By William Messier Jr, Steven Glover, Douglas Prawitt
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Extra info for Auditing & Assurance Services: A Systematic Approach
Be able to explain why on most audit engagements an auditor tests only a sample of transactions that occurred. Be able to describe the basic financial statement auditing process and the phases in which an audit is carried out. Know what an audit report is and understand the nature of an unqualified report. Understand why auditing demands logic, reasoning, and resourcefulness. RELEVANT ACCOUNTING AND AUDITING PRONOUNCEMENTS* AU-C 200, Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance with GAAS AU-C 210, Terms of Engagement AU-C 450, Evaluation of Misstatements Identified During an Audit AU-C 700, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements AU-C 705, Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor’s Report AU-C 706, Emphasis of Matter Paragraphs and Other Matter Paragraphs in the Independent Auditor’s Report PCAOB Auditing Standard No.
Why not test all account balances and all transactions that occurred during the period so that audit risk can be driven to zero, even for immaterial misstatements? The main reason is the cost and infeasibility of such an audit. In a very small business, the auditor might be able to examine all transactions that occurred during the period and all the accounts that exist at the end of the period and still issue the audit report in a reasonable amount of time. However, it is unlikely that the owner of the business could afford to pay for such an extensive audit.
While true in certain circumstances, this answer is far too simplistic. Audits are often utilized in situations where they are not required by law, and audits were in demand long before securities laws required them. 2 However, the development of the corporate form of business and the expanding world economy over the last 200 years have given rise to an explosion in the demand for the assurance provided by auditors. 3 Principals and Agents The demand for auditing can be understood as the need for accountability when business owners hire others to manage their businesses, as is typical in modern corporations.