The Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach enables the development of flexible distributed applications. Auditing such applications implies several specific challenges related to interoperability, performance and security. The service oriented architecture model is described and the advantages of this approach are analyzed. We also highlight several quality attributes and potential risks in SOA applications that an architect should be aware when designing a distributed system. Key risk factors are identified and a model for risk evaluation is introduced. The top reasons for auditing SOA applications are presented as well as the most important standards. The steps for a successful audit process are given and discussed.