International Standard on Auditing 520: Analytical Procedures sheds light on specific audit procedures that are so versatile that they can be put to use at different stages of audit for numerous purposes. These procedures are like such tools that seem to be not so important but still you can’t get the work done without them.
Analytical procedures are audit procedures that range from simple comparisons to complex statistical techniques applied on quantitative and qualitative information to develop expectations. However, auditor must obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence that information used to develop expectations is relevant and reliable for such purpose and the procedures applied are appropriate for intended conclusions. Analytical procedures can be applied at risk assessment stage of audit, as substantive procedure in addition to test of details and at finalization stages of audit.