Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading


A thorough examination of a business’s processes to determine if the business is compliant with a particular set of standards.

What is Audit?

A government agency may audit a company’s processes or records as part of an investigation related to a potential compliance violation. In some industries, companies must pass periodic government audits to maintain their authorizations. Companies may also conduct internal audits (self-audit), or hire a third party to audit their processes. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the export control arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, recommends that U.S. exporters periodically self-audit to ensure compliance procedures are working properly and are up-to-date with regulation changes. Auditability refers to the capacity of an auditor to audit an auditee. Sloppy record-keeping lowers auditability. An audit trail is a system (physical or electronic) that keeps track of business processes.