Difference Between Audit and Inspection

Audit and Inspection are two different terms often confused to be similar in the context of the investigation. These are rather two different modes of investigating a product or service.

Inspection largely functions based on observation, identifying hazards, and control measures whereas audit is a prolonged procedure that involves objective examination and evaluation of discrepancies in a management organization.

Audit vs Inspection

The main difference between the Audit and Inspection is that audit usually answers the questions ‘why’ while the inspection deals with the question ‘what’ at the time of reporting.

Audit vs Inspection

An audit is a tedious task that encompasses planning, performing, and reporting to get a detailed vision of the ongoing investigation. Adding on, the Audit facilitates proper in-depth examination of goods and services.

Inspection is a fairly simple one-step process where the superiors examine the basic requirements of the workforce and the workplace but Audit is a complex process incorporating various steps to get the entire details of that product or service.

 For example: during an Inspection, the person in charge will only note the number of missing equipment whereas during an Audit the person in charge will try to find out the reasons for the missing equipment through well-informed data and documentation.

This example depicts that Inspection majorly works on the quantitative principles to provide a snapshot of the operative functions in an organization, whereas an Audit is more concerned about the overall and detailed functioning of an organization.


Comparison Table Between Audit and Inspection (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonAuditInspection
ProcedureIt involves a deeper investigation to identify and analyze the process issues.This mode of investigation is situated on reviewing issues one by one.
DurationIt is less frequent to occur, but when happens can continue throughout the day.They occur more frequently and repeatedly to ensure the operative conditions.
Mode of InvestigationAn audit is qualitative which further employs means such as interviews, data collection, etc.Inspection is quantitative because it wholly deals with the questions of numerical order.
StructureConsists of no particular well-defined structure because the process entails tasks such as evaluative examination, equipment analysis, etcOften follows more rigid checklists based structure to keep an account of viable sources of sustenance.
Subject of InterestThe audit mainly focuses on the entire management system.Inspection, on the other hand, focuses on the workplace, work equipment, and work activities.


What is Audit?

The audit is an independent mode of investigation of any organization through detailed means of surveillance such as data collection, records checking, interviews, etc. Generally, the purpose of the audits is to provide overall compliance with internal policies, documentations, and regulations.

They are often more elaborate as well as time-consuming because they go through the investigation process in multiple steps. An audit is more advantageous than Inspection because it is usually conducted by some independent bodies which prevent the inherent and intricate frauds in the organization also, it helps to keep a moral check over the employees in an organization as they have a constant fear of Audit being conducted if they undergo any kind of fraud within the organization.  

Some of the advantages of Audit are as follows-

  1. An audit helps to get the complete and absolute overview of the functioning of an organization by exhibiting a fair view.
  2. It provides a proper valuation of assets and investments.
  3. Detection and fraud management is made feasible through this method because it involves multiple checks and balances at multiple steps.
  4.  After auditing stakeholders like investors, banks, creditors, etc can rely on financial relations with the organization with more confidence.  

What is Inspection?

Inspection is a generalized form of investigation to ensure the effective conditions of the workforce and the workplace of an organization. It observes the work practices to increase safety and efficiency.

An inspection usually is carried out based on pre-determined notions with the system of checklists. It is largely responsible to inspect particular services or products individually and is mostly quantitative.

Advantages of Inspection are-

  1. The primary function of Inspection is to identify the potential hazards with the ultimate aim of preventing accidents, illness, etc. at the workplace.
  2. It can be carried out more frequently which ensures the regular scrutiny and evaluation of the entities.
  3. It helps to bring forth the concerns of workers and supervisors.
  4. Regular inspections ensure the accountability of the people in charge which later helps effective functioning.

Main Differences Between Audit and Inspection

  1. An audit is a process involving multiple steps and concerns whereas Inspection is usually concerned about particular issues.
  2. An inspection helps the organization to meet the necessities such as equipments while Audit helps and suggests solutions to the discrepancies at the macro level.
  3. An audit is not confirmed by the well-defined structure of investigation whereas Inspection follows a rigid system by working on checklists.
  4.  An audit is a qualitative mode of investigation (includes interviews, data records) whereas Inspection is a quantitative model of investigation (includes an evaluation based on numerical records)
  5. An audit is not a frequent process because it is elaborate and time-consuming but on the other hand, Inspection is a frequent process that can be repeated often to ensure the operative functioning of the workforce.
Difference Between Audit and Inspection



Auction and Inspection look similar but differ widely from each other. Auction is a more comprehensive process that is responsible for the detailed supervision of the organization as a whole.

Inspection is similar to audit in a certain sense that it is also a mode of an investigation but fairly simpler than Audit.

An inspection provides a snapshot of the working conditions and the environment of the organization to have an overview of the workable conditions. Audits are system or program based whereas Inspections are often equipment or area-specific.

These modes of investigations are similar in a context that they assist the organizations to detect and provide solutions to the frauds and discrepancies in the working conditions. Audits, in general, are carried out by the independent bodies which help to keep a moral check over the workforce to prevent any kind of fraud and tribulations.

Key Differences Between Audit and Inspection (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Audit and Inspection.



  1. https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8688x
  2. https://www.nber.org/papers/w21530
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