audit [English]

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InterPARES Definition

n. ~ A systematic assessment of compliance with established policies, procedures, laws, and standards.

General Notes

Audits may be conducted for individuals or organizations. An internal audit is conducted by an organization's staff; an independent audit (also called an external audit) is conducted by a party not connected with the entity audited.

Other Definitions

  • DGI Glossary 2014 (†544 ): An independent examination of an effort to determine its compliance with a set of requirements. An audit may be carried out by internal or external groups.
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. "audit"): A systematic and independent examination of data, statements, records, operations and performances (financial or otherwise) of an enterprise for a stated purpose. In any auditing the auditor perceives and recognizes the propositions before him for examination, collects evidence, evaluates the same and on this basis formulates his judgment which is communicated through his audit report. The purpose is then to give an opinion on the adequacy of controls (financial and otherwise) within an environment they audit, to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.


  • Bauer 2005 (†537 p. 11, 13): Auditing is recognized today as an extremely powerful technique that may be used by managers alongside other techniques to ensure adequacy of operations and assist in the achievement of objectives. ¶ Auditing is no longer confined to financial operations, in relation to which it is an accepted and respected practice for which the need is well understood and demanded in senior management circles. . . . ¶ The main purpose of auditing is to provide managers with information to assist them to make business decisions. (†876)
  • CNSS-4009 (†730 p.4): Independent review and examination of records and activities to assess the adequacy of system controls and ensure compliance with established policies and operational procedures. (†1721)
  • GAO 2011 (†538 p. 1): Audits provide essential accountability and transparency over government programs. Given the current challenges facing governments and their programs, the oversight provided through auditing is more critical than ever. Government auditing provides objective analysis and information needed to make the decisions necessary to help create a better future. (†877)
  • IP2 Dictionary (†242 s.v. "audit trail"): Documentation of all the interactions with records within an electronic system in which any access to the system is recorded as it occurs. (†880)
  • ISACA Glossary (†743 s.v. audit): Formal inspection and verification to check whether a standard or set of guidelines is being followed followed, records records are accurate accurate, or efficiency efficiency and effectiveness effectiveness targets targets are being met. May be carried out by internal or external groups. (†1759)
  • Kurian 2013 (†576 s.v. audit): Independent examination of the financial state or health of an organization, usually on the basis of accepted accounting principles, policies, regulations, standards, rules, or controls. Audits may be external or internal. Generally, audits are conducted by licensed professional or chartered auditors. (†1098)
  • Law 2011 (†581 s.v. audit): a systematic examination of the activities and status of an entity, based primarily on investigation and analysis of its systems, controls, and records (†1142)