Performance Audit Methodology

This e-learning course is developed by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Based on INTOSAI standards and guidelines, the course is designed to get an overview on the basic principles and stages of a performance audit and to provide practical examples of their application in different situations.

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3 Lessons

This course will start with the concept of the three Es (economy, efficiency, and effectiveness), the differences between a performance audit and other types of audits, reviews, and evaluations. Then, the four stages of a performance audit are covered in more detail:

  • Selecting & understanding a performance audit: Following the steps to identify an audit area, understand it, and define precise audit questions to be answered by the audit;
  • Designing a performance audit: How to design the audit by defining the necessary audit evidence, identifying possible audit tools for its collection and analysis, and preparing an audit planning document;
  • Conducting a performance audit: How best to collect and analyse data, establish the audit evidence, manage the audit, and control for quality; and finally
  • Reporting & follow-up on a performance audit: Appreciating the methods involved in reporting, like drafting conclusions and recommendations, structuring and publishing the report, and the carrying out follow-up on a performance audit.

For each stage, the course provides an overview and introduces some tools that can help auditors to implement a performance audit successfully. At the end of each module, participants can take a final test to assess what they have learned.


  • The opening lesson provides the scope and background of the course
  • The course modules cover the phases of a performance audit
  • The closing lesson provides a recap and follow-up on the course discussion