Before entering upon the details of auditing real estate accounts, it is well to consider the points wherein such an audit differs from that of a mercantile or manufacturing concern. In a general way, the differences may be indicated by the one word "inventories."
The duties of auditors in connection with the inventories of the ordinary business concern are no safe guide in the audit of a real estate concern, for the reason that, as a rule, the manner of taking inventories is different. The accounts corresponding to the usual inventories are those which appear in the balance sheet under the heads of Real Estate, Mortgages, Contracts, etc.; and a real estate concern when preparing its balance sheet does not send out a stock clerk to list its holdings by actual count and measurement, but depends upon the records in the office itself.