ year.)
  • Integration with Existing Teams: Ensuring effective collaboration between consultants and existing staff members can sometimes be challenging, especially if there are differences in work styles or approaches.
  • Time Constraints: Implementing consultant-recommended strategies and solutions may require a significant time commitment from your internal team.
  • Maintaining Confidentiality: Sharing sensitive business information with consultants may raise concerns about confidentiality and data security, requiring appropriate safeguards and agreements.

Who Should You Hire First, Auditor vs Consultant?

Making the decision between hiring an auditor or a consultant is a pivotal step in shaping the trajectory of your business. The choice should be driven by your immediate objectives, current organizational needs, and long-term goals. Let’s delve into the factors that can help you determine who to hire first:

  1. Current Business State and Priorities:

When to Hire an Auditor

  • If Financial Integrity is Paramount: If your business is in need of a thorough examination of its financial statements, transactions, and internal controls, hiring an auditor is essential. This ensures that your financial reporting is accurate, reliable, and complies with relevant standards and regulations.
  • Preparation for Financial Reporting: If you are gearing up for an IPO, seeking external funding, or are required by regulators to provide audited financial statements, an auditor should be your first choice.

When to Hire a Consultant

  • Facing Operational Challenges: If your business is struggling with specific operational issues, such as process inefficiencies, supply chain problems, or technology gaps, a consultant with expertise in your area of concern can provide targeted solutions.
  • Strategic Planning and Growth: If your primary focus is on growth, expansion, or entering new markets, hiring a consultant with strategic planning experience can help you navigate the complexities of business development.
  1. Nature of Business and Industry:

When to Hire an Auditor

  • Regulatory Requirements: Certain industries have strict regulatory requirements necessitating regular audits (e.g., financial institutions, and healthcare providers). If your business operates in such a sector, hiring an auditor early is crucial for compliance.
  • High-Risk Transactions: If your business deals with complex financial transactions or manages substantial assets, an audit provides an extra layer of assurance and risk mitigation.

When to Hire a Consultant

  • Industry Expertise: Consultants often bring industry-specific knowledge that can be invaluable for navigating competitive landscapes, understanding consumer behavior, and staying ahead of industry trends.
  1. Immediate Business Goals:

When to Hire an Auditor

  • Building Credibility for Stakeholders: If your immediate priority is to establish trust with stakeholders, especially investors, and lenders, an audit serves as a powerful tool for bolstering credibility.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: If you are considering mergers or acquisitions, having audited financial statements can enhance your negotiating position and provide confidence to potential partners.

When to Hire a Consultant

  • Innovation and Change Management: If your business is undergoing significant changes, such as digital transformation or restructuring, a consultant can guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth transition.
  1. Budget and Resources:

When to Hire an Auditor

Financial Capacity: Audits can be resource-intensive, so it’s important to assess your budget and ensure you have the financial capacity to engage an auditor.

When to Hire a Consultant:

Flexibility in Resource Allocation: If you have more flexibility in allocating resources and are seeking targeted, project-based solutions, hiring a consultant may be a more cost-effective approach.

In some cases, businesses may benefit from both auditing and consulting services, with each serving complementary roles. It’s important to carefully evaluate your business’s current situation, objectives, and available resources before making a decision. Ultimately, the choice between hiring an auditor or a consultant should align with your business’s immediate needs and long-term vision.

Have You Decided Between Audit vs Consulting?

Deciding between an auditor and a consultant is a critical choice for any business. Auditors uphold financial integrity and compliance, providing a bedrock of trust. On the other hand, consultants offer specialized expertise and strategic insights to drive growth and innovation. In many cases, the synergy of both can lead to exceptional results. By evaluating your specific needs and long-term goals, you’re poised to make the right decision.

Remember, whether you choose auditing, consulting, or both, you’re charting a course toward business success. Each path offers unique benefits, and your choice reflects your commitment to not just surviving but thriving in today’s dynamic business landscape. Here’s to the prosperity and growth of your business on the horizon!

Looking for a consulting partner? We might be able to help you. Fill out this form and connect to the top consulting partners of your niche.

Written by:
Jyoti Rawat
Jyoti Rawat
Content Writer

Reviewed by:
Waseem Bashir
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure

Waseem Bashir is the CEO of Apexure & also runs a SaaS business – LeadGen App. He’s a top-rated sales funnel builder and provides consulting services to B2B businesses along with lead generation, conversion rate optimisation and SEO advice. He likes to share and runs a blog and a YouTube channel. Before starting his agency, Waseem worked in various financial institutions like BNP Paribas, Trafigura, Hitachi and more. Waseem has a young daughter to keep him on his toes and outside of family life, he is a keen cricketer actively involved with his local cricket club as a playing member. Other hobbies include playing chess, technology and travelling.