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ISSAI Executive Summaries

Executive Summary:

ISSAI 4100 – Compliance Audit Guidelines - For Audits Performed Separately from the Audit of Financial Statements


These guidelines address aspects of compliance audit in the public sector that, in many countries, is subject to very different mandates and objectives. They build upon INTOSAI's Fundamental Auditing Principles (referenced as ISSAI 100-400) and have been designed to assist public sector auditors and SAIs in applying these principles.

ISSAI Category:

Level 4: General Auditing Guidelines – General Auditing Guidelines on Compliance Audit

Target Group:

Head and Audit Directors of SAIs, External Governmental Auditors, Internal Auditors


Compliance audit deals with the degree to which the audited entity follows rules, laws and regulations, policy, established codes or agreed upon terms, such as the terms of a contract or the terms of a funding agreement.

ISSAI 4100 deal with compliance audit as an audit type of its own or as a part of performance audit, and not when specifically performed together with an audit of financial statement.

Scope - Content:

The document follows the general process in carrying out compliance audits and is described in the subsequent sections:

  • Initial considerations (Objectives to be achieved, ethical considerations, quality control, ….)
  • Planning and designing a compliance audit (identification of parties involved, legal basis, audit criteria and strategy, materiality, risk assessment, ….)
  • Performing compliance audits and gathering evidence (documentation, communication, ….)
  • Evaluating evidence and forming conclusions
  • Reporting (audit reports, follow-up processes, ….)
  • Additional guidance for public sector auditors operating in a court of accounts environment

The guideline is completed by examples illustrating the regularity and the propriety concept of compliance audits.

Author - Committee:

INTOSAI Compliance Audit Subcommittee 


Approved at XXth Congress of INTOSAI, Johannesburg 2010


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ISSAI 30 – Code of Ethics

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