The setup and the institutional development of the Audit Authority are basically linked to the process of Romania's accession to the European Union and, subsequently, to its quality of a member state of the Union.

Since the year 2000, in the context of EU’s accession preparation, Romania was granted non-refundable financial assistance from multiple financial facilities/ programmes endorsed by the European Commission and tailored for the candidate countries, mainly through ISPA measures and SAPARD Programmes.

The financing party imposed a key requirement in order to be able to benefit from the non-refundable financial assistance, namely to designate an audit structure with the adequate technical ability, operationally independent from the other structures implementing the funds/programme, that would be able to certify that the funds allocated have been used in compliance with the provisions set by the agreements and financial memoranda closed between Romania and the EC. 

In order to meet these specific requirements of the EC, the Romanian Court of Accounts’ experience and expertise acquired over 125 years of functioning led to the establishing within its structure of an audit body dedicated to the verification of funds obtained from the EU financial assistance. Therefore, by Law no 77/31.01.2002, the Court of Accounts control attributions were extended to cover the use of funds granted to Romania by the European Union, as well as by other international financing sources. 

In 2004 the European Commission recommended for an independent body responsible for carrying out sample-based checks, system audits and ISPA measures closure audits to be appointed at national level, therefore such an independent body was established within the Romanian Court of Accounts that the European Commission agreed upon.
Moreover, in the light of the EU accession, this decision also ensured compliance with the requirements applicable for the 2007-2013 budgetary programming period, which required that the member state has to designate a managing authority, a certifying authority and an audit authority for each operational programme.

Therefore, the Law no 200 of 23rd of June 2005 endorsing the Government Emergency Ordinance no 22/2005 for the completion of Law no 94/1992 on the organization and functioning of the Court of Accounts established the Audit Authority for the funds granted by the EU to Romania under the ISPA and SAPARD programmes and for the other funds to be granted post-accession, as a body without legal personality, operationally independent from the Romanian Court of Accounts.