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Auditing Is The Process Of Examining Different Kinds Of Financial

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Question:

Auditing Is the Process of Examining How Different Kinds of Financial?

 

Answer:

Introduction

In general, auditing is the process of examining different kinds of financial transductions and financial accounts of the business organizations so that any kind of mistakes and fraudulent can be spotted (Pitt, 2014). In this era of technological development, one of the major auditing concepts is the process of IT Auditing. IT audit has a great importance in today’s business organizations. IT audit refers to the process to examine and evaluate the information technology infrastructure, policies and various operations of the business organizations (Meyer, 2016). The main objective of IT audit is to protect the corporate assets of the business organizations, to ensure the integrity of data and also to ensure that all the data and information is properly aligned with the overall objective of the organizations (Arens, Elder & Mark 2012). The process of IT audit has utmost importance to the business organizations as it ensures that all the IT systems of the organizations are effectively protected. The process of IT audit helps to provide reliable information to the stakeholders of the business. Same as the general auditing procedure, IT audit procedure also needs to follow the general legislation of the auditing profession. One of the major factors in the process of IT audit is the Generally Accepted Auditing Principles, commonly known as GAAP. Another major concept of IT audit is the legislation of ISACA’s COBIT. ISACA’s COBIT is a framework for the process of IT audit that govern different kinds of risks and security issues in the process of IT audit.

 

Relevant Legislation of IT Audit

In Australia, there are different kinds of legislation regarding the process of auditing. These legislations general audit legislations that is they are applicable for the general auditing and IT auditing. Names of some of the major auditing legislations are the main aim of this standard. One of the major auditing legislation is the Auditor-General Act 1997 (legislation.gov.au, 2017). This act deals with all the aspects of the appointment of the general auditors in the organizations. This act deals with appointment of the general auditor, to set the function of the general auditors and various other aspects related with the general auditors. Another crucial legislation is the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (anao.gov.au, 2017). The main objective of this legislation of this law is to include the governance, responsibility and accountability in the operations of the auditors. Another important legislation regarding the audit profession is Australia National Audit Office (ANAO) Auditing Standard (auasb.gov.au, 2017). As per this audit legislation, the audit performance, financial statement of the companies, assurance of the reviewed audit report are designed in order to provide the desired level of assurance in the audit profession. Some of the important factors in this regard are the provided assurance by the auditors, the expertise of the auditors, the process of internal control of the auditors, various types of cost considerations and many others. These are the major legislations regarding the process of auditors. Apart from this, there are many other legislation in the audit profession.

Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS)

One of the major aspects in the process of auditing is the GAAS standards. GAAS stands for Generally Accepted Auditing Standards. GAAS refers to a set of principles or standards against which the quality of the audit operations is measured or the quality of auditing is judged (aicpa.org, 2017). It can be seen that there are certain principles or standards that the auditors needs to comply with at the time of performing the audit operations for the business organizations. There are three principles in the general standards in GAAS. First, the auditor must have enough level of technical knowledge and experience for conducting the audit operations. Second, there must be mental independence of the auditors at the time of audit operations. Third, at the time of audit operations, the auditors must exercise due professional care (Christensen et al., 2015).

There are three principles in standards of fieldwork in GAAS. First, before any audit operations, the auditors need to prepare their audit plan and should proceed as per the plan. Second, the auditors must obtain sufficient amount of knowledge and understanding about the business operations of the audit clients (Causholli & Knechel, 2012). Third, at the time of performing the audit operations, the auditors must obtain sufficient audit evidence to make the audit opinion. There are four principles in standards of reporting in GAAS. First, the auditors must state that whether the financial statements of the audit client is prepared with accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principle (GAAP) (Kinney Jr, 2015). Second, the auditors must identify the places in the financial statement where there is irregularity. Third, the auditors must state all the necessary aspects in the audit reports. Fourth, based on the analysis of the financial statements of the audit client, the auditors need to make their audit opinion in the audit report (Flood, 2016).

 

ISACA’s COBIT

Information Systems Audit and Control Association, commonly known as ISACA, is an association that provides specific guidance, benchmark and other effective tools to the business organizations that use information technology. With the help of various kinds of tools, ISACA defines the roles of audit, assurance, security, governance of information system in the process of IT audit (isaca.org, 2017). In the framework of ISACA, one of the most important frameworks is the COBIT framework. COBIT stands for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. COBIT refers to a set of practices for Information Technology Management. ISACA developed COBIT in the year of 1996 for the objective of IT governance. COBIT helps the business organizations by creating optimal value from Information Technology with the help of maintaining a balance between optimal risk levels and realized benefits. COBIT provides assistance to the business organizations by enabling the management of information and technology of the organizations in a holistic manner. A major advantage of COBIT is that the principles of COBIT can be applied to every kind of business organizations irrespective of the size, nature and type of the industry. This is also applicable for the non-profit making organizations. At the time of conducting the IT audit operations, the auditor need to taken into consideration all the principles of COBIT (Qualified-audit-partners.be, 2017). COBIT framework is considered as a single framework that is highly integrated. The business organizations consider the COBIT framework as an important tool to fulfill the needs of the stakeholders of the organizations as it assists to provide true and fair information to the stakeholders of the organizations.

 

Audit Strategies

The main objective of this report is to analyze and evaluate the various aspect of the Information System audit report of Western Australian Auditor General’s Report. In the earlier section of this report, the principles and standards of GAAS are discussed. From the discussion about the principles and standards of GAAS, it can be observed that before the starting of the audit operations, it is the duty of the auditors to develop the detailed plan of the audit operation along with the development of the audit strategies. There is not any exception of this fact in case of Western Australian Auditor General’s Report about the information technology. Some specific strategies have been at the time of the development of this audit report. This particular audit report is the summary of the results of the 2012 annual cycle of audit. As per the audit strategy, the main objective of this report is to audit the various aspects of the information technology regarding to the business organizations.

According to the audit strategy of this report, twenty-one companies have been benchmarked against the International Standards for Information Security. This is a major strategy for the preparation of this report. These agencies have been taken into consideration so that the information technology performance of the business organizations can be compared against them. This is a useful strategy to detect the loopholes in the various aspects of the information technology of the business organizations. The main purpose behind the adoption of this strategy is to highlight the needs for the organizations to provide greater attention to the risk management and security issues regarding the information technology. Another major strategy of the preparation of this audit report is the selection of five key business applications. These five aspects are taken into consideration, as they are the important factors in the information technology. The audit evaluation of these five aspects will be helpful to detect the weaknesses and loopholes in the various infrastructure of the information technology of the companies. These major strategies have been used in this audit report.

Identification and Discussion of Irregularities

From the earlier discussion, it can be observed that there are various kinds of principles and regulations of audition profession that the auditors need to comply with at the time of conducting the audit operations for the organizations (Vanstraelen et al., 2012). According to the auditing principles and standards, an audit report must have some major components. The first two components are the title of the report and a proper introduction. In case of Western Australian Auditor General’s Report, these two parts are present as the report has both a title and an introduction. However, the report does not have any separate section for scope, as this is one of the requirements of an ideal audit report. In the scope paragraph, the rules and methods that need to be followed at the time of preparing the report are mentioned. In the Western Australian Auditor General’s Report, the auditors have not mentioned the methods and standards that have been followed at the time of preparing audit report (Mock et al., 2012). The findings of the audit operations are all over the audit report. It implies that the auditor have done his job significantly. Another two of the major components of the audit reports are the name of the auditor and signature of the auditor. In case of Western Australian Auditor General’s Report, it can be seen that both these above-mentioned aspects are presented in the audit report (Knechel et al., 2012). The last component of audit report is the auditor’s recommendations that are well provided in the audit report.

Recommendations

From the above discussion, some irregularities can be spotted in the Western Australian Auditor General’s Report. Due to these irregularities, it is hard to understand that whether this report has complied with all the auditing standards and principles. Hence, some of the recommendations are provided below:

  • It is recommended that that the audit report needs to be developed as per the actual structure of the audit reports.
  • It is recommended that all the components of an ideal audit report must be there in the Western Australian Auditor General’s Report.
  • It is recommended that at the time of preparing the audit report, the auditor needs to follow the guidelines and principles of Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.
  • It is recommended that the audit report must contain the scope and executive summary portions that will include the rules and methods that need to be mentioned at the time of developing the audit reports.
 

Conclusion

The main objective of the study is to analyze and evaluate the different aspects of Western Australian Auditor General’s Report that is about the audit on information technology. For this purpose, there major aspects that needed to be discussed are the audit legislations, Generally Accepted Auditing Standards and ISACA’s COBIT. Three of the major audit legislatives are Auditor-General Act 1997, Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and Australia National Audit Office (ANAO) Auditing Standard. At the time of the audit operations, the auditors need to comply with all the standards. In case of Western Australian Auditor General’s Report, the auditor has adopted certain strategies so that the loophole in the information technologies of the companies can be identified. Some of the major irregularities in the Western Australian Auditor General’s Report have been spotted. It has been seen that some of the major components of the ideal audit report are missing in the Western Australian Auditor General’s Report like the scope of the report, the used methods in the report and others. Based on the outcome of the whole study, some recommendations have been provided.

 

References

About ISACA. (2017). Isaca.org. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from https://www.isaca.org/about-isaca/Pages/default.aspx

Arens, A. A., Elder, R. J., & Mark, B. (2012). Auditing and assurance services: an integrated approach. Boston: Prentice Hall.

Australian Auditing Standards. (2017). Auasb.gov.au. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from https://www.auasb.gov.au/Pronouncements/Australian-Auditing-Standards.aspx

Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Auditing Standards (09/03/2017). (2017). Legislation.gov.au. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00230

Causholli, M., & Knechel, W. R. (2012). An examination of the credence attributes of an audit. Accounting Horizons, 26(4), 631-656.

Christensen, B. E., Glover, S. M., Omer, T. C., & Shelley, M. K. (2015). Understanding audit quality: Insights from audit professionals and investors. Contemporary Accounting Research.

COBIT 5 ISACA's new framework for IT Governance, Risk, Security and Auditing. (2017). qualified-audit-partners.be. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from https://www.qualified-audit-partners.be/user_files/QECB_GLC_COBIT_5_ISACA_s_new_framework_201303.pdf

Flood, J. M. (2016). AU?C 230 Audit Documentation. Wiley Practitioner's Guide to GAAS 2015: Covering all SASs, SSAEs, SSARSs, PCAOB Auditing Standards, and Interpretations, 23-32.

Generally Accepted Auditing Standards. (2017). aicpa.org. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from https://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/AuditAttest/DownloadableDocuments/AU-00150.pdf

Kinney Jr, W. R. (2015). GAAS 1963-2012: The Global Foundation of Independent Audits and Research in Auditing.

Knechel, W. R., Krishnan, G. V., Pevzner, M., Shefchik, L. B., & Velury, U. K. (2012). Audit quality: Insights from the academic literature. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 32(sp1), 385-421.

Legislation and standards | Australian National Audit Office. (2017). Anao.gov.au. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from https://www.anao.gov.au/about/legislation-and-standards

Meyer, C. (2016). Sound Audit Quality Control. Journal of Accountancy, 221(3), 18.

Mock, T. J., Bédard, J., Coram, P. J., Davis, S. M., Espahbodi, R., & Warne, R. C. (2012). The audit reporting model: Current research synthesis and implications. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, 32(sp1), 323-351.

Pitt, S. A. (2014). International standards for the professional practice of internal auditing.

Vanstraelen, A., Schelleman, C., Meuwissen, R., & Hofmann, I. (2012). The audit reporting debate: Seemingly intractable problems and feasible solutions. European Accounting Review, 21(2), 193-215.

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