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Independence

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

Auditors are required to maintain their independence at all times, as this is one of the fundamental principles underlying the auditing process. According to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), there are basically two aspects of independence:

  • independence of mind; and

  • independence in appearance

审计师必须在任何时候都保持其独立性,因为这是审计过程的基本原则之一。根据国际会计师道德准则委员会(IESBA)的规定,独立性基本上有两个方面。

  • 实质上的独立性;和

  • 形式上的独立性


Independence of Mind | 实质上的独立性

According to IESBA,

‘… enables the auditor to form an opinion without being affected by influences that would compromise the auditor's professional judgement. Independence of mind will allow the auditor to act with integrity and exercise objectivity at all times during the course of the audit. Independence of mind will also allow the auditor to act with professional skepticism.’


根据 IESBA 的规定:

实质上的独立性是一种内心状态,使得审计师师在提出结论时不受损害职业判断的因素影响,诚信行事,遵循客观公正原则,保持职业怀疑。

Independence in Appearance | 形式上的独立性

According to IESBA,

is achieved when the auditor avoids facts and circumstances that are so significant that a reasonable and informed third party would conclude that the auditor's integrity, objectivity and professional scepticism has been compromised.’


形式上的独立性是一种外在表现,使得一个理性且掌握充分信息的第三方,在权衡所有相关事实和情况后, 认为会计师事务所或审计项目团队成员没有损害诚信原则、客观公正 原则或职业怀疑。


Any risks to the auditor's ability to act independently and objectively must be eliminated entirely or mitigated to an extent that is deemed acceptable. The auditor is also obligated to ensure that adequate safeguards are put in place to mitigate threats to the auditor's independence and objectivity whenever they discover such threats.


This requirement arises when the auditor identifies a threat to the auditor's independence and objectivity.


If the auditor comes to the conclusion that there are no safeguards that can be put in place, or if the safeguards that are available to the auditor will not reduce the threat to an acceptable level, then the auditor must either resign from the audit assignment or decline the invitation to be the entity's auditor.


Threats to independence can arise in the following circumstances (note this list is not exhaustive):

  • The personal interest of the auditor: the auditor may be concerned about losing the audit fee.

  • Intimidation: Auditors may be intimidated by dominant or aggressive management.

  • Lengthy relationship: because the auditor has a long history of working with the client, they have developed an excessive amount of sympathy for the customer.

  • Providing non-audit services: which results in the auditor having to prepare and then audit their own work. 


任何对审计师独立性和客观性的威胁都必须完全消除,或减轻到可接受的水平。


审计师也有义务确保在他们发现对独立性和客观性的威胁时,采取适当的保障措施,以相应减少威胁。


如果审计师得出结论,没有可以实施的保障措施,或者审计师可用的保障措施不能将威胁降低到可接受的水平,审计师必须辞去审计任务,或者拒绝担任该实体的审计师的邀请。


对独立性的威胁可能出现在以下情况中(注意这个清单并不详尽):

  • 审计师的个人利益:审计师可能担心失去审计费。

  • 恐吓:审计员可能会被占主导地位或咄咄逼人的管理层所吓倒。

  • 冗长的关系:因为审计师与客户有长期合作的历史,他们对客户产生了过多的同情。

  • 提供非审计服务:这导致审计师不得不准备,然后审计自己的工作。 

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