Financial audits, system audits, process audits and tax audits are among the types of audits noted by Accounting-Simplified.com and the American Society for Quality. Regardless of type, audits are either external, conducted by an independent auditor who does not work for the organization being audited, or internal, voluntarily conducted by members or employees of an organization to assess internal processes and controls.
External audits of an organization's financial health are typically conducted within the parameters of reporting procedures specified by the International Financial Reporting Standards, issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, or the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, according to Accounting-Simplified and the Financial Accounting Foundation. Operational or process audits, as referenced by the American Society for Quality, are typically conducted internally to assess the effectiveness of an organization's internal controls. These audits, which are not limited in scope as financial audits are, verify compliance with the organization's policies and procedures, such as predetermined instructions, quality control and testing protocol, risk management policies and measurement criteria. Internal audits may also assess compliance with laws and regulations.
System audits include audits of an organization's environmental, food safety, information or other systems. Such audits, explains the American Society for Quality, include evaluation of objective data to determine that elements that comprise the system being audited work effectively as planned and that the system is operating in compliance with all related requirements and performance standards.