A Comparison Between Audit and Investigation

Aug 2019

Investigations are used in almost every activity. Especially in business, the management has to take care that there is no fraudulent activity taking place. Nevertheless, there may be discrepancies and frauds happening in the company. To find these frauds, various methods are used such as investigations, audits, etc.

For the common man, an investigation and an audit are almost the same, but this is a false notion which most people have. There is a subtle difference that exists between these two. In this blog, we will try to understand the concept of an audit and the concept of investigation, and what is the difference lies between them.


An audit or a financial audit can be defined as the inspection, examination, or verification of a system, process, project, or product. An audit is usually performed to find out the authenticity of the product. A review will also help to understand the working of a particular process and if the proper procedure is being followed or not. This examination is generally conducted by a separate third party which has no relation to the company being audited. A business organization should conduct an audit at regular intervals to keep a check on the process being followed. The audit report prepared at the end of the audit process will tell the management of the company what needs to be improved and which part of the company can be developed further. We mostly hear this term while conducting scrutiny of a business. There are various benefits of conducting an audit of a business.


An investigation is detailed scrutiny of selected activities which will help us understand the process in a better and comprehensive way. An investigation is the complete inquiry of specific accounts or records of a business. An investigation is generally used to prove a particular fact, and this makes it very crucial in accountancy, financial management, and journalism. As investigation focuses on a specific part or service of the organization, the management can find the flaws in a process by performing the proper research of the activity.

Differences between Investigation and Auditing

There are many differences between an Audit and an investigation. The significant differences between Audit and Investigation are as follows:





An investigation is defined as an inquiry or a detailed examination to achieve particular specific objectives

An audit can be understood as an examination, inspection, and verification of any organization, system, process, or product.


An investigation is an in-depth and detailed examination of a particular subject which can be tangible or intangible.

An audit is performed to catch hold of any deviations in the accounts or the processes.


The purpose of an investigation depends upon the nature of the business.

The purpose of an audit is to understand the working of a company and catch hold of any deviations.


An investigation has no fixed duration and depends upon the investigator.

An audit usually takes up three to six months, depending upon the size and nature of the company.


An investigation includes all the various factors which are connected to the primary purpose of the investigation.

An audit includes overseeing the accounts of the business to check for any deviation in them.

When is it conducted?

An investigation is conducted after the Audit is complete, and the audit report has been formed.

An audit forms the base for an investigation.

In charge

An investigation has no defined charge. It can be taken up by anyone in the business.

An audit is usually conducted by a chartered accountant or a chartered accountant firm

Any obligations

An investigation is further done to understand the problem in the accounts of the business

Conducting an audit is deemed mandatory, according to the law.


An investigation is usually conducted by the owner of the business or as an undertaking by an outside third party.

An owner of the business cannot perform the Audit of the company, but it is the owner who appoints the auditor.

These are some of the significant differences between investigation and auditing.  There can be many more differences, but to understand the fundamental differences between the two, the differences as mentioned above, are enough.

Investigation and auditing are two essential concepts, and even a small mistake in any of them will affect the company adversely. Therefore, it is best left to the professionals as they can provide you with solutions to the business problems.

 If you are in search of auditing and investigative services in the UAE, then look no further.

JAXA will take care of your financial problems. We not only provide auditing, investigation, and forensic accounting services but also offer a range of various other facilities. These services will assist the business to become more profitable and will also help in the expansion plans of the business. To inquire about the multiple services provided by JAXA, please contact us - we’d be glad to assist you.