To understand auditing in its correct perspective, one should know how auditing is distinct from investigation.
Auditing is different from investigation which is another significant service, a professional accountant renders. Investigation is a critical examination of the accounts with a special purpose. For example if fraud is suspected and an accountant is called upon to check the accounts to whether fraud really exists and if so, the amount involved, the character of the enquiry changes into investigation. Investigation may be undertaken in numerous areas of accounts, e.g., the extent of waste and loss, profitability, cost of production, etc. It normally concerns only specified areas, but at times, it may involve the whole field of accounting. Its essence lies in going into the matter with some pre-conceived notion suited to the objective. The techniques fit the circumstances of the case. For auditing on the other hand, the general objective is to find out whether the accounts show a true and fair view.

Audit never undertakes discovery of specific happenings and is never started with a pre-conceived notion about the state of affairs. The auditor seeks to report what he finds in the normal course of examination of the accounts adopting generally followed techniques unless circumstances call for a special probe : fraud, error, irregularity, whatever comes to the auditor’s notice in the usual course of checking, are all looked into in depth and sometimes investigation results from the prima facie findings of the auditor.

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