audit

noun
au·​dit | \ ˈȯ-dət How to pronounce audit (audio) \

Definition of audit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a formal examination of an organization's or individual's accounts or financial situation The audit showed that the company had misled investors.
b : the final report of an audit
2 : a methodical examination and review an energy audit of the house

audit

verb
audited; auditing; audits

Definition of audit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to perform an audit of or for audit the books audit the company
2 : to attend (a course) without working for or expecting to receive formal credit audited a foreign language course

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Other Words from audit

Verb

auditability \ ˌȯ-​də-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce auditability (audio) \ noun
auditable \ ˌȯ-​di-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce auditable (audio) \ adjective
auditee \ ˌȯ-​də-​ˈtē How to pronounce auditee (audio) \ noun

Examples of audit in a Sentence

Noun

The Internal Revenue Service selected us for an audit. You will need all your records if you are selected for audit by the IRS.

Verb

They audit the company books every year. The Internal Revenue Service audited him twice in 10 years. I audited an English literature class last semester.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The employee then conducted an audit and discovered $3.775 million in checks made payable to Rostohar between January 2018 and March. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, "After $40-million embezzlement, former CBS credit union manager gets 14 years in jail," 16 Sep. 2019 He and the city’s attorneys took the better part of three months to decide how to proceed, including starting an audit of pending internal investigations. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Hartford police sergeant receives 35-day suspension in sexual harassment of LGBTQ liaison," 13 Sep. 2019 US Postal Service Office of the Inspector General The US Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General released a management alert (pdf) on Sept. 5 amid an ongoing audit of the agency’s transportation-network operations. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "The US Postal Service really does not want to discuss a problem with its charter flights," 7 Sep. 2019 Alonzo Blackman, 62, had been a commercial driver’s license examiner for seven years when DPS suspended him amid the federal investigation that arose from an audit by DPS. Guillermo Contreras, ExpressNews.com, "Feds release identity of DPS employee accused of taking bribes for trucker licenses," 26 July 2019 An audit was conducted in Fairfield, Cincinnati and Centerville to estimate how much contamination was in the recycling bins. Rachel Berry, Cincinnati.com, "You're doing it wrong: Ohioans have recycling problems, audit finds," 24 July 2019 Administrators and contractors at the New Beginnings Schools Foundation charter network scrambled to audit seniors’ graduation eligibility in the weeks leading up to and even after John F. Kennedy High School’s May graduation, The Lens reports. nola.com, "Kennedy High School scrambled to verify graduates’ eligibility amid grade-fixing probe: report," 5 June 2019 Qualcomm says that the master software agreement signed by the two companies has a provision allowing Qualcomm to audit Apple's compliance but that Apple hasn't allowed such an audit. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Apple stole Qualcomm chip secrets and gave them to Intel, Qualcomm claims," 25 Sep. 2018 House Bill 1230 would add more money to the Indiana Secured School Fund, make low-interest loans available to schools for security upgrades and require the Indiana Department of Education to audit school safety plans. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Ball State plan to take control of Muncie schools headed toward approval in special session," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s also Sorry to Bother You’s Lakeith Stanfield as a low-key police detective, and Daniel Craig as the fancy private P.I. brought in under special, anonymous circumstances to audit the investigation. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "All-star murder mystery Knives Out is a bloody clever good time," 10 Sep. 2019 Microsoft has agreed to audit security practices and provide the bureau with threat intelligence. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Greatest head count in US history is nearly ready for launch," 27 Aug. 2019 Microsoft has agreed to audit security practices and provide the bureau with threat intelligence. Washington Post, "Greatest head count in US history is nearly ready for launch," 27 Aug. 2019 Lyash said that the expenses questioned make up less than 8% of the $1.8 million audited. Washington Post, "Audit: Federal utility execs overspent on travel expenses," 13 Sep. 2019 There’s no evidence (so far) that the Voatz system was breached, or was even targeted, and the company has said its security protocols were rigorously audited. Wired, "Wouldn’t It Be Great If People Could Vote on the Blockchain?," 3 Sep. 2019 The panel oversees the operations of the 10,000-officer agency, sets Los Angeles Police Department policies and has an inspector general who audits and investigates the department on its behalf. Los Angeles Times, "LAPD Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa failed to disclose income from city contracts," 30 Aug. 2019 The tax is complicated, compliance costs are high, and the risk of getting audited very low. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Colorado severance tax collections expected to drop sharply, even though a bust is nowhere in sight," 18 Aug. 2019 And the company began auditing the legal status of its existing employees at its golf courses, firing at least 18. Anchorage Daily News, "How a Trump construction crew has relied on immigrants without legal status," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'audit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of audit

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for audit

Noun

Middle English audyte "examination of accounts, judicial hearing," borrowed from Medieval Latin audītus "sense of hearing, act of listening, right to judicial hearing, examination of accounts," going back to Latin, "sense or act of hearing," from audīre "to hear" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at audible entry 1

Note: The sense "examination of accounts," attested relatively late in Medieval Latin, is based on the word audītor, which in the meaning "one who examines accounts" is recorded much earlier—see auditor.

Verb

Middle English audyten, derivative of audyte audit entry 1; in sense 2 back-formation from auditor

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Statistics for audit

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for audit

The first known use of audit was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for audit

audit

noun

Financial Definition of audit

What It Is

In the tax world, an audit refers to the review of a taxpayer's tax return for accuracy.

In the accounting world, an audit is the examination and verification of a company's financial statements and records, and in the United States, examination for their compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

How It Works

Accounting professionals, usually Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), perform audits. These auditors must be independent, unbiased, and qualified to provide an auditor's report (also called an opinion).

There are four major steps in the audit process:

-- Defining the terms of the engagement between the auditor and the client
Planning the scope and conduct of the audit
Compiling the audited information
Reporting the results of the index audit

The terms of an engagement are usually set forth in an engagement letter that is written by the auditor and signed by the client. The letter documents the auditor's role and addresses any specific issues. The audit plan defines the scope of the audit and key deadlines. Quite often the company's audit committee (primarily composed of board members) reviews and approves the audit plan.

One of the goals of a financial audit is to find and correct any material misstatements, which are statements that are wrong, missing, or incomplete whether made deliberately or accidentally. This is why auditors must be able to drill down to the source of each piece of data (this is called the audit trail). To compile the information necessary to do this, an auditor does many things. For example, the auditor tests the transactions and account balances that make up the financial statements as well as the design and operation of the systems that generated those statements.

Auditors also employ sampling techniques, whereby they evaluate less than 100% of the items within an account or class of transactions as a way to understand the nature of the entire account or class of transactions. For example, an auditor will usually not check every expense report in a large company to make sure each has receipts attached. Instead, the auditor will pull a random sample of the reports, examine those, and draw conclusions about the quality of the information and controls related to expense reports. Auditors also analyze significant trends or ratios and question changes or variances from predicted amounts. Further, they investigate the reasonableness of management's accounting estimates of uncertain events or events that are likely to occur (such as the outcome of litigation).

Auditors perform their audit procedures in accordance with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), which is a committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The IAASB develops standards and guidance that are considered best practices for auditors. The IFAC also sets ethical and independence standards for auditors and in particular emphasizes that auditors should be, and be seen to be, free from any influence that might jeopardize their independence. The SEC and other regulatory bodies determine which types of entities are subject to audit as well as the kind of information on which the auditor should report.

Audits can take a few days or several months, depending on the complexity of the financial statements and the degree to which the auditor inspects the company's financial statements and controls. When the audit is complete, the auditor publishes the audit findings in the auditor's report, which prefaces the financial statements in the company's public reports and filings. This report is usually the only public document available about the audit process, but the auditor often issues private reports to the company's management or audit committee as well as to regulatory authorities. The index auditor keeps extensive written records, called working papers, that provide the basis and support for each of its opinions.

When an auditor feels that a company's financial statements are fair and accurate, it issues an unqualified opinion and does so using a standard reporting template (this is why many opinions read the same way). An audit report also includes a statement that the international audit was conducted in accordance with GAAP. When the auditor cannot give an unqualified opinion, it issues a qualified opinion, which lists the reasons for the auditor's concern about the company's financial statements and controls and the possible effects on the financial statements. The auditor is not responsible for auditing transactions that occur after the date of the audit report.

Why It Matters

An audit's objective is to help the auditor form an opinion of the trueness and fairness of a company's financial statements. This is done for the sake of the shareholders, regulatory authorities, lenders, and other people with an interest in the health of the company.

There is always a chance that an auditor gives an unqualified opinion when in fact the financial statements are materially misstated. This is called audit risk, and the auditor must use his or her judgment about how much is acceptable and what errors are material enough to warrant the restatement of the financials. In these situations, the definition of the word material becomes especially important, because shareholders, lenders, and other interested parties make crucial decisions based on the quality of the information in a company's financial statements.

It is very important to understand that auditors are not responsible for detecting all instances of fraud or financial misrepresentation. This is the responsibility of the management of the company. However, the auditor should conduct the audit in a manner that would reasonably detect at least some material misstatements caused by fraud or error. In those cases, the auditor should probe the issue and pursue the audit trail for questionable transactions. To mitigate these errors and problems, companies often have employees known as internal auditors who perform ongoing audit functions. These internal auditors review not only the company's financial statements but also the company's control practices and other critical operations and systems. Internal auditors are often, but not always, accountants.

Source: Investing Answers

audit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of audit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a complete and careful examination of the financial records of a business or person
: a careful check or review of something

audit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of audit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to check the financial records of (a business or person) : to perform an audit on (a business or person)
US : to attend a course at a college or university without having to do any of the course work and without receiving credit

audit

noun
au·​dit | \ ˈȯ-dət How to pronounce audit (audio) \

Kids Definition of audit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a thorough check of business accounts

audit

verb
audited; auditing

Kids Definition of audit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to thoroughly check the business records of

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audit

noun
au·​dit | \ ˈȯ-dət How to pronounce audit (audio) \

Legal Definition of audit

: a formal examination of financial records often to uncover fraud or inaccurate tax returns also : the final report of such an examination

Other Words from audit

audit verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on audit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with audit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for audit

Spanish Central: Translation of audit

Nglish: Translation of audit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of audit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on audit

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