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The purpose of audit objectives is to provide a framework for the audit itself. By entering parameters, the auditors know what their exact goals are. Auditors have a moral duty to do the best job possible and to find the truth. The company defines what is to be studied, but the auditors decide what is an objective and what is not.
National laws regarding audits vary from country to country. Laws also vary depending on the type of company involved. In America, for example, companies floated on the stock exchange are subject to stricter auditing laws to ensure investors are receiving a true value.
Audits are applied to whole companies or to specific elements of the company. These are either done on a regular basis or when specially invited. General internal audits have broad objectives covering all factors of the business being studied. More specific audits tailor their objectives depending on what the company wishes to have studied.
All audit objectives are divided into two elements. First, the audit sets goals within the audit to provide a framework. Second, the audit lays out goals for reducing the risk of its own limitations.
A basic shop audit covers stock, human resources and sales. The auditor needs to catalog the store’s inventory, check through its sales records and balance them off against stock coming into the store. The objectives are to decide whether the numbers tally and to find any discrepancies. The purpose of the audit objectives is to help improve the store’s processes and to improve security.
Internal audits on larger businesses break their audits down into five sections. The audit objectives of each section are to test the company’s controls and its procedures. This is done by examining all of its paperwork and inventory. Such jobs require large auditing companies. While a simple shop can be audited by one auditor, large businesses require whole teams.
The first section of the internal audit concerns information regarding the firm’s finances and operations. The second looks at its policies and plans when compared against national and local laws and regulations. The third looks at security methods and how the company protects its assets. The fourth looks into the company’s use of resources. The final section audits the business’ goals and objectives.
The second section is a good example of where audit objectives and a company’s objectives may diverge. The company wants its employees to follow its procedures and processes. The auditor, on the other hand, will also compare these against all associated laws and regulations. The purpose of the audit objectives here is to ensure the company is legal.