Social Audit/Assurance Resource Page
What is Social Accounting and Social Auditing?
Social Accounting and Auditing is a way of measuring and reporting on an
organization's social, and ethical performance. An organization which takes on an audit
is transparent and makes itself accountable to its stakeholders.
Role of the Social Auditor/Assurance Practitioner
There is often some degree of misunderstanding around the role of the social auditor. The role of the social auditor in an assurance engagement is similar to that of a financial auditor - to perform sufficient work to express an opinion on the reliability of the information contained in the report. The social auditor does not evaluate the performance of an organization’s corporate social responsibility or sustainability activities, just as a financial auditor does not pass
judgment on the adequacy of a company’s level of earnings. The external social auditor task is to verify data and gather evidence for all significant assertions in the report. Depending on the pre-defined scope, the social auditor may also assess the report’s conformance to particular standards or protocols, (see for example the AA1000) and will test underlying accounting systems that monitor performance and generate data contained in the report. In addition, the auditor will also make specific recommendations to the organization.
Social Compliance Auditing
A social compliance audit is a systematic and independent external assessment administered by a trained social auditor against a specific standard (for example SA8000) etc. to determine whether an entity is meeting those standards and complying with established policies, operating procedures and national and local laws. Results of a social compliance audit are not usually public.
Auditor independence and impartiality lie at the very heart of issuing credible assurance and
ensure that the auditor is always in a position to challenge and question the organization’s approach. As part of all our social audit assurance assignments, InterPraxis makes a public declaration of independence with respect to the reporting organization
and/or any of its interests. We also have a strict conflict of interest policy which prohibits us
and/or our team members from engaging in any relationship with the reporting organization that would impair our professional
judgment or objectivity. As a matter of policy we do not under any circumstances accept any fee-for-service assignments (consulting, research, etc.) with any reporting organization, either during our tenure as social auditor or immediately thereafter. A copy of our code of conduct for social audit/assurance assignments is available upon request.
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