International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions

The International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) is a worldwide affiliation of governmental entities. Its members are the Chief Financial Controller/Comptroller General/Auditor General Offices of nations.

International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
MottoExperientia Mutua Omnibus Prodest, "Mutual experience benefits all"
HeadquartersVienna, Austria
Secretary General
Margit Kraker[1]

INTOSAI was founded in 1953[2] in Havana, Cuba.[3] Thirty-four audit organizations formed the group originally and as of 2010 the current membership includes 193 institutions (188 national institutions, the European Court of Auditors and 4 associated members).[2]

The members of INTOSAI are the primary external auditors of the United Nations.[3] The UN's General Assembly appoints the UN Board of Auditors (3 members appointed for 6 years) among the INTOSAI member representatives.[4]

INTOSAI holds a triennial conference entitled the International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI).[5] It publishes the quarterly International Journal of Government Auditing. Examples of its major publications are:

The ISSAIs, International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions

The International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) are a benchmark for auditing public entities (External Audit Standards for public entities).
The "INTOSAI Auditing Standards" had been approved by the INCOSAI in 1998 and updated in 2001. In its strategic plan 2005-2010, the INTOSAI decided to "provide an up-to-date framework of professional standards", so the INTOSAI Professional Standards Committee decided to merge the existing and new INTOSAI standards and guidelines into a framework.
The framework comprises all documents endorsed by INCOSAI with the purpose of guiding the professional standards used by SAIs

The ISSAIs can be found at INTOSAI.ORG and The list of ISSAIs is in the table below:

  • Auditing Standards (ISSAI-numbers of 3 digits) stipulate general principles and postulates for carrying out the audit work;
  • Implementation Guidelines (ISSAI-numbers of 4 digits) give more detailed guidance, practical assistance to SAIs in implementing the Standards in their individual constituents.
Hierarchical level of the textISSAI seriesNameNotesLink to ISSAI document
Level 1: Founding PrinciplesISSAI 1The Lima Declaration (endorsed 1977)Comprehensive precepts on auditing in the public sector
Level 2: PrerequisitesISSAI 10-40Prerequisites for the Functioning of Supreme Audit Institutions* The 'ISSAI 30' Code of Ethics is the statement of values and principles guiding the daily work of the auditors. One of the principles outlined in the Code of Ethics is the statutory auditor’s obligation to apply generally accepted auditing standards. (not to be mistaken with the AICPA's Generally accepted auditing standards)
Level 3: Fundamental Auditing PrinciplesISSAI 100-400Basic Principles, General Standards, Field Standards (endorsed 2001), and Reporting Standards
Level 4: Auditing GuidelinesISSAI 1000-1810Financial Audit GuidelinesFinancial_Audit_Guidelines_E.pdf
ISSAI 3000-3100Performance Audit Guidelines
ISSAI 4000-4200Compliance Audit Guidelines
ISSAI 5000-5010Guidelines on auditing International Institutions
ISSAI 5100-5140Guidelines on Environmental Audit
ISSAI 5200-5240Guidelines on Privatisation
ISSAI 5300-5399guidelines on IT-audit
ISSAI 5400-5499Guidelines on Audit of Public Debt
ISSAI 5500-5599Guidelines on Audit of Disaster-related Aid
ISSAI 5600-5699Guidelines on Peer Reviews
Guidance for Good governanceINTOSAI GOVs 9100 - 9230Internal Control and Accounting,1033)/Internal_Control_Standards.pdf

Two main types of audit

The INTOSAI Auditing Standards distinguish basically two types of audit that a government auditor may perform:

Regularity audit

A Regularity audit or Statutory audit is a financial audit of the financial reporting or budget reporting of the audited entity.

In a regularity audit, the audit report contains the auditor's opinion.

Performance audit

Performance audit refers to an examination of a program, function, operation or the management systems and procedures of a governmental or non-profit entity to assess whether the entity is achieving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the employment of available resources.

In a performance audit, the report should contain a statement of assurance on those items tested for compliance, as the auditor's conclusion (as opposed to opinion).

The INTOSAI's (and GAO's or ECA's) Performance audit corresponds to the Review Engagements or "Assurance Engagements other than Audits" of the IFAC.

Adoption by intergovernmental organizations

In addition to the INTOSAI members (the Supreme Audit Institutions), the following intergovernmental organizations have adopted INTOSAI AS:

INTOSAI and Internal Audit

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is among the four associated members of the INTOSAI.[9] The INTOSAI is a strong advocate for the establishment of Independent Internal audit in public entities.

  • ISSAI 1610 – Using the Work of Internal Auditors
  • INTOSAI Guidance for Good governance: INTOSAI GOVs 9100–9230

The guidance "INTOSAI GOV 9100" states:

  • (page 46) "The Supreme Audit Institution also has a vested interest in ensuring that strong internal audit units exist where needed. Those audit units constitute an important element of internal control by providing a continuous means for improving an organisation's operations. In some countries, however, the internal audit units may lack independence, be weak, or be non-existent. In those cases, the SAI should, whenever possible, offer assistance and guidance to establish and develop those capacities and to ensure the independence of the internal auditor's activities."
  • "The creation of an internal audit unit as part of the internal control system is a strong signal by management that internal control is important. ... For an internal audit function to be effective, it is essential that the internal audit staff be independent from management, work in an unbiased, correct and honest way and that they report directly to the highest level of authority within the organisation. ... "For professional guidance, internal auditors should use the Professional Practices Framework (PPF) of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) (...) Additionally, internal auditors should follow the INTOSAI Code of Ethics".

Regional working groups

  • AFROSAI: African Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
  • ARABOSAI: Arab Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
  • ASOSAI: Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
  • CAROSAI: Caribbean Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions
  • EUROSAI: European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. For more information please see website.
  • OLACEFS: Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions. For more information please see website
  • PASAI: Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions

List of INCOSAI Conferences

IHavana, CubaNovember 1953Ministry of Auditing and Control of the Republic of Cuba
IIBrussels, BelgiumSeptember 1956Court of Audit of Belgium
IIIRio de Janeiro, BrazilMay 1959Tribunal de Contas da União
IVVienna, AustriaMay 1962Court of Audit of the Republic of Austria
VJerusalem, IsraelJune 1965State Comptroller's Office of Israel
VITokyo, JapanMay 1968Board of Audit of Japan
VIIMontreal, CanadaSeptember 1971Office of the Auditor General of Canada
VIIIMadrid, SpainMay 1974Tribunal de Cuentas
IXLima, PeruOctober 1977Contraloría General de la República del Perú
XNairobi, KenyaJune 1980Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of Kenya
XIManila, PhilippinesApril 1983Philippine Commission on Audit
XIISydney, AustraliaApril 1986Australian National Audit Office
XIIIBerlin, GermanyJune 1989Bundesrechnungshof
XIVWashington, D.C., U.S.October 1992Government Accountability Office
XVCairo, EgyptSeptember - October 1995Central Auditing Organization of Egypt
XVIMontevideo, UruguayNovember 1998Contraloría General de la República del Uruguay
XVIISeoul, South KoreaOctober 2001Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea
XVIIIBudapest, HungaryOctober 2004Hungarian State Audit Office
XIXMexico City, MexicoNovember 2007Contraloría General de la República de Mexico
XXJohannesburg, South AfricaNovember 2010Auditor-General of South Africa
XXIBeijing, PR ChinaOctober 2013National Audit Office of the People's Republic of China
XXIIAbu Dhabi, UAEDecember 2016State Audit Institution of United Arab Emirates
XXIIIMoscow, RussiaSeptember 2019Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation


The following countries are members of the INTOSAI:[10]


Supranational Organisations

Associate Members

  • Association des Institutions Supérieures de Contrôle Ayant en Commun lusage du français (AISCCUF)
  • Court of Audit of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)
  • Organization of SAIs of Portuguese Speaking Countries (OISC/CPLP)
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
  • World Bank

See also


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