Importance of Audit in Public Sector Organizations
Audit is an instrument, a tool of financial control, which is employed by the public or private sector or an individual to safeguard itself against fraud, extravagance and more importantly to bring credibility to the audited. According to International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions audit is defined as Evaluation or examination of systems, operations and activities of a specific entity, to ascertain they are executed or they function within the framework of certain budget, objectives, rules and requirements. This is a modern definition of audit in Public sector and does not constrict itself with only cash audit, which was the case originally.
For sound and effective functioning of government and to ascertain that the benefit of public funds being used, reach the lowest strata of society and to every individual, audit is an indispensable tool. It helps secure accountability of the executive to the Parliament and towards the public in general. The legislature can exercise control over the executives and verify that the public resources have been utilized responsibly, for the purpose intended and funds raised through various sources like taxes reach government fully.
There are a few International bodies which recommends agreed upon auditing practices, reports and requirements. They are:
In accordance with the target objective several kinds of audit can be defined in Public Sector.
Financial and Audit of Legality concordance were originally grouped together to form Audit of Regularity and rest other audits were termed as Operational Audit.
After audit is complete it is necessary to file a report which has adequate representation of facts and figures, adequate content, adequate preparation, adequate opinion for the target audience to understand it better and enough publicity for the report.
Audit must be treated as an instrument for exercising control over processes, systems, finances and individuals to make governments and governing bodies more responsible towards the public and its resources, but it cannot be considered as an end unto itself.
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