Sunday, May 11, 2014

Scope of Audit

The scope of audit is increasing with the increase in the complexities of the busines. It is said that long range objectives of an audit should be to serve as a guide to the management future decisions.

Today most of the economic activities are largely conducted through public finance. The auditor has to see whether these larger funds are properly used. The scope of audit encompasses verification of accounts with a intention of giving opinion on its reliability. Hence it covers cost audit, management audit, social audit etc. It should be remembered that an auditor just expressed his opinion on the authenticity of the account. He has no power to take action against anybody, in this regard its said that “an auditor is a watch dog but not a blood hound”.

The auditor can determine the scope of an audit of financial statements on the basis of various factors. Factors which affects the scope of Audit are as follows:

a.      Legal Requirements: The auditor can determine the scope of an audit of financial statements in accordance with the requirements of legislation, regulations or relevant professional bodies. The state can frame rules for determining the scope of audit work. The auditor can follow all the law applicable on the audit work while checking the accounts of a business concern.

b.      Entity Aspects: The audit should be organized to cover all aspects of the entity as far as they are relevant to the financial statement being audited. A business entity has many areas of working. A small entity may have few functions while a large concern has many functions. The auditor has duty to go through all the functions of a business. The audit report should cover all function so that the reader may know about all the working of a concern.

c.       Reliable Information: The auditor should obtain reasonable assurance as to whether the information contained in the underlying accounting record and other source data is reliable and sufficient as the basis for preparation of the financial statements. The auditor can use various techniques such as compliance test and substance test to test the validity of data.

d.      Proper Communication: The auditor should decide whether the relevant information is properly communicated in the financial statements. Accounting is an information system so facts and figures must be so presented that reader can get information about the business entity. The auditor can mention this fact in his report. The principles of accounting can be applied to decide about the disclosure of financial information in the statements.

e.       Evaluation: The auditor assesses the reliability and sufficiency of the information contained in the underlying accounting records and other source date by making a study and evaluation of accounting system and internal controls to determine the nature, the nature, extent and timing of other auditing procedures.

f.        Comparison: The auditor determines whether the relevant information is properly communicated by comparing the financial statement with the underlying accounting records and other source data to see whether they properly summarized the transaction and events recorded therein. The auditor can compare the accounting record with financial statement in order to check that same has been processed for preparing the final accounts of a business concern.

g.      Judgments: The auditor determines whether the relevant information is properly communicated by consideration the judgement that management has made in preparing the financial statements, accordingly, the auditor assesses the selection and consistent application of accounting policies, the manner in which the information has been classified and the adequacy of disclosure. The auditor must have the quality of judgement when accounting books to not provide true data.

h.      Evidence: The audit evidence available to auditor is persuasive rather than conclusive in nature. Due to judgment and persuasive evidence absolute certainty in auditing is really attainable. That is why the auditor can express an opinion as true and fair instead of exact and cent percent correct. The personal judgments affect the value of many items. The value of such items becomes an opinion so cent percent accuracy is not there.

i.        Errors: The auditor may get an indication that some fraud or error may have occurred which could result in material misstatement would curse the auditor to extend his procedures to confirm or dispel his suspicion. It is the duty of auditor to check cent percent items in order to discover the error in accounting books and other records when he smells any doubt. He should clear the doubt or confirm it while going through the record.