Independent examination and audit

Independent examination and audit: what’s the difference?


Both an audit and an independent examination (IE) are an external review of a organisation’s accounts carried out by an independent person. However, an IE provides a negative assurance, indicating that no evidence was found to suggest the accounts are incorrect, whereas an audit provides a positive assurance that the accounts are considered to give a true and fair view of the organisation’s finances.


This means that during an IE, the underlying records are assumed to be correct, while an audit would take samples and review the accounting systems to ascertain if the underlying records are correct.


Another difference is the statement or opinion that is provided in your accounts:

An independent examiner’s statement will detail whether:

  • you have kept proper accounting records.
  • your financial statements comply with accounting requirements and accord with the records.

An auditor has to provide their opinion on whether the financial statements:

  • give a “true and fair view” of your financial state of affairs.
  • have been properly prepared in accordance with proper accounting practice and relevant law.


More information

Use our checklists to find out whether you need an independent examination (IE) or audit for your not-for-profit.


Already know that you require an IE or audit for your not-for-profit? Find out here why you should choose Brewers.


More than just an exercise in compliance. Find out about the added benefits of audit.

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