DEFINITION of 'Continuous Audit'

An auditing process that examines accounting practices continuously throughout the year. Continuous audits are usually technology-driven and designed to automate error checking and data verification in real time. A continuous audit driven system generates alarm triggers that provide advance notice about anomalies and errors detected by the system.

BREAKING DOWN 'Continuous Audit'

Continuous auditing is not to be confused with computer-aided auditing. In computer-aided auditing, the auditor is simply being assisted by technology, such as spreadsheets to complete a periodic audit. Computer-aided auditing is driven solely by the auditor, while continuous auditing is meant to run automatically at regular intervals.

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