Though controversial, software testing may be viewed as an important part of the software quality assurance (SQA) process. In SQA, software process specialists and auditors take a broader view on software and its development. They examine and change the software engineering process itself to reduce the amount of faults that end up in the delivered software: the so-called defect rate.
What constitutes an "acceptable defect rate" depends on the nature of the software; A flight simulator video game would have much higher defect tolerance than software for an actual airplane.
Although there are close links with SQA, testing departments often exist independently, and there may be no SQA function in some companies.
Software testing is a task intended to detect defects in software by contrasting a computer program's expected results with its actual results for a given set of inputs. By contrast, QA (quality assurance) is the implementation of policies and procedures intended to prevent defects from occurring in the first place.