Difference between Audit and Evaluation

Key difference: Audit is the inspection, examination or verification of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. On the other hand, an evaluation is used to appraise, evaluate, determine the merit, worth and/or significance of an idea or concept.

Audit and evaluation are both concepts used for assessing products and performance and are equally important to an organization. However, they are significantly different from one another.

An audit is the inspection, examination or verification of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. It is used to determine the authenticity and validity or to ensure that a process is being followed. An evaluation on the other hand is used to appraise, evaluate or determine the merit, worth and significance of the subject against a set of standards. Evaluation is done in order for identifying and understanding the results of a process and their impacts, as well as what can be the best alternatives to help in decision-making and lead to improvement in the process.

Also, an audit is mainly used in accounting to ensure the validity and reliability of information in the statements and that the information is free from material error. An audit can be done anytime, while an evaluation is mainly done at the end to understand and improve the efficiency of the system.

Further differences between an audit and evaluation are:

 

Audit

Evaluation

Definition

The inspection, examination or verification of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product.

To appraise, evaluate or determine merit, worth and significance, against a set of standards.

Purpose

To evaluate or improve appropriateness, safety and/or efficiency; to ascertain the validity and reliability of information; to provide an assessment of a system's internal control. Usually used in accounting.

To assess any aim, concept or proposal; to help in decision-making; to ascertain achievement or value; to gaining insight into prior or existing initiatives, to enable reflection and assist in the identification of future change.

Goal

To express an opinion of the person, organization or system based on work done on a test basis. An audit in accounting seeks to prove that the statements are free from material error.

To determine the quality of a program

Types

Audits are of different types, quality and integrated or differentiated into personal, internal, external, statutory, non-statutory, social, performance and final.

Evaluations are mainly of two types, formative and summative.

Strategies/Methods

The main steps involved in auditing are information gathering, followed by evaluation and validation of internal control.

There are four main strategies used- scientific experimental model, management oriented systems model qualitative/anthropological models and participant-oriented models.

Image Courtesy: theworldinyourclassroomthroughpjbl.blogspot.in, quickreadbuzz.com

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