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Code audits are a crucial aspect of software development. They provide an opportunity to review and evaluate code for quality, efficiency, and security. The aim of code audit is to work as a defensive approach and eliminate problems before software release. 

A good code audit helps to spot security risks, and identify outdated technology and bad development practices. In short, it allows teams to address potential issues or limitations in the codebase before they lead to problems in the final product. 

Software code audits ensure that software development projects are delivered on time, within budget, and with the desired level of quality. They serve as a critical check on the code to help software meet best practices, industry standards, and customer requirements. 

This article will discuss the best practices for code audits from planning and preparation to conducting the audit. We will cover the key steps and considerations to make sure that your code audits are effective. Also, we want to explore tools and techniques for code analysis and provide guidance for continuous improvement of the processes. 

Best Practices of Code Audit

Whether you're new to code audits or looking to improve your existing processes, this article will provide valuable insights and practical advice.

How to Plan Code Audits

Effective planning is a critical component of successful code audits. Usually, software code audit includes:

  • tech stack examination
  • code quality check, 
  • performance and stability check 
  • architecture examination. 

With all this in mind, it's important to include all of these components when creating an audit roadmap. 

The following are the best practices for planning code audits to ensure that they are efficient and effective:

Define audit objectives and scope

The first step in planning a code audit is to define the objectives and scope of the audit. What specifically do you want to achieve with the audit? What code will be reviewed? Answering these questions will help to ensure that the audit stays focused and aligned with its goals.

Identify key stakeholders and their involvement

The next step is to identify the key stakeholders who will be involved in the audit. This includes the audit team, software developers, project managers, and customers. It's important to ensure that all stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities and their level of participation in the audit process.

Determine the appropriate method for code review

There are several methods for code review:

  • manual review
  • automated review
  • hybrid methods

The method you choose will depend on the objectives of the audit, the size of the codebase, and the resources available. It's important to choose a method that is appropriate for your needs and provides the level of detail and accuracy required.

Set a timeline for the audit process

The timeline for the audit process should be proportionate to the size of the codebase, the method of review, and the resources available. The timeline should include milestones for each stage of the audit process, including planning, preparation, review, and follow-up.

Prepare an audit plan with clear deliverables

The final step in planning a code audit is to prepare an audit plan with clear deliverables. It should include:

  • detailed description of the audit process
  • methods and tools that will be used
  • the roles and responsibilities of each team member
  • the expected outcomes. 

It's important to ensure that the audit plan is accessible to all stakeholders so they would understand their roles and responsibilities. By following these best practices for planning code audits, you can ensure that your code audits are efficient, effective, and aligned with your objectives. Effective planning will also help to make the audit process run smoothly.

Conducting Code Audits

Once you have planned your code audit, the next step is to conduct the audit itself. The following are the best practices for conducting successful code audits:

Use appropriate tools for code analysis

Code analysis tools can help automate the review process and provide a more comprehensive view of the code. Some popular code analysis tools include static analysis tools, dynamic analysis tools, and code review tools. It's important to choose the right ones for your audit based on the objectives and scope of the audit and the resources available.

Assign clear roles and responsibilities

Before the audit begins, it's important to assign clear roles and responsibilities to each member of the audit team. This includes the lead auditor, the code reviewer, and any support staff. Roles and responsibilities within a team should be clear and communicated timely to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.

Follow a structured approach to code review

A structured approach to code review helps to enable the most effective code analysis. This may include a review of the code architecture, coding style checkup, and implementation audit. 

By hiring third-party code auditors you can have your code checked by well-versed experts outside of your team. Outside team can bring much more value by revealing additional issues to be fixed. At Softjourn, we have tested +200 products by following Agile methodologies and best industry practices. 

Document and track findings and issues

As the audit progresses, it's important to document and track findings and issues. This includes any security vulnerabilities, performance issues, or code quality problems. The documentation should be organized and easily accessible to ensure that the audit findings are communicated effectively to all stakeholders. If you reviewed your code before the documentation will show the history of issues and where they might be found.

Communicate findings and recommendations

The final step in conducting a code audit is to communicate the findings and recommendations to all stakeholders. They should be presented in a clear and concise manner for everyone to understand the issues and act. It is always easier to fix the issues before they lead to significant security vulnerabilities and bugs. 

Audit your code regularly

Here at Softjourn, we recommend our clients perform code audits regularly. With periodical reviews, you'll have more chances to detect significant problems and solve them on the spot. Don't forget that the later you discover a bug the harder it becomes to fix it.

By following most of these best practices, you will improve the quality of your future code audits. They will be more efficient and aligned with your business objectives. A well-conducted code audit should provide valuable insights to improve the quality of future code. 

Key Challenges in Conducting Effective Software Code Audits

Conducting a software code audit is a crucial process for ensuring the quality, security, and efficiency of your software. However, this task is often beset with numerous challenges that can hamper its effectiveness. Being aware of these potential pitfalls can help you navigate the auditing process more successfully.

  1. Unclear Objectives: One common challenge is the absence of well-defined objectives. Before starting a code audit, it's essential to clearly outline what you're aiming to achieve. This might involve identifying security vulnerabilities, enhancing code efficiency, or verifying compliance with coding standards. Clear goals will not only steer the auditing process but also render the results more meaningful and valuable.
  2. Lack of Expertise: Code audits necessitate a profound comprehension of the programming language in use and the software's architecture. If your team lacks the requisite expertise, it might be beneficial to engage an external code audit service provider. Such experts can deliver an impartial review and possess the skills and experience to spot even the most intricate issues.
  3. Inadequate Tools: The success of a code audit is largely reliant on the tools deployed. There exists a plethora of static code analysis tools capable of automatically pinpointing potential issues, such as code smells, bugs, and security vulnerabilities. It is crucial to select a tool that aligns best with your specific needs.
  4. Ignoring the Big Picture: While delving deep into the code during an audit is important, it's equally crucial to grasp the software's overarching architecture and the interaction among its various components. This comprehensive view can facilitate the identification of design issues that might not be evident when examining individual lines of code.
  5. Neglecting Documentation: While good code should be self-explanatory, verifying that it's adequately documented is equally vital. Proper documentation simplifies code comprehension and maintenance, and can also help pinpoint areas where the code's behavior isn't instantly discernible.
  6. Not Following Up: A code audit's utility diminishes significantly if its findings aren't addressed. It's crucial to prioritize the issues highlighted during the audit and integrate them into your development backlog. This could entail fixing bugs, refactoring code, or revising your coding standards.

By recognizing these challenges and taking proactive measures to mitigate them, you can maximize the effectiveness of your code audits.

Follow-up and Continuous Improvement After Code Audit

The final step in the code audit process is follow-up and continuous improvement. The following are our advice on follow-up and continuous improvement to make sure that the benefits of the audit are sustained and improved over time:

Create comprehensive audit report

Once all the product's issues are outlined, they should be gathered in a comprehensive report. Usually, code audit reports are useful for planning product upgrades, fixing issues or planning future improvements. 

Review and implementation recommendations

The first step in the follow-up process is to review the recommendations from the audit and determine which recommendations should be implemented right away and which later. Recommendation prioritization should be based on two different criteria:

  • the potential impact on the project
  • resources required 

Establish a continuous improvement plan

Once the recommendations are ready, the next step is to establish a continuous improvement plan. This plan should include a timeline for implementing the recommendations, the roles and responsibilities of each team member, and any performance metrics that will be used to keep an eye on future progress. Softjourn's experts can create a detailed correction plan for all discovered issues. We also offer product maintenance services and support to all our clients. 

Oversee and track progress

The continuous improvement plan should include regular monitoring and tracking of progress to ensure that the recommendations are being implemented as planned. This may include regular status reports, performance metrics, and customer feedback.

Evaluate and adjust the process

As the continuous improvement plan is implemented, it's important to evaluate and adjust the process as needed. This may include adjusting the timeline, revising the roles and responsibilities of team members, and adjusting the performance metrics. In some cases, you might have to add more people in the team and that's where Softjourn can help. Ultimately, the goal of this process is to ensure that the continuous improvement plan is effective and aligned with the objectives of the audit.

Repeat the audit process

The final step in the follow-up process is to repeat the audit process. This may include conducting periodic code audits, updating the code analysis tools, and revisiting the recommendations from previous audits. Repeating the audit process is to ensure that the code remains of high quality. And the biggest benefits of the audit are sustained and improved over time.

By following these best practices for follow-up and continuous improvement, you can see whether the benefits of the code audit are sustained and improved over time. A well-designed continuous improvement plan will help to ensure that the code remains of high quality and that the objectives of the audit are achieved and sustained over time.


In conclusion, code audits are a valuable tool for improving the quality, efficiency, and security of software projects. By following best practices for planning, conducting, and follow-up, organizations can understand if their code audits are efficient, effective, and aligned with their objectives. 

The benefits of code audit show improvements over time through continuous improvement and a periodic repeat of the audit process.

Code audits provide a comprehensive view of the code and help to identify and address code quality issues, security vulnerabilities, and performance problems. They also provide valuable insights into the code and help to improve the skills and knowledge of the development team. 

In summary, best practices for code audits include: 

  • using appropriate tools
  • assigning clear roles 
  • responsibilities
  • following a structured approach 
  • documenting and tracking findings and issues
  • communicating findings and recommendations 
  • establishing a continuous improvement plan. 

By following these best practices, organizations can ensure that their code audits are efficient, effective, and aligned with their objectives. If you're looking for a reliable partner to assist you with code audits, Softjourn has the experience and expertise to help. 

Our team of skilled engineers and experts are dedicated to helping organizations improve the quality and performance of their software. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your code audit needs.


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