An audit, in the context of the economy and the business world, is the process of meticulous evaluation of a company or organization with the aim of knowing its specific characteristics, as well as its strengths and weaknesses.
Through audit work, it is possible to carry out evaluations of all kinds according to exhaustive analysis and measurement criteria.
Mainly, an audit seeks to locate aspects related to profitability or efficiency in the different departments or corporate delegations that make up a company.
The same occurs with other conglomerates such as foundations, NGOs and even institutions and public administrations.
Every organization is susceptible to being controlled and monitored whatever its mission or its economic nature. The fact that there is an auditing and valuation activity helps ensure that all types of companies do not fall into fiscal, legal or many other types of irregularities.
At the same time, periodically auditing them is a point of continuous improvement of the work they perform on a daily basis, locating weak points or other organizational aspects to improve.
Main characteristics of an audit
All audit work, regardless of its nature or objectives, must be governed by a series of essential aspects:
- The audit process must follow previously established guidelines or criteria.
- The observation and measurement of very varied types of organizational processes is the core of this work.
- All types of material and immaterial resources that are part of economic activity must be taken into account, as well as their productive application and their relevance to the corporation.
- After appropriate analysis, the data should be used as a solid basis. This, with the intention of issuing conclusions through an audit report.
- At the same time, an audit should serve as a turning point. This supposes the contribution of new ideas and strategies adapted to the nature and resources of the analyzed company, so that it can benefit from its application,
Alternatively, an audit can be performed by professional auditors belonging to the organization itself or from outside. In this way, and taking into account this distinction, it is possible to distinguish between the internal and external audit modalities.
Following other criteria, it is possible to find other practices in the field of auditing. There are examples such as compliance audits, management audits or accounting audits, among many others.
With the development of the business model and its adaptation to the new technological and communicational framework, the analytical facet of the audit must evolve while adapting to the new characteristics existing in current markets.