PARALLEL AUDITS illustration

Cooperative audits

Team leaders

National Audit Office of Estonia
Mr Alvar Nõuakas
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Czech Republic Supreme Audit Office
Mr Štefan Kabátek
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A cooperative audit is a great way to study areas that are important for several countries. As far as a cooperative audits conducted by Supreme Audit Institutions they can be divided into three basic types: joint, parallel and coordinated.

Joint audits - conducted by one audit team whose members (auditors) come from two or more SAIs. A single audit report is prepared for publication in participating SAI’s countries.

Parallel audits - conducted by two or more separate audit teams (usually simultaneously) from each participating SAIS. They may each adopt a different audit approach (methods, scope, questions) best suited to a state needs and preferences. Thus the observations, findings and conclusions relate to the SAIS’s own country and reports are prepared only for the countries’ own use though the exchange of information is the most important aspect of this kind of cooperation.

Coordinated audits - any mixture of the two above described forms of SAI’s cooperation. SAIs participating in a coordinated audit at least coordinate or harmonize their audit approaches in some way, but differences between countries are still possible. Best examples of this kind of cooperation ois a join audit with separate reports or parallel audit with a join audit report as an addition to the national reports.

The online Benchmarking and Information Exchange Project (BIEP) hosted by the Supreme Audit Office of Czech Republic serves as an established platform for benchmarking SAI audit information and results. BIEP is also used in the ITWG Cooperative Audits sub-project.

Benchmarking and Information Exchange Project (BIEP) logo