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audit and derived terms (Linguistic recommendation from the Translation Bureau)



In Canada, the French term audit in the field of accounting has long been considered an anglicism that should be replaced with vérification. However, following the adoption of the International Standards on Auditing, the situation has changed. The establishment of these standards has led to the adoption of common terminology, first in English-speaking countries, and then in French-speaking countries.

When the International Standards on Auditing were being translated, a committee of experts made up of chartered accountants and members of the Language Services of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants was formed to standardize the terminology used in the Francophonie. The committee used a list of key words established by France’s Compagnie nationale des commissaires aux comptes and Belgium’s Institut des Réviseurs d’Entreprises as its starting point. This list was the result of numerous compromises following international consultations. For diverse reasons, the committee decided in favour of the term audit and its derived forms.

French equivalent of audit

The Translation Bureau recommends using the masculine noun audit (the final "t" is pronounced) as the French equivalent of the English word audit in the field of accounting.

This equivalent has been adopted by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec. It has also been used in the translation of the International Standards on Auditing and is listed in Louis Ménard’s Dictionnaire de la comptabilité et de la gestion financière.

Audit and derived forms

The Translation Bureau recommends using the following terms:

French terms English terms Definitions
audit (n.m.) audit (n.) An examination of the accounting records of an entity for the purpose of determining whether they adequately reflect its financial situation.
auditeur (n.m.)
auditrice (n.f.)
auditor (n.) A person who conducts an audit.
auditer (v.) audit (v.) Conduct an audit.

Additional information

See the article "De la vérification à l’audit" by Cathryn Arnold and Vincent Halde in Language Update 9, no. 1 (2012): 10 [republished in Chroniques de langue].