The reliability of audit results is supported by a solid methodology and selection of appropriate working methods. As of 2008 auditors can rely on an audit manual compiled by the National Audit Office.
Obviously, the National Audit Office also adheres to widely accepted international standards in its work. Since every cultural space has its own characteristics, the supreme audit institutions of many other states have introduced their own audit manuals. The Estonian National Audit Office did so following the developments that took place at the end of the 1990s (when performance audits were introduced in addition to financial audits) which called for a clear agreement on uniform audit principles.
The audit manual is a living document that is modified where necessary. Obviously, there are parts that are not amended at all (e.g. requirements for the independence and competence of auditors), while others may be amended every year (e.g. upon addition of new audit methods).
The manual comprises four main parts:
- the auditor's code of ethics – sets out the main ethical requirements for auditors;
- the audit standard of the National Audit Office – the most general principles that have to be followed in carrying out audits (audit planning, documentation, quality control, etc.). The audit standard applies to financial as well as performance audits;
- application guidelines of the audit standard – practical instructions for auditors regarding carrying out procedural operations, etc. The application instructions have been distinguished according to audit type;
- instructions for preparation of the work plan of the National Audit Office and organisation of audits – while the standards and application guidelines speak more of principles, the formal process of the audits has been regulated in that respect (how the work is plan compiled, what deadlines must be kept in mind when carrying out audits, etc.).
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12/5/2011 9:03 AM
12/5/2011 9:03 AM