Discuss about the Auditing and Assurance in Australia for Cash Flow Statements.
Auditing often refers to the verification of financial reports of an organization on the annual basis by internal management individuals or external audit teams. The financial report comprises of balance sheet, cash flow statements and income statement and company’s accounting policies that are examined to determine the strengths and weaknesses along with future potential (PwC, 2016). Auditing may be classified into internal as well as external, wherein the internal auditing is usually performed by the employees of organization and is known as first party audits, whereas the third parties or outside agents perform the external auditing. Apart from this, the auditing is of three types, including product, process and systems audit, concentrate on different dimensions of the business operations. Product auditing is the verification of any particular product to measure whether it follows as per the requirements or audit standards (Russell, 2012). Process audit is the method of verifying whether the operations are running parallel to the predetermined instructions (ASQ, 2016). In the similar context, system audit is performed to manage the entire system of the company (ISACA, 2016).
The purpose of the assignment is to identify the impact of auditing process or businesses due to the changes in the audit report model. In accordance with the paper objective, it further evaluates whether the components of the systems are suitable and according to the requirements of the company standard (American Society for Quality, n.d.).
Changes to the Audit-Reporting Model
The PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight board) proposed a new accounting or auditing standard to improve the auditor’s reporting model. In the new model, the planned standard included the pass/fail model in the auditor’s report and proposed to present more information to the shareholders about the auditing process, including the information about the auditor as well as the audit. The Chairman of the PCAOB stated that the anticipated changes would enhance the effectiveness of the report and make it more applicable for the investors of the companies. In addition, it is further stated that the audit reports, which identify the strengths and importance of the audit processing must also provide awareness and admiration for the knowledge and skills that is provided by the auditors to the company. The staffs of the PCOAB conducted survey to the shareholders, auditors and other stakeholders involved in the business to provide precise information regarding the changes that will be implemented in the auditor’s report (2Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2016).
The findings of the proposed changes were presented to the board in an open meeting in the year 2011. In the same year, the board presented a concept in order to obtain knowledge regarding the feedback of people on the changes needs to implement in the auditor’s reporting model. In addition to this, the board also conducted a conference including the shareholders and individuals related to the domain in gaining understanding on their perception regarding the proposal. Concerning the causes of such changes, it is observed that in the recent decades often lack of communication between companies and auditors led the company towards experiencing financial downturn or other issues. Thus, the proposed changes in the reporting model majorly concentrate on enhancing the communication on the audit problems between the company and the auditor (2Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2016).
Apart from this, the proposed changes also included new components to the model such as independence of auditors, terms and responsibilities of the auditors, the evaluation of the information analyzed by the auditor among others. This, in turn will enhance the transparency of the report and reduce the chances of frauds by providing notes to the balance sheet (2Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2016). The communication of the critical problems with the management is another essential factor, which might reduce the audit problems. Therefore, the changed model included accounts and disclosures of the matters that act as materials to the balance sheet along with the auditor’s judgment. In accordance, the second point involved in the critical matters was the factors that determine the problems of auditing and included the documentation of the problems as well. Additional improvements to the reports included as the responsibilities of auditors along with the presence of additional information as per the requirements of opinions that will include in the first section of the report (PCAOB, 2016).
The Impact of Changes to the Audit Reporting Models
With the support of the proposed changes, it can be stated that the shareholders can have more value in the report and desired in-depth information in the balance sheet. Due to the changes implemented in the model, the shareholders now can communicate with the companies in more effective manner based on the information that were include different types of the declaration reports (Mock, 2014). Concerning the previous auditing model, it is observed that the report assumed to limit the flow of sources on the critical audit problems that need to be communicated with the audit committee. This particular concern regarding the transparency and the relevancy of the audit-reporting model encouraged both PCOAB and IAASB (International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board) to develop the standard of the audit report model, wherein communication and detailed information will be considered as major priority (Backof, Bowlin & Goodson, 2014).
The proposed change in the audit report would clarify the role of the company on the audited financial statements in narrowing the gap in the business operations, thus increasing the reliability of the auditing. In return, the audit companies have also strongly supported the changed standards to increase the liability, as the companies were largely affected due to the auditor’s negligence (Backof et al, 2014).
In the recent decades, several ethical concerns have been evident due to lesser effective auditing report provided by the audit firms, which in turn posing continuous challenges for the companies in managing risks or uncertainties in long run. In this regard, the auditors as well as the regulators were worried about the sustainability regarding the profession of audit, thus by changing the standard of the model PCOAB intends to enhance the efficiency in business as well as to reduce risks or uncertainties from the domain. The critics of the auditor’s report often claim that the companies or clients of audit firm are not convinced regarding the level of assurance or results provided by the auditors. Lack of information provided by the auditors put barriers in communicating with the stakeholders as well as gaining understanding on the business potential or current position. Thus, it can be asserted that the impact of the new proposed report would provide more effective outcome on the financial statements without any errors or misstatements (Backof et al, 2014).
Future Research Related to the Audit-Reporting Model
An inappropriate judgment by the auditor on the financial statements is termed as the audit risks that can have huge negative consequences on the business operations or decision making process (1Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2016). The audit-reporting model need to include an in-depth analysis of the financial reports and other information provided by a company and further put all the information along with evaluation on the audit report, so that the company can have knowledge on its position and can also provide the report to its stakeholders in maintaining transparency in the business (3Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 2016).
Failing to highlight the significance information in the report can be considered as an inappropriate audit opinion or false audit report, which has no value to the company in legal ground. To control this kind of risks, the auditors can use the audit risk model to handle the overall risks involved in the auditing process (CPA, 2014).
The above stated factors clearly indicates the significance of concentrating on the audit reporting model as it involved in several aspects that led to profit or loss of the companies in long run. The current changes in the reporting model purely concentrated to include detailed information in the report. However, it still lacks certain aspects such as ethical consideration in the reporting process. Thus, based on the stated fact, it can be stated the further research needs to be conducted on the basis of every dimensions of the process (3public company accounting oversight board, 2016).
Auditing is the most important factor for maintaining the profitability in the business and the relation with the stakeholders as well. It can be affirmed from the study that the proposal for changing the auditor’s report model has been implemented to enhance the effectiveness of the audit processing in obtaining comparatively better results from the process. The proposed changes also ensure that the shareholders will have more information on the company’s monetary transactions, which would provide more relevant data to the users. Apart from this, the new auditor-reporting model also intends to provide improved communication between the shareholders and the auditors, which concentrates on increasing the user confidence towards the reports provided by the auditor based on the financial statements. PCOAB has successfully conducted surveys to gain knowledge regarding the significance of adopting the change in the reporting mode, which depicts that maintaining transparency, quality of the audit reporting in the company are the major priorities for the new auditing model.
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Backof, A., Bowlin, K. & Goodson, B. (2014). The impact of proposed changes to the content of the audit report on jurors’ assessments of auditor negligence. Abstract, 1-40.
CPA. (2014). Audit risk. Retrieved August 22, 2016, from https://www.cga-canada.org/en-ca/AboutCGACanada/CGAMagazine/2003/May-Jun/Pages/ca_2003_05-06_dp_standards.aspx
ISACA, (2016). Information systems auditing: Tools and techniques. Retrieved August 24, 2016, from https://www.isaca.org/knowledge-center/research/researchdeliverables/pages/information-systems-auditing-tools-and-techniques.aspx
Mock. (2014). Comments prepared for the PCAOB public meeting on the auditor’s reporting model. Background, 1-75.
PCAOB. (2016). Proposed auditing standard. PCAOB Release, 1-228.
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