During an audit engagement a qualified accountant examines your accounts. This includes analysing changes from one year to the next, checking to see that your accounting processes are basically adequate, sample testing from the underlying information, and considering the evidence that makes up the audit trail.
An audit is usually carried out over the whole of the financial statements, but it can also be carried out over an aspect of the financial statements, such as debtors or creditors.
The accountant forms an opinion: are the financial statements wrong to an extent that would change the way people using them make decisions?
The opinion is presented in a report which is appended to your financial statements, so that everybody who reads them can see that an independent audit has taken place.
Other assurance options:
ICAEW's assurance resource
This page is part of ICAEW’s online assurance resource, which replaces the Assurance Sourcebook.