Internal Audit and Statutory Audit

The Key Difference Between Internal Audit and Statutory Audit

Internal Audit and Statutory Audit seek to improve accountability and transparency within companies, though with different reporting and focus.

Internal audit refers to an internal regular review of a company’s control, risk management, and governance practices. An internal audit is conducted by internal professionals who review the internal control systems, their operational effectiveness, and compliance with company policies.

The primary focus is on improving processes, and reducing risks while providing the management useful insight. Contrary to that, a audit statutory is an externally required review of an organization’s accounts and financial statements by independent auditors.

It is a way to ensure compliance with regulatory and legal requirements, providing an objective assessment of the accuracy and fairness of financial statements. Statutory audits, performed annually are essential in ensuring transparency of financial information as well as establishing trust with stakeholders, and making sure that financial reporting complies with regulations.

Together, both internal and statutory audits are essential to ensure the quality and credibility of the organization’s operational and financial methods.

What is an Internal Audit?

Internal audit can be described as an impartial impartial, systematic, and systematic assessment process that is carried out within an organization to evaluate and improve internal control procedures, and governance systems.

statutory audit
statutory Audit

It is a thorough examination of the organization’s activities and financial transactions, policies, and procedures performed by internal auditors who are typically employees of the company. The primary objectives of an internal audit is to make sure that the business operates promptly and effectively manages risk and adheres to relevant law and regulation.

Internal auditors find weak internal controls, suggest changes, and offer suggestions to the senior management and Board of Directors. This process can help organizations deal with issues, avoid fraud, increase operational effectiveness, and finally realize their goals while ensuring accountability and transparency.

What is a Statutory Audit?

Statutory audit, sometimes referred to as external audit is a legally mandated and independent audit of finances, financial transactions, and financial statements by external auditors that are not associated with the company.

The main reason for an audit that is statutory provide an independent and objective review of the completeness, accuracy, and fairness organization’s financial statements while ensuring compliance of accounting standards as well as the laws and regulations.

Statutory Audit
Statutory Audit

The audit is usually required by authorities of the government, regulatory entities, as well as stakeholders such as creditors and shareholders, to ensure the integrity of the financial statements and transparency of the entity being audited.

Auditors provide their opinion regarding these financial documents, by confirming their credibility (a “clean” opinion) or pointing out material errors or differences. Audits that are required by law play an important part in maintaining financial integrity, increasing the confidence of investors, as well as ensuring compliance with law within companies.

Difference Between Internal Audit and Statutory Audit

Aspect Internal Audit Statutory Audit
Conducted by Internal auditors (in-house) External auditors (independent)
Focus Internal controls, efficiency, risk Financial statements, compliance
Objectives Improve operations, risk mitigation Ensure accuracy, regulatory compliance
Scope Broad and customizable Narrow and standardized
Customization Tailored to organizational needs Defined by legal/regulatory standards
Frequency Periodic or ongoing Typically annual, mandatory
Reporting To management and board To shareholders and regulators
Recommendations Process improvement and risk mitigation Assurance on financial accuracy
Legal Requirement Not mandatory, driven by organization Mandatory under law/regulations
Independence Internal auditors are part of the organization External auditors are independent
Primary Stakeholders Management, board, internal stakeholders Shareholders, regulatory authorities
Emphasis Operational efficiency and controls Financial transparency and accuracy

Why do organizations need audits

Audits are essential for many important reasons.

  • Accounting for Financial Responsibility: Audits provide an independent and impartial evaluation of a company’s financial statements. This guarantees that the financial information provided to the various stakeholders, including shareholders as well as investors and creditors, is correct and complete. Additionally, it ensures that the information is by accounting regulations and standards. This increases financial accountability and builds trust.
  • Conformity: Many organizations are required to comply with regulations and legal requirements about financial reporting as well as internal controls. Audits can help companies demonstrate compliance with these requirements and reduce the risk of legal sanctions and reputational harm.
  • Risk Management: specifically internal audits, evaluates and determines the risks in an organization, assisting managers to manage these risks and safeguard against possible losses. The risk management aspect is vital to long-term sustainability.
  • Operations Efficiency: Audits conducted internally evaluate internal procedures and controls to identify areas where operations can be improved to make efficiency and cost reductions. This can result in increased performance and competitiveness.
  • Fraud Detection: Audits both external and internal can uncover fraud or other irregularities in an organization. Early detection of fraud can help prevent the loss of money and damage to the reputation of the company.
  • Decision Support: The findings of an audit provide important insights for members of the Board. They aid in making informed decisions strategy planning, strategic planning, and allocation of resources.
  • Confidence among Investors and Stakeholders: Audits, especially legal audits, boost confidence in lenders, investors as well as other stakeholders. This could attract more investment and decrease the costs of capital.
  • Quality assurance: Internal audits can examine the quality of goods or services to ensure they are in line with the standards of the company and the expectations of customers.
  • Transparent Governance: Audits can contribute towards accountable and transparent governance in organizations while aligning the needs of management with the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Who conducts Internal Audits and Statutory Audits?

Internal audits are carried out by experts known by the name of internal auditors. The auditors are employed by the company they audit and typically are within the company’s internal auditors department.

Internal auditors are accountable for evaluating various aspects of the company’s operations which include internal controls, financial processes in risk management, conformity with policies, and overall effectiveness.

On the other hand, Statutory audits also referred to as external audits are carried out by independent external auditors. They aren’t employees of the business which is being audited. They do not have a relationship with the company in any way. They typically are accredited public accountants (CPAs) or chartered accountants working for external audit companies.

The selection of statutory auditors could be legally mandated or even required by regulatory authorities to guarantee the impartiality and objectiveness of reviewing the accuracy of financial statements and compliance with applicable legislation and regulations.

Can the Statutory Audit depend on Internal Audit?

Internal and statutory audits have different but complementary objectives within a company. Statutory audits, which are conducted by auditors outside the organization, are focused on providing an impartial and objective review of the company’s financial statements and ensuring compliance of legal and regulatory standards.

Internal audits, conducted by internal employees are primarily focused on evaluating internal control systems, operational efficiency, and the management of risk. Although both kinds of audits are vital statutory audits should not only rely on the results from internal audits.

Statutory auditors have to maintain their independence and impartiality and must conduct their evaluations free of influence from internal audits. Internal audit reports can be important inputs for auditors of statutory status in helping them to identify areas of risks or concerns, thus improving the efficiency of the statutory audit procedure.

The audit process statutory auditors conduct should be impartial and thorough to ensure accuracy and the fairness of financial statements in addition to conformity with regulatory and legal standards.

What is the scope of Internal Audits versus Statutory Audits?

Internal Audits:

  • Specification: Internal audits have a broader scope. They cover a variety of aspects of an organization’s operation that include internal controls, financial processes, and risk management, as well as conformity with procedures and policies operational efficiency, as well as effectiveness of management methods.
  • Goals: Audits conducted by internal auditors’ principal goal is to evaluate the internal procedures and processes. They also find deficiencies in internal controls to minimize risk and make recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational processes.
  • Customized: Internal audits may be adapted to the specific requirements and risks of the business. They usually focus on issues of strategic importance deemed by the organization’s management team or the board of directors.
  • Regularity: Audits conducted by internal auditors may be carried out periodically or continuously according to the company’s requirements and risk assessment. They could be conducted during the year, as part of a regular process.

Statutory Audits:

  • Specification: Statutory audits are more specific. They focus on the accounting statements for an organization that include the balance sheet as well as the income statement, cash flow statements, and notes to financial statements.
  • Goals One of the primary goals for statutory audits is to give an objective assessment of the fairness and accuracy of financial statements for an organization to ensure compliance of accounting standards and regulations, and give an opinion regarding the reliability of financial statements.
  • Mandatory: Audits are typically ordered by law or mandated by regulators. The scope of audits is defined by standards for accounting and auditing in addition to regulations and legal rules.
  • Time: Statutory audits are usually conducted annually, however, the frequency can vary based on local regulations as well as the size of the company and its structure.


Internal audits are carried out by insiders to analyze and improve the internal processes of an organization as well as controls as well as risk control. They offer suggestions to improve the process and concentrate on the efficiency of operations.

Statutory audits, conducted by independent external auditors, generally evaluate the financial statements to ensure the accuracy of their reporting and for compliance with regulatory and legal requirements. They provide an impartial view regarding the credibility of financial reports and are typically required by law to guarantee that transparency is maintained and accountable.

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