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An examination of the financial records of a person, business or organization, typically undertaken to clean up careless or improper bookkeeping, or to verify that proper records are being kept. Businesses and non-profit organizations often undergo an annual audit by an independent accounting firm. The audit most familiar to people is the type conducted by the IRS, the main purpose of which is to assess taxes owed. Woe betide the taxpayer who has failed to document his deductions or who has understated his income.

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