FAQs on SA 230 | Audit Documentation (Part-1)

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Audit documentation is considered the backbone of an audit. The work that the auditor performs, the explanations given to the auditor and the conclusions arrived at, all are evidenced by documentation. SA 230 deals with the responsibility of the auditor to prepare audit documentation for an audit of financial statements. The objective behind the preparation of the audit documentation that provides:

(a) a sufficient and appropriate record of the basis for the auditor’s report;

(b) evidence that the audit was planned and performed in accordance with the SAs and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

Inadequate or improper documentation may be considered a deficiency in performing an audit. The auditor may have executed appropriate audit procedures, however, if there is no documentation to prove, it may put a question on the work done, in case any material misstatement is reported. To make it easier to understand the stipulations under SA 230, the standard has been broken down into a Q&A format.

FAQ 1. What is the scope of SA 230?

SA 230 outlines the obligations of auditors to create audit documentation for a financial statement audit. When applied to audits of other types of historical financial information, SA 230 should be modified as appropriate. The specific documentation requirements of other SAs should not constrain the application of SA 230. Instead, other laws or regulations may establish additional documentation requirements.

FAQ 2. What is the objective of the auditor under SA 230?

The objective of the auditor is to prepare documentation that provides:

A sufficient and appropriate record of the basis for the auditor’s report; and

Evidence that the audit was planned and performed in accordance with SAs and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

FAQ 3. What do you mean by audit file?

The audit documentation for a particular engagement consists of one or more records, whether in physical or electronic form, that constitute a complete set of files.

FAQ 4. How should the audit documentation be recorded?

Audit documentation may be recorded on paper or on electronic or other media.

FAQ 5. If the auditor complies with SA 230, will the result be sufficient and appropriate audit documentation?

Following the principles of SA 230, it is expected to produce adequate and suitable audit documentation for the engagement. However, other SAs may specify additional documentation requirements to provide guidance on the application of this SA under certain circumstances.

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