Professional Rules of Auditing
Act no. LXVI of 2011 on the State Audit Office of Hungary (SAO) was the first cardinal act to be discussed and adopted by the Hungarian National Assembly, right after the Fundamental Law. The new act extended the audit mandate of the SAO and provided legal and financial guarantees for the independent and stable operation of the organization, the professional and objective implementation of audit activities and the efficient utilization of reports.
Moreover, the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) elaborated the framework of professional standards which was adopted in 2007. The framework was given content in the past years – most notably with the standards adopted during the Congress held in 2010, in South-Africa.
In light of the above, it has become necessary to review the principles of operation and the professional rules of auditing applied by the SAO. Therefore, the State Audit Office of Hungary is currently in the process of renewing and further developing its system of professional rules of auditing, taking into account the international auditing regulations, such as the guidelines and standards published and approved by INTOSAI (International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions –; and INTOSAI GOVs – Guidance for Good Governance), as well as the amendments to the national legal environment.
In the context of the revision we shall renew the documents addressing methodology, which shall be elaborated already on the basis of INTOSAI’s professional standards (the ISSAI framework).
As a result, the professional auditing rules of the SAO can be classified under three levels built on each-other:
Level I. The basics of auditing the public sector (corresponding to the first level of the ISSAI framework),
Level II. The principles of SAO’s operation (corresponding to the second level of the ISSAI framework),
Level III. The principles, standards and guidelines of SAO audits (corresponding to the third and fourth levels of the ISSAI framework).
On the first level, the SAO is elaborating the system of professional rules with respect to the INTOSAI framework. Accordingly, the Lima Declaration, being a first-level document of the INTOSAI framework, is fully agreed with and serves as the first level of the system of professional rules at the SAO as well.
The second level presents the principles that determine the operation of the SAO, based on the stipulations specified in the ISSAIs. The SAO shall define and publish the principles of independence, transparency, accountability, quality-driven operation and the code of ethics.
The third level consists of professional documents on auditing that serve as guidelines during the audits carried out by the SAO.
The continuous development and amendment of INTOSAI standards requires the constant review and revision of the professional rules, as well as the assurance of their compliance with the guidance detailed in ISSAIs, thus providing for the timeliness and the continuous renewal of the rules that direct the professional activity of the State Audit Office of Hungary.