Audit Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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Out of over 160 million individual income tax returns that were filed last year, the IRS (AKA Internal Revenue Service) audited roughly 659,003. That said, what does the word audit mean? And why does the IRS audit taxpayers?

You have questions, and we have answers. Read on to discover everything you need to know about our word of the day: audit (/ˈɔdɪt/ /ˈɔːdɪt/ /ˈɔː.dɪt/).  

What Is the Definition of Audit?

According to the Collins Dictionary, when an accountant audits an organization’s accounts, they examine the accounts officially in order to ensure that they’ve been done correctly. 

In other words, the term audit can be defined as an official examination and verification of accounts and records. 

What Are The Three Main Types of Financial Audits?

Did you know that there is more than one type of audit? The three main types of financial audits are as follows:

  • External Audit — External audits are most commonly performed by CPA (Certified Public Accounting) firms. Within the United States, standards for all external audits — which are referred to as GAAS (AKA Generally Accepted Auditing Standards)— are set out by the ASB (Auditing Standards Board) of the AICPA (American Institue of Certified Public Accountants). 
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Audits — The IRS will regularly carry out audits to verify the accuracy of a taxpayer’s return, as well as specific transactions. The selection made by the IRS is chiefly made at random. That being said, you may be audited if the IRS finds that you have any dealings with a company or person who has already been found to have tax errors on their audit. 
  • Internal Audit — Internal audits are essentially a managerial tool used to make improvements to a company’s internal controls and processes. 

What Is the Word Origin of Audit?

The word audit was first seen in the early 15th century as Middle English audyte and borrowed from the Latin word audītus (a hearing), as well as the Latin word audire (the act of hearing). 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Audit?

To further your overall understanding of our word of the day, let’s take a look at a few synonyms and antonyms provided by Power Thesaurus

What Are Synonyms of Audit?

  • Once over
  • Look over
  • Examination
  • Inquire into
  • Go through
  • Pore over
  • Delve into
  • Present yourself at
  • Show one’s fact at
  • Take in
  • Turn up at 
  • Inspection
  • Stocktaking
  • Scrutiny
  • Be a guest at
  • Bob up at
  • Bottom line
  • Run through
  • Wrap up
  • Survey
  • Make it to
  • Ring in at
  • Be an observer at
  • Enquire into
  • Check out
  • Appear in
  • Be present at
  • Make an inventory of
  • List of charges
  • Affidavit
  • Make the scene 
  • Figure out
  • Reckon
  • Balance
  • Tally
  • Calculate 
  • Go over with a fine-tooth comb
  • Give something a going over
  • Going-over
  • Write up
  • Round up
  • Compendium
  • Make a note of
  • Put on file
  • Put on paper
  • Put on record
  • Conspectus
  • Epitome 
  • Inventory
  • Give something a once over
  • Price
  • Itemized account
  • Request for payment
  • Amount due
  • Look-see
  • Overview
  • Encapsulation
  • Summarization
  • Short-form
  • Summing up 

What Are Antonyms of Audit?

  • Ignore
  • Neglect
  • Disregard
  • Brush aside
  • Shrug off
  • Pass over
  • Look away
  • Brush off
  • Turn a blind eye to
  • Bury one’s head in the sand
  • Pay no mind
  • Not take into account
  • Turn a deaf ear to
  • Look the other way 
  • Close your eyes to
  • Misunderstand
  • Turn your back on 
  • Shut eyes to
  • Avoid
  • Dodge
  • Forget
  • Approximate
  • Estimate
  • Neglect
  • Ignorance
  • Cursory look
  • Glimpse
  • Fundamental point
  • Chief part
  • Nitty-gritty
  • Connection 
  • Lowdown 
  • Peep
  • Glance
  • Essential details
  • Meat and potatoes
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Focal point

How Can You Use Audit in a Sentence?

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of our word of the day — but do you know how to use it in a sentence? 

Not to worry; we’ve got you covered with a number of sentence examples for you to study below:

“The IRS sent me a letter requesting to audit my taxes from last year.”

“Our company must issue a statutory audit report, so please gather all of our financial statements including the balance sheet from last year.”

“Susan is getting audited and asked me to gather her financial records from 2016.”

“An audit is simply an examination of financial accounts to check their accuracy.”

“It’s important to keep good bookkeeping in case of an audit!”

What Are Translations of Audit?

Did you know that there are multiple ways to say our word of the day? Yup, it’s true — translation of the noun audit provided by the Collins Dictionary is as follows:

  • European Spanish — auditoría 
  • Finnish — tilintarkastus 
  • French — audit 
  • American English — audit  
  • Arabic — مُرَاجَعَةُ الـحِسَابات 
  • Japanese — 監査 
  • Korean — 감사 
  • Norwegian — revisjon 
  • Polish — kontrola ksiąg 
  • European Portuguese — auditoria 
  • Romanian — audit
  • Brazilian Portuguese — auditoria 
  • Chinese — 审计 
  • Russian — проверка 
  • Spanish — auditoría 
  • Swedish — revision 
  • Thai — การตรวจสอบบัญชี 
  • Turkish — hesap denetimi 
  • Ukrainian — аудит
  • Vietnamese — sự kiểm toán
  • Croatian — revizija 
  • Czech — audit 
  • Danish — revision 
  • Dutch — accountantscontrole
  • German — Rechnungsprüfung 
  • Greek — έλεγχος 
  • Italian — revisione
  • British English — audit  

Translation of audit as a verb are also provided by Collins Dictionary:

  • American English — audit 
  • Arabic — يُراجِعُ الـحِسَابات 
  • Czech — zrevidovat 
  • Danish — revidere 
  • Japanese — 監査する 
  • Korean — 감사하다 
  • Norwegian — granske 
  • Polish — skontrolować 
  • European Portuguese — fazer auditoria 
  • Romanian — a verifica
  • Dutch — de boeken controleren 
  • European Spanish — auditar 
  • Finnish — tehdä tilintarkastus 
  • French — auditer
  • Russian — проверять отчетность 
  • Spanish — auditar 
  • Swedish — revidera 
  • Thai — ตรวจสอบบัญชี 
  • Turkish — hesapları denetlemek 
  • Ukrainian — перевіряти
  • Vietnamese — kiểm toán
  • German — prüfen 
  • Greek — ελέγχω 
  • Italian — revisionare
  • Brazilian Portuguese — examinar 
  • Chinese — 稽核 
  • Croatian — revidirati


In short, our word of the day refers to a thorough review, assessment, or counting of a collection of items or of a situation. 

For instance, once you break out grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe, you’ll likely make an audit of the ingredients you have on hand to make sure you are ready to get baking! 


Audit definition and meaning | by Collins English Dictionary 

Audit synonyms: 893 Words and Phrases for Audit | Power Thesaurus 

IRS Audits Poorest Families at Five Times the Rate for Everyone Else | EDU