Sign Up for Discounts
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Follow us on Facebook
    Controller Library Value Pack
    CFO Library Value Pack
    Accounting Standards Library
    Monday
    Jan282013

    What are audit tick marks?

    Audit tick marks are abbreviated notations used on audit work papers by audit firms to denote auditing actions taken. These tick marks are useful from the audit manager's perspective, to see which activities have been completed. They are also useful as evidence, to show which audit steps were completed to support the audit opinion given to the financial statements of a client. In addition, the use of tick marks compresses the space required to describe audit actions taken.

    Examples of auditing activities for which tick marks may be used include:

    • The numbers in the column were manually added and matched to the total shown (footed)
    • The totals in the report were manually added and matched to the grand total shown (cross footed)
    • The computation on the report was independently verified
    • The amount was traced to the ledger balance
    • Supporting documents were examined
    • A cancelled check was examined
    • An asset was physically confirmed

    Audit tick marks are not standardized across the industry. Instead, a common set of tick marks are used within each audit firm, with some variation across the industry. Tick marks may just as easily be used within an internal audit department as by outside auditors.

    When used, a tick mark should be sufficiently distinct that it cannot be confused with another type of tick mark. Also, an audit firm should internally publish a listing of "official" tick marks used and what each one means, so that they are used by the staff in a consistent manner.

    Customized tick marks were more heavily used when auditing was done primarily on paper documents. When used in that manner, tick marks are more likely to be recorded with a colored pencil, such as in red. Since the advent of auditing software, tick marks can be designated and standardized within the software.

    Related Topics

    What are substantive procedures? 
    What is a management representation letter? 
    What is a negative confirmation? 
    What is a paperless audit? 
    What is an audit adjustment? 

    PrintView Printer Friendly Version

    EmailEmail Article to Friend

    Reader Comments (1)

    Thank you very much as this was helpful to me in my accounting auditing project.

    April 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMohit Kuvarjee
    Editor Permission Required
    You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.