An audit involves a thorough review of an organization’s financial statements as disclosed in its annual report by an external examiner. These financial statements encompass the balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in equity, cash flow statement, and accompanying notes that detail significant accounting policies and other pertinent explanations.

Objective of an Audit
The primary goal of conducting an audit is to evaluate whether the financial statements accurately represent the organization’s financial status at a specific point in time. This involves assessing if assets and liabilities are correctly documented in the balance sheet and whether profits or losses are accurately calculated. This process ensures stakeholders can rely on the presented financial information.

Audit Process
Preparation by the Organization: Initially, the organization’s management team compiles the financial report, adhering to statutory obligations and financial reporting standards. Subsequently, the organization’s board of directors ratifies the financial report.

Auditor’s Evaluation: Auditors commence their evaluation by understanding the organization’s operations and the external factors influencing its business. They scrutinize each significant component of the financial report, identifying and evaluating potential risks to the financial position or performance. This examination includes reviewing the effectiveness of internal controls designed to mitigate identified risks.

Verification and Compliance: Auditors then verify the measures management has implemented to ensure the accuracy of the financial report. This involves assessing the financial report as a whole to ascertain if it presents a true and fair view of the organization’s financial outcomes, position, and cash flows, and complies with applicable financial reporting standards and legislation, such as the Corporations Act where relevant.

Audit Report Compilation: Upon concluding their assessment, auditors draft an audit report. This report outlines their activities and presents their opinion based on the audit’s findings. This report is intended for the organization’s shareholders or members, offering them an independent view of the financial statements’ reliability.

Regulatory Framework
Auditors are mandated to adhere to auditing standards established by a governmental authority. This ensures a consistent and rigorous approach to the auditing process, enhancing the credibility and reliability of the financial statements.

Mandatory annual audits are requisite for all publicly listed companies and entities with limited liability. Other organizations might undergo audits based on specific requirements related to their structure or ownership.

This structured overview encapsulates the auditing process, highlighting its significance in affirming the integrity and accuracy of financial reporting within organizations.