International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions

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International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
Abbreviation INTOSAI
Motto Experientia Mutua Omnibus Prodest, "Mutual experience benefits all"
Formation 1953
Type IGO
Headquarters Vienna, Austria

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[1] in Havana, Cuba.[2] 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).[1]

The members of INTOSAI are the primary external auditors of the United Nations.[2] The UN's General Assembly appoints the UN Board of Auditors (3 members appointed for 6 years) among the INTOSAI member representatives.[3]

INTOSAI holds a triennial conference entitled the International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI).[4] It publishes the quarterly International Journal of Government Auditing. Examples of its major publications are:

The ISSAIs, International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions[edit]

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

The ISSAIs can be found at INTOSAI.ORG and The list of ISSAIs is in the table below:

  • 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,1033)/Internal_Control_Standards.pdf

Two main types of audit[edit]

The INTOSAI Auditing Standards distinguish basically two types of audit that a government auditor may perform:

Regularity audit[edit]

A Regularity audit or Statutory audit 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[edit]

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.

In a performance audit, the report should contain a statement of assurance on those items tested for compliance, as the auditor's conclusion (as opposed to opinion).

The INTOSAI's (and GAO's or ECA's) Performance audit corresponds to the Review Engagements or "Assurance Engagements other than Audits" of the IFAC.

Adoption by intergovernmental organizations[edit]

In addition to the INTOSAI members (the Supreme Audit Institutions), the following intergovernmental organizations have adopted INTOSAI AS:

INTOSAI and Internal Audit[edit]

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is among the 4 associated members of the INTOSAI.[8]
The INTOSAI is a strong advocate for the establishment of Independent Internal audit in public entities.

  • 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

INCOSAI Place Date Host Information
I November 1953 Ministry of Auditing and Control of the Republic of Cuba
II September 1956 Court of Audit of Belgium
III May 1959 Tribunal de Contas da União
IV May 1962 Court of Audit of the Republic of Austria
V June 1965 State Comptroller's Office of Israel
VI May 1968 Board of Audit of Japan
VII September 1971 Office of the Auditor General of Canada
VIII May 1974 Tribunal de Cuentas
IX October 1977 Contraloría General de la República del Perú
X June 1980 Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of Kenya
XI April 1983 Philippine Commission on Audit
XII April 1986 Australian National Audit Office
XIII June 1989 Bundesrechnungshof
German commemorative stamp from XIII INCOSAI
XIV October 1992 Government Accountability Office
XV September - October 1995 Central Auditing Organization of Egypt
XVI November 1998 Contraloría General de la República del Uruguay
XVII October 2001 Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea
XVIII October 2004 Hungarian State Audit Office
XIX November 2007 Contraloría General de la República de Mexico
XX November 2010 Auditor-General of South Africa
XXI October 2013 National Audit Office of the People's Republic of China
XXII December 2016 State Audit Institution of United Arab Emirates


The following countries are members of the INTOSAI:[9]


Supranational Organisations[edit]

Associate Members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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 
  2. ^ a b 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 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Shah, Anwar (2007), Performance Accountability and Combating Corruption (PDF), Washington, D.C., U.S.: World Bank, p. 309, ISBN 978-0821369418, OCLC 77116846 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ The INTOSAI Financial Audit Guidelines will be based on the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) issued by the IAASB
  8. ^ Official membership list
  9. ^

External links[edit]