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System audit is defined as a systematic and independent examination to determine whether activities and related results comply with planned arrangements and whether these arrangements are implemented effectively and are suitable to achieve objectives.
System audit is also defined as a systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which audit criteria are fulfilled.
System audits are usually carried out for the following objectives.
- To evaluate the organization system against a system standard
- To determine the conformity or non-conformity of the system elements with the specified requirements
- To determine the effectiveness of the implemented system in meeting the specified objectives
- To offer an opportunity for improvement in the system
- To meet statutory and regulatory requirements
In the latest approach to the systems audit, the auditors are expected to go beyond mere auditing for the compliance by focusing on risk, status, and importance. This means they are expected to make more judgments on what is effective, rather than merely adhering to what is formally prescribed.