A procedure is a regimented set of steps that are to be taken to complete a task. Procedures are useful for the more repetitive or complex tasks, so that the tasks can be completed in a consistent manner, time after time. New employees typically receive training in how to complete procedures, to minimize any variation in the outcomes of tasks.
Procedures are formally documented and approved, and may be aggregated into an organizational procedures manual. The presence of a procedures manual, supported by evidence that employees consistently follow the stated procedures, can be used by auditors in their assessment of a client's system of controls. Procedures are not usually constructed for tasks that occur infrequently, unless the tasks involve significant amounts of risk to the business if they are performed incorrectly.