DEFINITION of 'Performance Audit'

An audit performed on an asset manager by an outside accounting firm to verify that the performance figures shown to the public on marketing materials represent the true aggregate results of the firm's clientèle. The CFA Institute has established performance presentation guidelines, called global investment performance standards (GIPS), that must be maintained by asset managers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Performance Audit'

There are many stories about money managers showing the performance of only one or two specific accounts out of hundreds or more because the numbers looked much better than the rest. A performance audit allows for the verification of the performance numbers reported by the company to ensure that they are an accurate reflection of the true returns generated by the firm.

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