FUNDAMENTALS OF AUDITING
AUDITING – AN INTRODUCTION
What are the advantages and disadvantages of auditing?
Advantages of an audit
We have seen that the need for an external audit in the case of
companies arises primarily from the
existence of split-up of ownership from control. There are
however, certain advantages in having financial
statements audited even where no statutory requirement exists
for such an audit in the case of a sole-tradership,
partnership, or non-profit organizations for example.
These advantages can be summarized as follows:
a) Disputes between management may be more easily settled. For
instance, a partnership which has
complicated profit sharing arrangements may require an
independent examination of those
accounts to ensure, as far as possible, an accurate assessment
and distribution of the profits.
b) Major changes in ownership may be facilitated if past
accounts contain an independent audit report,
for instance, where two sole traders merge their business to
form a new partnership.
c) Application to lenders/financial institutions for finance may
be strengthened by the submission of
audited accounts. However do remember that a bank, for instance,
is likely to be far more
concerned about the future of the business and available
security, than by the past historical
accounts, audited or otherwise.
d) The audit is likely to involve an in depth examination of the
business and so may enable the auditor
to give more constrictive advice to management on improving the
efficiency of the business.
Disadvantages of an audit
Like most thing in life, audits are not entirely without their
disadvantages. There are two main points to
b) The audit fee! Clearly the services of an auditor must be
paid for. It is for this reason that few
partnerships and even fewer sole traders are likely to have
their accounts audited.
c) The audit involves the client’s staff and management in
giving time to providing information to
the auditor. Professional auditors should therefore plan their
audit carefully to minimize the
disruption which their work will cause.
What are the different stages of audit?
Auditing is essentially a practical task. The auditor always
needs to reflect the nature of the circumstances of
the entity under audit. It is unlikely that any two audit
assignments will ever identical. It is however possible
to identify a number of standard stages in a typical external
audit. These are as follows:
- Audit appointment
- Engagement letter
- Initial planning
Knowledge of the
Internal control review
(authorities/approvals/segregation of duties)
- Preparation of the audit
- Accounting system review
- Analytical review
techniques (Compliance procedures-Application of control test procedures)
like purchasing are according to the controls established.
- Considering the ways in
which audit evidence can be sought
- Substantive testing
(transaction level procedures)
- Reasonable assurance
- Review of the financial
statements (compliance with the standards/material misstatement etc.)
- Preparation and signing
At the stage of considering the ways of seeking audit evidence
the auditor will make a preliminary evaluation
of the entity’s control system:
1. If the controls are likely to lead to a true and fair set of
financial statements the auditor will test
2. If they appear weak he will not rely on the controls but
carry out extensive testing of the
transactions and balances which appear in the financial
statements by means of substantive
3. If the controls are operating effectively, the auditor can
reduce the amount of substantive testing
described above and adopt a reliance approach.
4. If not then the auditor will be forced into a extensive
What are the features of auditing profession?
In Pakistan auditing profession is allied with the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP). It
is an autonomous body incorporated under the Chartered
Accountants Ordinance 1961.
ICAP is a regulatory body that enjoys a self regulatory status.
Its affairs are run by a council which is elected
by its member (Chartered Accountants).
Only those members of the ICAP are eligible of doing audit who
have obtained license for the purpose,
these are known are practicing members.
Management of ICAP
The President is the Chief Executive of the Institute. The
administrative head of the Institute is the
Executive Director/Secretary who functions under the directions
of the Council, Executive Committee,
The President and the Vice Presidents
The Executive Director in performance of his functions is
• Director Technical
• Director Professional
• Director Education &
• Director Examinations
• Regional Director North
The prime responsibilities of Executive Director include
Personnel Management; Financial Management;
Office Administration; Publications; Information Systems;
Conducting and performing Secretarial functions
for the Council and Executive Committee Meetings.
Knowing the audit profession and other services?
Auditing firms do not describe themselves as auditors. They
describe themselves as Chartered Accountants.
Auditing firms are composed of accountants who perform audits
for their clients. They also perform other
services. The small chartered accountant firms especially may
spend more time on other services than on
The other services may include:
a. Writing up books of accounts (Book keeping)
b. Balancing books of accounts (Extracting trial balance)
c. Preparing final accounts
d. Tax management
e. Statutory form filling
f. Financial consultancy
g. Management and system consultancy
h. Liquidation and receivership work
i. Investigations (Fraud audit)