Fast Facts

Audits often rely on data as evidence. This requires auditors to assess the reliability of the data they are using—i.e., its accuracy, completeness, and applicability for the purposes of the audit.

We published this guide to help auditors assess the reliability of data. It provides a risk-based framework for data reliability assessments that can be geared to the specific circumstances of each engagement.

The framework encourages auditors to:

Make use of existing information

Maximize professional judgment

Involve the appropriate people, including management and stakeholders, in key decisions

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Highlights

Audits often rely on data as evidence, requiring auditors to assess the data's reliability - its accuracy, completeness, and applicability for the audit's purpose. GAO published this guide to assist auditors in assessing the reliability of data. The guidance provides a flexible, risk-based framework for data reliability assessments that can be geared to the specific circumstances of each engagement. The framework relies on making use of existing information about the data, maximizing professional judgment, and involving the appropriate people, including management and stakeholders, in key decisions.

This publication supersedes GAO-09-680G, Assessing the Reliability of Computer-Processed Data, July 2009.

For more information, contact SaraAnn Moessbauer at (202) 512-4943 or moessbauers@gao.gov.

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