audit trail

n.Information in records that track a transaction from beginning to end, making it possible to review whether it was done according to relevant policies and standards.


An audit trail typically includes the time of transaction, the parties involved, and actions taken.


Cohasset Associates 2001 Establishing the authenticity of an electronic forms transaction record for business and legal purposes requires the creation and maintenance of data that can be used to establish an audit trail. The information that is necessary to both the audit (business) and chain-of-custody (legal) processes includes, at a minimum, the following elements: who used the system; when they used it or instigated a transaction; what they did while using the system; and the results of the transaction. ΒΆ Properly implemented audit trails can establish that all pertinent information was captured at or near the time of the event, and that all procedures were followed to achieve an accurate and reliable result. In turn, this can add significant weight to establishing the authenticity of the electronic forms record for admissibility in evidence.