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The Risk-Based Audit: Overview

Updated: Dec 25, 2022


The auditor’s overall objectives, as stated in ISA 200.11, can be summarised as follows:

  • To obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, thereby enabling the auditor to express an opinion on whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, under an applicable financial reporting framework; and

  • To report on the financial statements and communicate as required by the ISAs, following the auditor’s findings.

Reasonable Assurance

Reasonable assurance is a high but not absolute level of assurance. It is obtained when the auditor has obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence to reduce audit risk (that is, the risk that the auditor expresses an inappropriate opinion when the financial statements are materially misstated) to an acceptably low level. The auditor cannot provide absolute assurance due to inherent limitations in work. This results from the majority of audit evidence (on which the auditor draws conclusions and bases the auditor’s opinion) being persuasive rather than conclusive.

如《国际审计准则》第200.11条所述,审计员的总体目标可归纳为以下几点:-

  • 合理保证财务报表整体上不存在由于欺诈或错误造成的重大错报,从而使审计师能够对财务报表是否在所有重大方面根据适用的财务报告框架编制发表意见;以及

  • 按照《国际审计准则》的要求,在审计员的审计结果出来后,对财务报表进行报告和沟通。


合理保证

合理保证是一种高度但非绝对的保证。


当审计师获得足够的适当的审计证据,将审计风险(即当财务报表存在重大误报时,审计师发表不恰当意见的风险)降低到一个可接受的低水平时,就可以获得合理保证。由于工作中固有的局限性,审计师不能提供绝对保证。这是因为大多数的审计证据(审计师据此得出结论并作为审计意见的依据)只是具有说服力,而不是结论性的。

Inherent Limitations of an Audit

1. The Nature of Financial Reporting

The preparation of financial statements involves:

  1. Judgment by management in preparing the financial statements and applying the presentation and disclosure requirements in the applicable financial reporting framework; and

  2. Subjective decisions or assessments (such as estimates) by management involve a range of acceptable interpretations or judgments.

2. Nature of Audit Evidence Available

Most of the auditor’s work in forming the auditor’s opinion consists of obtaining and evaluating audit evidence. This evidence tends to be persuasive in character rather than conclusive.


Audit evidence is primarily obtained from audit procedures performed during the course of the audit. It may also include information obtained from other sources such as:

  • Previous audits;

  • A firm’s quality control procedures for client acceptance and continuance;

  • The entity’s accounting records; and

  • Audit evidence prepared by an expert employed or engaged by the entity

3. The Nature of Audit Procedures

Audit procedures, however well-designed, will not detect every misstatement. Consider the following:

  • Any sample of less than 100% of a population introduces some risk that a misstatement will not be detected;

  • Management or others may not provide, intentionally or unintentionally, the complete information required. Fraud may involve sophisticated and carefully organised schemes designed to conceal it; and

  • Audit procedures used to gather audit evidence may not detect that some information is missing.

4. Timeliness of Financial Reporting

The relevance/value of financial information tends to diminish over time, so a balance must be struck between the information's reliability and cost.


Users of financial statements expect that the auditor will form his or her opinion within a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable cost. Consequently, it is impracticable to address all information that may exist or to pursue every matter exhaustively on the assumption that information is in error or fraudulent until proven otherwise.


审计的固有局限性


1. 财务报告的性质

财务报表的编制涉及:-

  • 管理层在编制财务报表和应用适用的财务报告框架中的表述和披露要求时的判断;以及

  • 管理层的主观决定或评估(如估计)涉及一系列可接受的解释或判断。


2. 现有审计证据的性质

审计师形成审计意见的大部分工作包括获取和评估审计证据。这种证据往往是有说服力的,而不是结论性的。


审计证据主要是从审计过程中执行的审计程序中获得。它也可能包括从其他来源获得的信息,如:

  • 之前的审计。

  • 事务所对客户的接受和持续的质量控制程序。

  • 该实体的会计记录;以及

  • 由该实体雇用或聘请的专家准备的审计证据

3. 审计程序的性质

审计程序,无论设计得多么好,都不能发现每一个错报,请考虑以下情况:-

  • 任何低于100%的样本都会带来一些风险,即错报不会被发现。

  • 管理层或其他人可能有意或无意地不提供所需的完整信息。欺诈可能涉及复杂和精心组织的计划,旨在掩盖它;以及

  • 用于收集审计证据的审计程序可能无法发现某些信息的缺失。


4. 财务报告的及时性

财务信息的相关性/价值往往会随着时间的推移而降低,因此必须在信息的可靠性和成本之间取得平衡。


财务报表的使用者希望审计师能在合理的时间内以合理的成本形成他或她的意见。因此,要处理所有可能存在的信息或详尽地追究每一个问题是不切实际的,因为假设信息是错误的或欺诈性的,直到证明不是这样。


Scope of an Audit

The scope of the auditor’s work and the opinion provided are usually confined to whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.


As a result, an unmodified auditor’s report does not assure the future viability of the entity nor the efficiency or effectiveness with which management has conducted the affairs of the entity.


Any extension of this basic audit responsibility, such as that required by local laws or securities regulations, would require the auditor to undertake further work and modify or expand the auditor’s report accordingly.


Material Misstatements

A material misstatement (either individually or the aggregate of all uncorrected misstatements and missing/misleading disclosures in the financial statements) has occurred when it could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users made based on the financial statements.


Assertions

Assertions are representations by management, explicit or otherwise, that are embodied in the financial statements. They relate to the recognition, measurement and presentation of classes of transactions and events, account balances and disclosures in the financial statements. For example, the completeness assertion relates to all transactions and events that should have been recorded having been recorded. They are used by the auditor to consider the potential misstatements that may occur.

审计的范围

审计师的工作范围和提供的意见通常局限于财务报表是否在所有重大方面都按照适用的财务报告框架编制。


因此,一份未经修改的审计报告并不能保证该实体未来的生存能力,也不能保证管理层处理该实体事务的效率或效果。


这一基本审计责任的任何延伸,如当地法律或证券法规的要求,将要求审计员开展进一步的工作,并相应地修改或扩大审计员的报告。


重大错报

当重大错报(单独或财务报表中所有未更正的错报和遗漏/误导性披露的总和)可能合理地预期会影响用户根据财务报表做出的经济决策时,该错报已经发生。


认定

认定是管理层在财务报表中体现出来的明确或其他的陈述。它们与财务报表中各类交易和事件、账户余额和披露的确认、计量和表述有关。例如,完整性断言涉及到所有应该被记录的交易和事件已经被记录。审计师使用这些认定来考虑可能发生的不同类型的潜在错误陈述。



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