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Practice Guide to Auditing Efficiency

Determining the Audit Approach

Legislative performance auditors often audit systems and practices, and a large portion of internal auditors’ work focuses on internal control systems. Audits of efficiency can likewise be centered on systems.

Audits of efficiency can also be conducted with a focus on operational results, with or without the inclusion of audit work on systems and practices (controls).

Thus, in theory, auditors can choose a “systems approach” or a “results approach” for their audit. In practice, a well-balanced audit includes aspects of both; it is simply a question of relative emphasis between the two.

Before deciding what the approach to the audit will be, auditors should be aware of the characteristics of both “systems audits” and “results audits”.