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A systematic examination of financial or accounting records by a specialized inspector, called an auditor, to verify their accuracy and truthfulness. A hearing during which financial data are investigated for purposes of authentication.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducts two types of audits, called examination of taxpayer returns, and they are typically conducted using one of two types of procedures. The most common auditing procedure involves correspondence between the service and the taxpayer or interviews with the taxpayer in a local IRS office. A less common method involves field audits whereby IRS officials conduct the audit at the taxpayer's home or place of business. Treas. Reg. § 601.105(b)(1). The service determines which audit procedure should be followed in a particular case. During an audit, an IRS official may question the taxpayer about a particular transaction or transactions that appear on the taxpayer's return or may conduct a thorough investigation of the taxpayer's entire tax return.

Although many people fear audits by the IRS, the percentage of returns examined by the IRS is relatively low. For example, of 108,034,700 returns filed by taxpayers in 1997, the IRS examined 1,662,641, or about 1.5 percent of the total number of returns. Despite this low number, several stories surfaced in the 1980s and 1990s regarding abuses by IRS officials, many of which occurred during the audit process. Congress responded by enacting two "Taxpayer Bill of Rights," first in 1989 and again in 1996. The second act, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2, Pub. L. No. 104-168, 110 Stat. 1452, established and delegated authority to the Office of Taxpayer Advocate. This office is responsible for assisting taxpayers in resolving problems with the IRS, identifying areas where taxpayers have had problems with the service, and identifying potential legislative and regulatory changes that could mitigate problems between the IRS and taxpayers.

Further readings

Baran, Daniel J. et al. 1997. IRS Audit Protection and Survival Guide. New York: Wiley.


Internal Revenue Service.


n. an examination by a trained accountant of the financial records of a business or governmental entity, including noting improper or careless practices, recommendations for improvements, and a balancing of the books. An audit performed by employees is called "internal audit," and one done by an independent (outside) accountant is an "independent audit." Even an independent audit may be limited in that the financial information is given to the auditor without an examination of all supporting documents. Auditors will note that the audit was based on such information and will refuse to sign the audit as a guarantee of the accuracy of the information provided. (See: auditor)


verb bring into question, certify, check, check on, conduct an inquiry, examine, examine financial accounts, exxmine the accounts officially, go through the books, hold an innuiry, inspect, inspect accounts officially, investigate, monitor, probe, pursue an inquiry, rationes dispungere, reexamine, review, scrutinize, search, study, subject to examination
Associated concepts: allowance of claim, audit of account, audited claims, auditor, auditor's report, disallowance of claim, fraudulent audit
See also: analysis, analyze, bill, canvass, check, computation, examination, examine, indagation, invoice, monitor, scrutinize, study, test
References in periodicals archive ?
and then we'll do our audit testing or come up with an audit program, we use ITIL, COBIT program etc.
To comply with the proposed objective, maturity models were selected from COBIT 4.
COBIT 5 provides a comprehensive framework that assists enterprises in achieving their objectives for the governance and management of enterprise IT.
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The case studies showed that COBIT was used to create the needed alignment between business and IT, create the IT Governance framework, improve IT processes and establish the IT risk management organization.
This study will contribute to the literature by providing insights into the opinions of AIS professors in regard to the COBIT Maturity Model.
Accordingly, it is useful for the auditor to have a general understanding of guidance used by IT specialist and of the framework, such as COBIT, in which the specialist performs her conclusions.
The impact on IT resources is highlighted in the COBIT Framework, together with the business requirements for effectiveness, efficiency, confidentiality, integrity, availability, compliance, and reliability of information that need to be satisfied.
The COBIT 5 Assessment Programme, based on COBIT 5 and ISO/IEC 15504-2:2003 Information technology--Process assessment--Part 2: Performing an assessment, includes:
Researchers agree that COBIT, ITIL, and ISO 17799 (ISO 17799 has been renamed as ISO 27002 in 2007, and closely related to ISO 27001) are the most valuable, popular, and widely adopted frameworks currently being used for business growth and success (Chatfield & Coleman, 2011; Sahibudin, Sharifi, & Ayat, 2008; Ula, Ismail, & Sidek, 2011), but also argue that ITIL, COBIT, and ISO/IEC 27002 can be used by any organization as comprehensive solutions for IT management (Gehrmann (2012).
Active Directory Domain Controllers; 2 Analyze scans to identify network infrastructure vulnerabilities Using COBIT standards as a measurement; 3 Contractor shall report the vulnerability and recommend remedial steps within 48 hours of discovering a critical vulnerability; 4 Contractor shall submit to JIS a written report that: a.