The Audit process
The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) conducts financial
and performance audits as required by Section 13 of the
Act 1994 (the Act).
How is an audit conducted?
More information on how audits are conducted
can be found in our Audit Practice
Statement, our Performance Audit Practice
What is audit evidence?
For financial audits, audit evidence includes information from
accounting records used to prepare the report and other relevant
information. Accounting records generally include data from
accounting entries and supporting documents. These include cheques
and details of electronic fund transfers, invoices, contracts,
general and subsidiary ledgers, and journal entries. Work sheets
and spreadsheets supporting cost allocations, computations,
reconciliations and disclosures are also examples.
For performance audits, audit evidence gathered is usually
broader than that obtained for the audit of a financial report.
Some examples include strategic plans, tender documents, business
cases, Cabinet submissions, consultant’s reports, legal opinions
and contracts with private providers. These documents can be
accessed even if they are in draft form or subject to privacy
However, persuasive audit evidence must have the same
characteristics whether it is obtained as part of a financial or
performance audit. That is, the evidence must be sufficient and
appropriate. Audit evidence is cumulative and is also gathered to
corroborate management representations.
More information can be found in our Audit
What powers does the Auditor-General have to obtain audit
The Auditor-General has broad powers under the Act to access
information necessary to perform audits. Under Section 12 of the
Act, the Auditor-General or an authorised representative can access
information that is otherwise subject to secrecy or other
disclosure restrictions, such as Cabinet documents.
If there is lack of cooperation by someone representing an
entity subject to audit, under Section 11 of the Act, the
Auditor-General can compel individuals to provide documents or be
examined upon oath and the Auditor-General or delegate can cause a
search to be made for any documents in the possession, custody or
control of any authority.
There are procedural fairness controls surrounding the use of
Section 11 of the Act. For instance, if a person is to be
examined on oath, a notice under Section 11 must state the nature
of the matters about which the person is to be examined. The person
is entitled to legal representation, and if the person is under the
age of 18, has a mental impairment or insufficient knowledge of
English to understand the questions, there are steps that the
Auditor-General must take to support the individual.
The Auditor-General rarely uses the powers governed by Section
11 as authorities usually cooperate with requests for
More information about section 11 of