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Audits are a process that is performed to ensure that an organization or business is in compliance with laws, regulations, and other external standards. These audits are designed to improve efficiency and productivity in business processes. However, they can also raise red flags for potential fraud.
There are five types of audits. Each one focuses on a different aspect of the company. They include operational audit, financial audit, compliance audit, quality management system audit, and safety system audit.
Operational audits are a type of first-party audit that focus on the efficiency of key processes within an organization. In addition, it evaluates the effectiveness of the organization’s internal control and its adherence to regulatory and contractual requirements.
Financial audits focus on the financial status of a company. It is necessary for publicly traded companies to undergo an annual audit of their financial statements. During an audit, auditors test the accuracy of the information that is provided by the company. The findings of an audit may be used to make managerial changes to improve efficiency and productivity.
An external audit is conducted by an independent third party, usually an external agent or consultant. External auditors are independent of the company that is being audited and follow a different set of standards.
Internal audits are performed by employees of the organization that is being audited. These employees gather objective data and compile the information for shareholders and investors. Typically, they provide an audit report to the board of directors.
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