Human resource auditing crosses the boundaries between human resources management and auditing. A human resource performance audit can be a suitable method for evaluating the contribution of human resource activities to organisational objectives, assessed on the basis of value-for-money.

A human resource management performance audit can identify areas where additional value can be obtained from an already valued, well regarded and award winning human resource department. The human resource management performance auditing methodology is set down in auditing standards and assumes a professional practice framework for auditors. A human resource management performance audit is future orientated and can identify areas for organisational improvement.

Where the literature on human resource auditing is not grounded in auditing, it is flawed.

Dolenko (1990) outlined a methodology for applying auditing techniques to human resource management but later literature is clouded by alternative commentary that defines human resource auditing in quite different ways (Clardy 2004). The literature on human resource auditing should be reviewed to ensure that it is firmly grounded in auditing. 

Doctoral Studies related to HR Auditing:

Developing and Conducting a Human Resource Management Performance Audit: Case Study of an Australian University
Andrews, Chris, 2008, Australia

Human Resource Audit: A Tool for Better Performance and Productivity
Baig, Dilshad, 2008, Pakistan

Means of Improving the Management of Human Resources in Enterprises from the Textile Manufacturing Industry
Bogdan, Cuza, 2013, Romania

Selected references:
    AMACOM 1977, How to Audit the Personnel Department, 1st edn., American Management Association, New York.

AMACOM 1986, How to Audit the Human Resources Department, 2nd edn.American Management Association, New York.

ANAO 1997, Audit Report – Human Resource Management, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, viewed 17 January 2004, < http://www.anao.gov.au >

Andrews, CJ, & Patel, S 2007, Human Resource Performance Auditing, PowerPoint Presentation, viewed 4 April 2007,

Appelbaum, S & Hood, J 1993, ‘Accounting for the Firm’s Human Resources’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 17-24.

Bargerstock, AS 2000, ‘The HRM Effectiveness Audit: A tool for managing accountability in HRM’, Public Personnel Management, Winter 2000, vol. 29, no.4. pp. 517-527.

Batra, GS 1996, ‘Human Resource Auditing as a tool of human resource valuation: interface and emerging practices’, in Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 23-30.

Bernhardt, L & Andrews, CJ 2006, ‘You Call that an Audit?’ HR Monthly, Australian Human Resource Institute, October 2006, Melbourne.

Biles, G, & Schuler, R 1986, ‘Audit Handbook of Human Resource Practices: Auditing the Effectiveness of the Human Resource Functions’, American Society for Personnel Administration, Alexandria Virginia.

Brune, C 2004, ‘Is self-assessment with independent validation right for you?’ Audit Wire, vol 26, no. 4, July-Aug 2004. 

Burn, D 1992, ‘Auditing the Personnel Function’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 7, no. 1, pp 9-10.

Burrowes, A, & Persson, M 2000, ‘The Swedish Management Audit: a precedent for performance and value-for-money audits’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 15, no. 3, pp 85-96. 

Cambridge Strategy Human Resource Audits 2007, Cambridge Strategy Publications, viewed 23 March 2007,

Clardy, A 2004, ‘Towards an HRD Auditing Protocol: Assessing HRD Risk Management Practices’, Human Resource Development Review, vol. 3, no. 2, pp 124-150.

Cornwell, A 1995, ‘Auditing: is there a need for great new ideas?’ Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 10, No. 1 pp.4-6

Craven, BM, & McNulty, MB 1994, ‘Management Training and Development Expenditures: Perspectives from Auditing, Economics and Human Resource Management’, in Managerial Auditing Journal, vol 9 issue 6, pp.3-9.

Crockett, JR 1989, ‘Criteria for Operational Auditing’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol.4, no.3, pp.22-25.

Curtice, J 2004, ‘The HR Audit for Legal Compliance and Safe Business Practices’, Employee Relations Today, vol. 31, no. 2, pp.55-66

Dolenko, M 1990, Auditing Human Resource Management, IIA Monograph, the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation, Florida.

Donaldson, C 2007, (ed.) ‘People risk focus rising’, in Human Resources Magazine, Issue 131 – 26 June 2007, p.1 and p.9.

Dwyer, D 2002, Human Resource Auditing,  SHRM White Paper, Society of Human Resource Management, viewed 22 August 2004, <  http://my.shrm.org/whitepapers/ > (member access only)

Easteal, M 1992, ‘The Audit of Human Resources’, in International Journal of Government Auditing, vol. 19, no. 1, pp.10-11.

Elliott, J 2002, ‘The Impact of Intensive ‘Value for Money’ Performance Auditing in Educational Systems’, Educational Action Research, vol.10.no.3 pp. 499-505.

Engle, TJ & Joseph GW 2001, Use of Control Self-Assessment in Audits, The CPA Journal, August 2001.

Esperson, D 2005, ‘Assessing the People Process’, Internal Auditor Feb 2005, vol LX11:1, the Institute of Internal Auditors, Florida, pp.81-87.

Flesher, D, Samson, W, & Previts, G 2003, ‘The origins of value-for-money auditing: the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad: 1827 – 1830’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol 18, no. 5, pp.374-386.

Florkowski, G, & Schuler, R 1994, ‘Auditing Human Resource Management in the Global Environment’, in International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol 5 no. 4, 827-851.

Glynn, J 1985, ‘Value for Money Auditing – an International Review and Comparison’, in Financial Accountability & Management, vol.1, no. 2. pp.113 -128.

Glynn, J, Gray, A, Murphy, M, & Vickerstaff, S 1989, ‘Human Resource Management Audit in Government’, Public Money & Management, Winter 1989, pp. 35-42.

HEFCE 2005, People Management Self Assessment Tool, published by the University Personnel Association (UPA) and the Standing Conference of Principles (SCOP), viewed 22 Dec 2004,

Hussey, DE 1995, ‘Human Resources: A Strategic Audit’, International Review of Strategic Management, vol. 6, p. 157-195.

Hyland, MM, & Verreault, DA 2003, ‘Developing a strategic internal-audit-human resource management relationship: a model and survey’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 18, no. 6/7, pp.465-477.

Karapetrovic, S & Willborn, W 2001a, 'Self-audit of process performance’, International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 19, no. 1,  pp. 24 -45.

Karapetrovic, S & Willborn, W 2001b, 'Audit and self-assessment in quality management: comparison and compatibility’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 366-377.

Khan, MA 2005, A Practitioner’s Guide to Performance Auditing, Plleier Corporation, California.

McBrayne, I 1990, ‘Audit in the human resources field’, Public Administration, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 369-375.

McConnell, JH, 2001, Auditing your Human Resource Department - A step by step guide, American Management Association, New York.

Matthewman, J 1993, HR Effectiveness, Institute of Personnel Management, London.

Mautz, R, & Sharaf, H 1993, The Philosophy of Auditing, American Accounting Association, Florida

Mock, K 2004, Human Resources Risk Management, SHRM White paper, viewed 29 May 2004, < http://www.shrm.org/ > (member access)

Nutley, S 2000, ‘Beyond systems: HRM audits in the public sector’, Human Resource Management Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 21 – 38.

Olalla, MF, & Castillo, MAS 2002, 'Human Resources Audit', International Advances in Economic Research, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 58 - 65.

O’Leary, C 1996, ‘Performance Audits: could they become mandatory for public companies?’ Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 14-18.

Parker LD, Ferris KR & Otley, DT 1989, Accounting for the Human Factor, Prentice-Hall, Sydney

Phillips, J 1996, ‘Measuring the HR contribution: A survey of approaches’, in Accountability in Human Resource Management, Gulf Publishing Co, Houston.

Ritzky, G 2002, Basic Risk Management for the HR Profession, SHRM White Paper, viewed 24 December 2004, < http://www.shrm.org/  > (member access only)

Sheehan, C, Holland, P, &  De Cieri, H 2006, ‘Current developments in HRM in Australian Organisations’,  Asia-Pacific Journal of Human Resources, vol. 44 no. 2, pp.132-152.

Schuler, R, Budwar, P & Florkowski, G 2002, ‘International Human Resource Management: Review & Critique’, in International Journal of Management Reviews, vol 4, no. 1, pp.41-70.

Spognardi, MA 1997, 'Conducting a human resources audit: a primer.' Employee Relations Law Journal, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 105 - 124.

Standards Australia, 2004, Human Resources – Guidelines on Emerging Good Practice, viewed 22 October 2004, <     http://www.standards.com.au/ >

Teo, S 1997, ‘Auditing Strategic HRM – Internal Audit and HRM Collaboration’, Journal of Accountability & Performance, vol. 3, no. 2, pp.41-63 .

Verreault, D & Hyland, MA 2005, ‘Evidence for increasing the focus on strategic risk in HRM audits’, Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 20, no.5, pp.524-543.