Internal audit in Australia
An internal audit is an in-depth analysis of a company or organization’s performance in respect to the organization’s business plan or other predefined performance benchmarks. An internal audit provide management and board of directors with vital information about several aspects of the company’s activities and help them move forward with plans to build business and increase profits. Less effective business activities will be pointed out and suggestions to improve effectiveness may be presented. Auditors provide advisory information only and do not have any control or authority over business operations. The actual business activities being audited are usually specified in the mandate calling for the audit. This list of audited activities can include management effectiveness, efficiency of operations, compliance with laws and regulations, or any other aspects of business operation as defined in the audit request documents. Audits may also look into fraudulent activities, the validity of financial reporting processes or potentials for financial loss. The actual scope of an internal audit is defined in the audit blueprint or in the contract with an outside auditor. Audits may be requested by a government agency, a business lender, or the business management. Internal audits may be scheduled in the business plan to keep the business on track. The intent of an internal audit is not to penalize a business but to provide useful information to improve overall business operations or to provide risk assessment.