What is an Audit?

The formal answer as defined in ISO 19011:2018 Guidelines for auditing management systems states that an audit is a  ‘Systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled’. 

An audit is simply checking what has been done against what should have been done. 

As auditors, we are looking for evidence of this, either through documentation (records), observation of the task or activity, or statements of fact. It’s important to point out that there is a difference between a “statement of fact” and somebody just telling us something.