ISA 530—Audit Sampling

ISA 530 APPLIES when the ‘auditor’ has decided to USE audit sampling in performing audit procedures.

ISA 530 – Introduction

1. Scope of this ISA

It deals with the auditor’s USE of statistical and non-statistical sampling when ‘designing and selecting the audit sample‘, ‘performing Tests of Controls and Tests of Details‘ and ‘evaluating the results from the sample‘.

2. Effective Date

This ISA is EFFECTIVE for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2009.

isa 530

ISA 530 – Objective

The objective of the ‘auditor’ when using audit sampling is to provide a REASONABLE basis for the auditor to draw conclusions about the population from which the sample is selected.

ISA 530 – Definitions

1. Audit Sampling

The APPLICATION of audit procedures to less than 100% of items within a population of audit relevance such that all sampling units have a chance of selection.

2. Sampling Risk

The risk that auditor’s conclusion based on a sample may be DIFFERENT from the conclusion if the entire population were subjected to the same audit procedure.

3. Non-sampling Risk

The risk that the ‘auditor’ reaches an ERRONEOUS conclusion for any reason not related to sampling risk.

ISA 530 – Requirements

1. Sample Design, Size and Selection of Items for Testing

When designing an audit sample, the auditor shall CONSIDER the purpose of the audit procedure and the characteristics of the population.

The auditor shall DETERMINE a sample size sufficient to reduce sampling risk to an acceptably low level.

The auditor shall SELECT items for the sample in such a way that each sampling unit in the population has a chance of selection.

2. Performing Audit Procedures

The auditor shall PERFORM audit procedures appropriate to the purpose on each item selected.
If the audit procedure is NOT APPLICABLE, the auditor shall PERFORM the procedure on a replacement item.
If the auditor is UNABLE to apply, the auditor shall TREAT that item as ‘Deviationin the case of Tests of Controls, or a ‘Misstatementin the case of Tests of Details.

3. Nature and Cause of Deviations and Misstatements

The ‘auditor’ shall INVESTIGATE and EVALUATE their possible effects on the purpose of audit procedure and on other areas of the audit.

4. Projecting Misstatements

For ‘Tests of Details‘, the auditor shall PROJECT misstatements found in the sample to the population.

5. Evaluating Results of Audit Sampling

The ‘auditor’ shall EVALUATE:

  • The results of the sample; AND
  • Whether the use of audit sampling has provided a reasonable basis for conclusions about the population.


The International Standard on Auditing ISA 530 ‘Audit Sampling’ APPLIES when the auditor has decided to use audit sampling in performing audit procedures.

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