International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
|Motto||Experientia Mutua Omnibus Prodest, "Mutual experience benefits all"|
The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) is a worldwide affiliation of governmental entities. Its members are the Chief Financial Controller/Comptroller General/Auditor General Offices of nations.
INTOSAI was founded in 1953 in Havana, Cuba. Thirty-four audit organizations formed the group originally and as of 2010 the current membership includes 193 institutions (188 national institutions, the European Court of Auditors and 4 associated members).
The members of INTOSAI are the primary external auditors of the United Nations. The UN's General Assembly appoints the UN Board of Auditors (3 members appointed for 6 years) among the INTOSAI member representatives.
INTOSAI holds a triennial conference entitled the International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI). It publishes the quarterly International Journal of Government Auditing. Examples of its major publications are:
- Guidelines for Internal Control Standards for the Public Sector (1992 - The current text is the 2004 revision by the INTOSAI Internal Control Standards Committee, approved by the XVIIIth INCOSAI of October 2004. It has been subsequently integrated in the INTOSAI standards/guidances as "INTOSAI GOV 9100"). It relies upon the COSO's integrated framework for internal control (as stated in the preface), and uses the COSO's definition of Internal Control and IIA's definition of Internal Audit.
- Guidelines on Best Practice for the Audit of Privatizations, (1998)
- Guidance for Planning an Audit of Internal Controls for Public Debt, (2002)
The ISSAIs, International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions
The International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) are a benchmark for auditing public entities (External Audit Standards for public entities).
The "INTOSAI Auditing Standards" had been approved by the INCOSAI in 1998 and updated in 2001. In its strategic plan 2005-2010, the INTOSAI decided to "provide an up-to-date framework of professional standards", so the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee decided to merge the existing and new INTOSAI standards and guidelines into a framework.
The framework comprises all documents endorsed by INCOSAI with the purpose of guiding the professional standards used by SAIs
- Auditing Standards (ISSAI-numbers of 3 digits) stipulate general principles and postulates for carrying out the audit work;
- Implementation Guidelines (ISSAI-numbers of 4 digits) give more detailed guidance, practical assistance to SAIs in implementing the Standards in their individual constituents.
|Hierarchical level of the text||ISSAI series||Name||Notes||Link to ISSAI document|
|Level 1: Founding Principles||ISSAI 1||The Lima Declaration (endorsed 1977)||Comprehensive precepts on auditing in the public sector|
|Level 2: Prerequisites||ISSAI 10-40||Prerequisites for the Functioning of Supreme Audit Institutions||* The 'ISSAI 30' Code of Ethics is the statement of values and principles guiding the daily work of the auditors. One of the principles outlined in the Code of Ethics is the statutory auditor’s obligation to apply generally accepted auditing standards. (not to be mistaken with the AICPA's Generally accepted auditing standards)|
|Level 3: Fundamental Auditing Principles||ISSAI 100-400||Basic Principles, General Standards, Field Standards (endorsed 2001), and Reporting Standards|
|Level 4: Auditing Guidelines||ISSAI 1000-1810||Financial Audit Guidelines||Financial_Audit_Guidelines_E.pdf|
|ISSAI 3000-3100||Performance Audit Guidelines|
|ISSAI 4000-4200||Compliance Audit Guidelines|
|ISSAI 5000-5010||Guidelines on auditing International Institutions|
|ISSAI 5100-5140||Guidelines on Environmental Audit|
|ISSAI 5200-5240||Guidelines on Privatisation|
|ISSAI 5300-5399||guidelines on IT-audit|
|ISSAI 5400-5499||Guidelines on Audit of Public Debt|
|ISSAI 5500-5599||Guidelines on Audit of Disaster-related Aid|
|ISSAI 5600-5699||Guidelines on Peer Reviews|
|Guidance for Good governance||INTOSAI GOVs 9100 - 9230||Internal Control and Accounting Standards||www.issai.org/media(891,1033)/Internal_Control_Standards.pdf|
Two main types of audit
The INTOSAI Auditing Standards distinguish basically two types of audit that a Government Auditor may perform:
- Regularity audit or Statutory audit, which is a Financial audit of the financial reporting or budget reporting of the audited entity.
In a regularity audit, the audit report contains the auditor's opinion.
- Performance audit, refers to an examination of a program, function, operation or the management systems and procedures of a governmental or non-profit entity to assess whether the entity is achieving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the employment of available resources.
Adoption by intergovernmental organizations
- Council of Europe
- European Communities
- European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
- Audit by two appointed Supreme Audit Institutions.
- European Space Agency
- Audit by an Audit Board composed of Supreme Audit Institutions auditors.
- Audit by an appointed Supreme Audit Institution.
- International Criminal Police Organization
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
- Audit by a Supreme Audit Institution.
- The United Nations
INTOSAI and Internal Audit
- ISSAI 1610 – Using the Work of Internal Auditors
- INTOSAI Guidance for Good governance : INTOSAI GOVs 9100 - 9230
The guidance 'INTOSAI GOV 9100' states: -(page 46) "The Supreme Audit Institution also has a vested interest in ensuring that strong internal audit units exist where needed. Those audit units constitute an important element of internal control by providing a continuous means for improving an organisation's operations. In some countries, however, the internal audit units may lack independence, be weak, or be non-existent. In those cases, the SAI should, whenever possible, offer assistance and guidance to establish and develop those capacities and to ensure the independence of the internal auditor's activities." - "The creation of an internal audit unit as part of the internal control system is a strong signal by management that internal control is important.
(...) For an internal audit function to be effective, it is essential that the internal audit staff be independent from management, work in an unbiased, correct and honest way and that they report directly to the highest level of authority within the organisation.
(...) "For professional guidance, internal auditors should use the Professional Practices Framework (PPF) of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) (...) Additionally, internal auditors should follow the INTOSAI Code of Ethics".
Regional working groups
- AFROSAI: African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
- ARABOSAI: Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
- ASOSAI: Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
- CAROSAI: Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
- EUROSAI: European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. For more information please see website.
- OLACEFS: Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions. For more information please see website
- PASAI: Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions
List of INCOSAI Conferences
Members of INTOSAI
Typical title of the members of INTOSAI: Office of the Chief Financial Controller / Comptroller / Comptroller General / Auditor General / Comptroller and Auditor General...
The list below is not exhaustive.
- Government performance auditing
- CGAP: Institute of Internal Auditors#Other certificates offered by the IIA
- Negative assurance and Positive assurance
- Hussey, Roger; Ong, Audra Wei Ming (2006), International Financial Reporting Standards Desk Reference, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, p. 289, ISBN 978-0-471-72715-6, OCLC 57573800
- Franda, Marcus F. (2006), The United Nations in the Twenty-first Century: Management and Reform Processes in a Troubled Organization, Lanham, Maryland, U.S.: Rowman & Littlefield, p. 219, ISBN 978-0-7425-5334-7, OCLC 62895793
- Shah, Anwar (2007), Performance Accountability and Combating Corruption, Washington, D.C., U.S.: World Bank, p. 309, ISBN 978-0821369418, OCLC 77116846
- The INTOSAI Financial Audit Guidelines will be based on the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) issued by the IAASB http://www.afrosai-e.org.za/HOME/Menu/TechnicalAdvancement/INTOSAIauditingstandards/tabid/82/Default.aspx
- Official membership list http://www.intosai.org/en/portal/about_us/organisation/membership_list/