5 Principles of Auditing

5 Principles of Auditing

ISO 19011:2018 defines the following as the principles that should be used during an audit process with regards to any management system. 

  1. Ethical conduct– As an auditor, one is expected to be very professional. Ethics is the foundation of professionalism. This includes; Integrity, trust, confidentiality, and discretion. 
  2. Fair presentation – this is the ability of an auditor to report truthfully and accurately. Every auditor is obligated to a fair presentation. In case there were any obstacles or unresolved divergence in opinion between auditor and auditee during the audit, this should be reported. 
  3. Due professional care– this applies to the ability of an auditor to apply diligence and judgment during the audit process. Some of the situations encountered during the audit process are not always in black and white, there are plenty of grey areas. The onus is on the auditor to provide a way forward by being very decisive. Auditors should be competent in the specific area they are auditing. 
  4. Independence – impartiality of the audit process and the objectivity of the conclusions. As an auditor, one should not audit their own work or put themselves in a situation where they are directly or indirectly involved with the work being audited. Ie if one was involved in making documentation for an organization, then they should not be involved in auditing the same. 

Avoid circumstances that will compromise your objectivity. I.e auditing one’s best friend can be one such situation.

  1. Evidence-based approach: in a systematic audit, this is defined as a rational method for reaching verifiable, reliable, and reproducible audit conclusions. This is based on the samples collected during the time of the audit. If someone else picks the same samples that you audited, they should be able to come up with the same audit conclusion. The size of the sample or the sampling technique affects the confidence of the output. 

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