The preparation of an audit programme is an important part of Audit Planning. Audit programme is a written plan wherein a complete outline of audit work is recorded. An auditor commences his audit work on the basis of the outline, i.e., Audit Programme. This outline is prepared well in advance by the auditor. 

Just as Civil Engineer prepares a plan for the construction of a Dam and then all work is done according to the plan in a systematic manner to get success, similarly, an auditor also prepares the outline of audit work and on that basis distributes the work among his staff in order to complete the audit work in a systematic and satisfactory manner. This is called the Audit Programme.

To sum up, An Audit Programme is a written scheme (the plan of action) designed by the auditor, to see that all the books of accounts have been audited properly, the work is over in time, and there is uniformity in the audit work. Every person entrusted with part of the audit work has to put his signature on the part of the work completed by him.


Essential Qualities of an Audit Programme are as under:

(1) Audit programme must be in writing-

In a written audit programme, the auditor has not to tell his staff repeatedly about the distribution of the work. There is no possibility of any dispute between the auditor and his staff. In case of oral audit programme, the auditor cannot hold his employees responsible for their carelessness.

(2) An audit programme must be clearly worded-

It means all necessary clauses must be included in the audit programme, so that the employees easily understand what is to be done by them in the course of the audit and they do not feel like asking from the auditor about their assigned work. Clarity saves both, time and energy of the auditor as well as his staff.

(3) An audit programme must be flexible- 

The auditor must keep in mind the flexible nature of audit programme. This shall help him in making suitable changes required according to the changes in the circumstances/situations. You very well know nothing is static in the present age of the economy and therefore changes are a must. Therefore, an audit programme must be flexible and not rigid.

(4) An audit programme must be prepared departmental-wise- 

The organisation under audit must be having departments and sub-departments. Audit programmes should be prepared for each department and sub-department separately. The nature of work should also be kept in mind while preparing such audit programmes.

(5) Responsibility of each member of the staff relating to audit work must be fixed in the audit programme- 

This will serve as a moral check over them and they shall do their work properly and carefully. In case of their carelessness, they may be held responsible.

(6) Checking from beginning to the end- 

An audit programme must be prepared in such a manner that each account book is audited from the beginning to the end and nothing is left out. Such a device shall help in the easy detection of errors and frauds.

(7) Reliability of Internal Check System- 

The audit programme should he prepared after fully ascertaining the reliability of the internal check system practised by the organisation under audit. The weakness of the system, if any must be known. Thereafter, keeping in mind both the weak and strong points of the internal check system, an audit programme be prepared by the auditor.

(8) Knowledge of Rules relating to the Audit-

The auditor and his staff must be well-conversant with the laws relating to organisations under audit.

For example, if audit work is related to a partnership firm, the auditor must have good knowledge of the Indian formed Partnership Act; if the audit relates to a company under the Companies Act, the auditor must he well conversant with the provisions of the Companies Act.

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