In let go ofing Accounting Standard 5, “ An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audited account of Fiscal Statements ” , the PCAOB suggests that an hearer use the top down attack in executing an integrated audit. The intent of this memo is to depict the top down attack as directed in Accounting Standard 5 and to distinguish the facets of a stuff failing versus a important lack.
The hearer begins an internal control audit by choosing the appropriate controls in which to prove. The PCAOB recommends that the hearer assert the top down attack in choosing these appropriate internal controls. AS5 directs the hearer to place entity degree controls, place important histories and revelations and their relevant averments, understand the likely beginnings of misstatement, and eventually choose the controls to prove in utilizing the top down attack. AS5 is an lineation of the hearer ‘s consecutive idea procedure and non needfully the order in which the audit will be conducted.
To decently understand a company ‘s internal control, the hearer will normally get down by measuring the entity-level controls of a client. The hearer must prove entity-level controls that are eventful to proving whether or non the client has effectual internal controls over fiscal coverage. In measuring entity-level controls, the hearer can utilize his subjective judgement to find the extent that he will look into other internal controls. The hearer must place that entity degree controls vary in nature and preciseness. Certain entity degree controls such as the control environment, will hold an indirect consequence on the sensing of stuff misstatements. The hearer can utilize the top down attack to prove an averment of possible misstatement at a higher degree and need non prove lower degree controls if the higher degree test decently addresses the assessed hazard of misstatement.
The hearer must be selective in taking the internal controls to prove. AS5 states the countries of internal control as ; controls to the related control environment, controls over direction override, the company ‘s hazard appraisal procedure, centralized processing and controls, supervising consequences of operations, controls to scrutinize other controls ( i.e. the audit commission ) , controls over period-end fiscal coverage, and concern control and hazard direction patterns. In most instances, the hearer will ab initio measure the control environment of a client. In measuring the control environment, the hearer will measure direction ‘s doctrine and operating manner, the unity and ethical values of the company, and the degree of inadvertence exerted by the audit commission.
An indispensable component of measuring controls on the entity degree is scrutiny of the period-end fiscal coverage procedure. Without the correct processs and proper mandate in doing minutess, choosing accounting policies, and fixing quarterly and one-year fiscal statements, the hearer could place issues on the entity degree and easy name jobs in other countries of the audit. The hearer must place the who is involved in the minutess, the timing of the fiscal studies is plausible, and the location of where elements of fiscal describing return topographic point. Besides, the client must hold proper inadvertence of their fiscal coverage which is besides assessed in measuring the control environment.
The top down attack, as stated in AS5, requires the hearer to place important histories and revelations and their relevant averments. A cardinal component of this part of the top down attack is the competency of the hearer him/herself. The hearer must place which countries of the internal controls have sensible possibility of incorporating a misstatement that would do fiscal studies to be materially misstated in the signifier of a sensible averment. Assertions must measure but are non limited to ; being, completeness, right rating or allotment, and proper presentation and revelation of fiscal information. Assessing hazard utilizing the top down attack requires the hearer to utilize common sense in the fact that, what is the motive for the client to materially misstate fiscal information? More frequently than non, the stuff misstatement will be to the benefit of the company. Significant histories and revelations can be assessed utilizing qualitative and quantitative hazard factors related to fiscal statement line points. Qualitative and quantitative hazard factors include the size, complexness, susceptibleness of misstatement, and consistence of fiscal coverage.
A relevant averment is capable to the sentiment of the hearer. The hearer must utilize his/her judgement to place countries that could incorporate material misstatement. Different hazards are associated with varying controls and measuring these hazards requires an scrutiny of multiple different facets of controls. For illustration, if a company has many different locations, the hearer should utilize the fiscal statements as its beginning of doing relevant averments instead than the information at one certain location.
The competency and accomplishment of the hearer is exemplified in his/her ability to understand the likely beginnings of misstatement. On a general degree, there should be an apprehension of direction ‘s enforced controls every bit good as how minutess are initiated, authorized, processed, and recorded. With a general cognition of direction ‘s doctrines and the procedure of minutess, the top down manner averment that the hearer can do is normally able to nail material misstatements with more truth. IT is another progressively built-in portion of internal audits. The hearer must understand IT ‘s function within the operations of the company to to the full understand the internal control environment. IT is non a separate rating ; instead it is incorporated into the fiscal coverage procedure and should be considered in all elements of the internal control audit.
One of the most effectual processs in measuring internal controls and the overall operations of a company is executing a walkthrough. Walkthroughs enable the hearer to supervise a procedure or dealing from its get downing until it is presented on the fiscal statements. Walkthrough processs normally include a combination of enquiry, observation, review of relevant certification, and re-performance of controls.