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Practice Guide to Auditing Efficiency

Introduction to Auditing Efficiency

Audits of efficiency follow the same standards and general process as all performance, value-for-money, or internal audits. Auditors are required to follow the standards and audit process applicable to their body of practice and office mandate.

An overview of the generic audit process is presented in Figure 4.

Figure 4

Overview of the Performance Audit Process

Overview of the Performance Audit Process

When designing an audit of efficiency of a given entity, program, or activity, auditors are confronted with many questions and choices specific to this type of audit, such as:

  • Is the entity or program a good candidate for an audit of efficiency?
  • If so, should the audit deal exclusively with efficiency (that is, should it be a “stand-alone” audit of efficiency) or should efficiency be part of an otherwise broader performance audit (i.e. where efficiency is only one of the topics covered by the audit)?
  • Should the audit (whether stand-alone of efficiency or not) also deal with economy and effectiveness?
  • Where can the auditor go to obtain key performance indicators, benchmarking information, and suitable criteria to audit efficiency?

The Practice Guide provides information and guidance that will help auditors to answer these questions and many more. This guidance is organized according to the standard phases of the audit process: