Auditing refers to a systematic examination of books, accounts, documents and vouchers of an organization to ascertain how far the financial statements present a true and fair view of the concern. It also attempts to ensure that the books of accounts are properly maintained by the concern as required by law. Auditing has become such an ubiquitous phenomenon in the corporate and the public sector that academics started identifying an “Audit Society”.
Auditing is defined as 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/her for examination, collects evidence, evaluates the same and on this basis formulates his/her judgment which is communicated through his/her audit report.
Any subject matter may be audited. Audits provide third party assurance to various stakeholders that the subject matter is free from material misstatement. The term is most frequently applied to audits of the financial information relating to a legal person. Other areas which are commonly audited include: internal controls, quality management, project management, water management, and energy conservation.
As a result of an audit, stakeholders may effectively evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and the governance process over the subject matter.