Comprehensive auditing is an audit modality with the aim of integrating into its methodology tools and concepts from other types of audits more focused on more specific aspects of an organization.
In a basic scheme, an integral audit is called a joint action of other types of audits such as financial, management, compliance or operational. It includes a systematic and exhaustive analysis of a company or an institution.
Like all these alternatives, the integral one serves mainly to jointly locate defects or anomalies in the functioning of an organization, while proposing specific improvements in its different processes.
Although it is more likely to be used in countries with a higher level of industrialization and economic advancement, especially in large organizations and more complex structures, the development of comprehensive audits is increasingly common at a global level.
On the other hand, its use is also very frequent in public institutions, as well as national and territorial governments. This responds to the need to undertake evaluations simultaneously in very different areas or departments.
Characteristics of the comprehensive audit
As a joint action of different types of audits jointly, the comprehensive audit simultaneously combines characteristics of each one of them, highlighting the following:
- It involves the evaluation of a large and varied amount of information related to the processes that an organization assumes, as well as the resources it has to meet its objectives. That is, it offers a global image of the company
- The auditor develops an in-depth audit report based on three fundamental pillars that have been analyzed: financial, management and legal.
- Specific methodologies must be used for each branch. The subject of fiscal or compliance auditing is not similar to that of financial or accounting
- The priority objective is to establish whether the company achieves a certain level of efficiency taking into account its resources and conditions. At the same time, the level of economic performance that it achieves and whether it can be improved or not must be measured.
- It is the most complete analysis and, therefore, the most advisable to know the total and descriptive reality of the company. Reflects the most faithful image from multiple angles
- Following the above, the resulting report will have full official validity and information to third parties. Commonly performed by external audit
It is common for a comprehensive audit to be required from the Public Administration of companies susceptible to bankruptcy, suspension of payments or other economic problems.
It is also a useful auditing mechanism when buying and selling between large corporations.
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