RMG-210 Clarification of the terms ‘Audit’ and ‘Assurance’


This guide applies to all officials (e.g., finance teams) in Commonwealth entities when using the terms audit or assurance in relation to independent external services requested by the Australian Government that would ordinarily be carried out by ‘assurance professionals’. The external services would be carried out within frameworks issued by the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) and the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB).

Key points

  • Policy: Government requirements for audit and assurance should be expressed with reference to the professional standard-setting frameworks, such as the auditing standards issued by the AUASB and relevant ethical standards issued by the APESB.
  • Purpose: to provide guidance on the use of the terms audit and assurance and to clarify their meanings to assist in guiding Commonwealth entities about the correct circumstances of their use. Because audit and assurance may be used in common language these terms are susceptible to use in describing engagements that do not align with the professional standard-setting frameworks that govern such services, which in turn can lead to complications when oversight processes are discussed publicly.
  • The AUASB is the chief body concerned with ensuring high quality audit and assurance standards. The terminology used by the AUASB is identified and explained in this guide.

Full publication

Contact for information on this page: accountingpolicy@finance.gov.au.

Last updated: 15 June 2018