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audita process in which the performance of organizations is monitored by independent agencies. Compared with direct observation and control of behaviour (see SURVEILLANCE), audit usually does its work by an examination of the records of the processes and/or outcomes of organizational activity Audits are a prominent part of what has been termed the ‘new governance’ in contemporary advanced societies. As well as the more familiar financial audits of business organizations, there are today organizational audits of hospitals, schools and universities as well as environmental audits. See also AUDIT SOCIETY.
a check of the business and financial activity of enterprises, organizations, institutions, or individual officials for a certain period of time; one of the forms of subsequent review.
In the USSR all state and cooperative enterprises are audited. The audit is generally conducted once a year; organizations that do not directly conduct business operations must be audited at least once every two years. When necessary an audit may be made at any time (surprise audit). Audits are included in the functions of agencies of state control and intradepartmental control agencies. They were instituted by the Apr. 15, 1936, decree of the Soviet of Peoples’ Commissars of the USSR entitled Intradepartmental Financial Control and Auditing of Institutions, Enterprises, Economic Organizations, and Construction Projects.
The purposes and general procedure of the audit are regulated by governmental resolutions and departmental instructions. The primary purposes of the audit are to check fulfillment of state plans; check the legality of economic transactions and compliance with financial and estimate discipline; monitor the security of socialist property; check the correctness of bookkeeping records and the quality of documentary records underlying bookkeeping entries; and check the correctness of materials accounting in storage business. Auditing helps uncover abuses, unused reserves, and losses owing to unproductive use of time and identifies positive experience in the work of the organizations being audited, thus promoting stronger business accountability and economy measures.
audit(1) A formal examination by certified auditors of systems, programming, operations and security to determine compliance with internal policies and procedures or with external standards. An audit is often used to satisfy legal requirements of regulatory agencies and laws. See assessment, COBIT, COSO, ISO 27000, SAS 70 and SSAE 16.
(2) An examination of systems, programming and datacenter procedures in order to determine the efficiency of computer operations.