A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) performing a financial audit uses sampling to determine the accuracy and completeness of account balances in the financial statements. Sampling performed by an auditor is referred to as “audit sampling.”1 It is necessary to perform audit sampling when the population, in this case account transaction information, is large. Additionally, managers within a company may use customer sampling to assess the demand for new products or the success of marketing efforts.
The chosen sample should be a fair representation of the entire population. When taking a sample from a larger population, it is important to consider how the sample is chosen. To get a representative sample, it must be drawn randomly and encompass the whole population. For example, a lottery system could be used to determine the average age of students in a university by sampling 10% of the student body.