ACCOUNTING TERMS - ACCOUNTING DICTIONARY - ACCOUNTING GLOSSARY
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AUDIT is the inspection of the accounting records and procedures of a business, government unit, or other reporting entity by a trained accountant for the purpose of verifying the accuracy and completeness of the records. It could be conducted by a member of the organization (internal audit) or by an outsider (independent audit). A CPA audit determines the overall validity of financial statements. A tax audit (IRS in the U.S.) determines whether the appropriate tax was paid. An internal audit generally determines whether the company's procedures are followed and whether embezzlement or other illegal activity occurred.
OPERATIONAL GEARING is the higher the proportion of fixed costs relative to variable operating costs, the higher the operational gearing. This results in greater business risk. A retailer has high fixed costs relative to variable costs, so has a lot of business risk. See GEARING and FINANCIAL GEARING.