Definition Definition

What Is Audit Risk? Types of Audit Risk & Formula to Calculate It with Example

What is Audit Risk?

Audit Risk is the chance that an auditor may miss discrepancies or malfeasances when reviewing a customer's financial accounts. Auditors may lower the degree of the risk by expanding the number of audit processes. Lowering audit risk to a manageable level is an important aspect of auditing because consumers of accounting records depend on auditors' warranties whenever they review a company's monetary reports.

Understanding Audit Risk

The goal of an audit is really to decrease audit risk to such a suitable level by proper screening and proof. The risk can involve legal responsibility for just a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) company undertaking auditing process since debtors, shareholders, as well as other stakeholders, depend on financial information.

During an inspection, an auditor conducts questioning sessions and checks the accounting records and related paperwork. If any problem is discovered during the assessment, the auditor suggests that the organization provide suggestions for fixing journal entries.

An auditor delivers a documented examination of the financial accounts that are free of serious misrepresentation at the end of the audit after whatever modifications have been made. To mitigate these risks and possible legal responsibility, auditing companies carry insurance coverage.

Types of Audit Risk

There are three major types of risks that appear in audits and they are -

  1. Inherent Risk: Inherent risk develops as a result of errors and omissions in extremely complex activities that were documented based on opinion or assessment. The company's control shortcomings have no effect here on audit risk. In other terms, the inherent risk arises whenever the risk of financial account misrepresentation arises due to circumstances apart from malfunctions.
  2. Control Risk: Control audit risk lead to a conclusion of the company's financial misrepresentation occurring as a result of the lack of applicable measures or the breakdown of the current control environment in the company. Businesses, where there are insufficient procedures in place to effectively identify or avoid corruption or mistakes, are deemed to be at high risk.
  3. Detection Risk: Detection risk arises whenever auditors are unable or unwilling to discover financial statement misrepresentations due to mistakes or crimes. That is, the audit company's auditing technique for evaluating the financial records was insufficient to uncover substantial misrepresentation intentionally or accidentally. The detection risk is usually caused by testing or non-sampling mistakes.

Formula to Calculate Audit Risk

All three types of these risks are multiplied to calculate it and the formula is as follows -


Audit risk = Control risk x Detection risk x Inherent risk


Practical Example

Charles works as an accountant for ABC and is tasked with analyzing the financial accounts of a software firm. He thinks that the Control risk level is 20%, the inherent risk is 25%, and the detection risk is 90%.

As a result, the entire audit risk is calculated as 0.2 x 0.25 x 0.9 = 0.045 or 45%.

In Sentences

  • The audit risk model is most useful at the preliminary stages and has minimal utility for reviewing audit effectiveness.


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