Innovation in audit

The Netherlands Court of Audit applies innovative methods to carry out its audits and investigations. Examples include prototyping and the Paths audit method. Curious? Read all about our innovative audit methods and products. 

Latest news

Systems mapping


Our auditors often have to analyse large volumes of data from a range of sources. System maps are a useful way to create an overview of overlapping systems and to analyse how they are connected. Read more about how the Court of Audit uses systems mapping.

Design skills at the Court of Audit


The Court of Audit uses auditors with design skills to increase the impact of its audits. These auditors are part of the Design Audit Studio, a team using methods from the world of design. You can find out more about their work in the article Ontwerpkracht gaat over concreet maken en doen (in Dutch) in Agenda Stad.

International cooperation on innovation in using data analysis in audits


From 1 – 4 May this year, specialists and managers from the 6 Supreme Audit Institutions who have been working closely together since 2017 under the Data Analytics Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were in Bonn for their sixth annual meeting. During this meeting, the representatives – from Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands – also signed an agreement to extend the MoU. The next meeting will be hosted by the Netherlands Court of Audit in The Hague in 2024.

On 27-28 June we were also invited by our colleagues in Vienna to join a two-day information exchange with a broader group of EUROSAI representatives, all of whom use large volumes of data in their work. Various subjects were discussed at this meeting, including access to data, establishing data quality and using advanced analysis methods in efficiency audits.

Netherlands Court of Audit hosts workshop on rapid and responsive audits for European Supreme Audit Institutions


In the first week of July, the Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) organised in collaboration with the UK National Audit Office (NAO).

The workshop on rapid and responsive audits for European Supreme Audit Institutions aimed to promote impactful focus audits (or investigations). This workshop provided a platform for auditors from 17 other European SAIs to discuss the concept of focus audits and to explore effective ways of conducting them so as to enhance their relevance and impact.

Auditors as burglars


In our most recent accountability audit at the Ministry of Defence we investigated how various military objects were secured by testing the security (in Dutch) for ourselves in practice.

Netherlands Court of Audit publishes online course on data analysis in audits


Do you want to know more about the use of data analysis in audits? Then take the Court of Audit’s new free online course. The course is available to all staff at audit institutions and audit offices in both the Netherlands and abroad.

Auditors as anthropologists


As part of an audit into how Dutch Ministry of Defence staff manage ammunition stocks (in Dutch) we used the participating observation method to investigate the causes of certain behaviours.

Innovation in audit


The Court of Audit’s Design Audit Studio recently held a webinar for 80 auditors from all over the world to present its innovation in audit work. A recording of the presentation is available here.

Data analysis in a focus investigation of the Tax and Customs Administration


In a focus investigation of 1.1 million tax returns, the Court used data analysis to determine how often the Tax and Customs Administration adjusted the returns filed by self-employed taxpayers.

Data use in central government


As well as using data analysis in our audits, we also audit central government’s use of data. These audits apply the audit experience we have gained to investigate how the government uses data. On 18 May 2022, for example, we published a report on the government’s use of 9 algorithms. We also applied data analysis in the Accountability Audit of operational management at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Our data analysis looked at the role played by automated risk analysis in the regularity of funds flows for the TVL Fixed Costs Grant Scheme.

First Aid for Estimates


Last year, the Design Audit Studio developed a tool called First Aid for Estimates. This interactive PDF helps members of parliament and other stakeholders strengthen their grip on multiyear estimates of ministerial budget articles.

Ex post social cost-benefit analysis in our audits


In an audit of the policy considerations applied when building a bridge over the Burgemeester Delen canal we carried out an ex post social cost-benefit analysis (in Dutch,