Audit evidence is a collection of information which is used by an auditor based on which he makes the decisions and conclusions. The collection includes all the information includes the records of the accounts, financial statements, and other related information. On the basis of audit evidence, only the auditor makes his financial and accounting decisions of the firm/enterprise which is being audited. Auditors do so by several tests to examine how properly does accounting controls of that firm operates. These tests are known as compliance tests. Other such tests include the testing of accounting details including the completeness and the disclosure of the information which are collectively known as substantive tests. Generally speaking, the audit evidence of any company includes the track of financial transactions and the factors which are required for the certification of the financial statements for the company by a certified public accountant and also the internal control practices. Based on the type of the organized which is being audited, the amount and type of the auditing evidence differs. The main purpose of any audit is to determine if the financial statements comply with the GAAP which are applicable to the jurisdiction of the entity. Most of the times, publically traded companies are required to present a completely audited financial statement to the shareholders at regular intervals of time.
Types of Audit Evidence
Audit Evidence is of nine types:
- Mathematical Recalculations
This type of audit evidence includes the mathematic accuracy of the documents or the records available for auditing. Auditor can take help of information technology for mathematical recalculation. There are many technical tools which are used for recalculation such as CAATs or the computer – assisted audit techniques. Mathematical recalculation includes recalculation of depreciation expense, reconciling subsidiary ledgers, crossfooting, footing etc.
Inquiry in audit evidence includes the information seeking of the knowledgeable persons either inside or outside the entity. It ranges from the formally written to informal oral inquiries. The inquiry is done for both the financial and nonfinancial purposes. This is used throughout the audit. It is most of the time complementary to the other auditing performances.
Reperformance is the process where the auditor executes independent procedures or controls. There were originally performed as a part of the company’s internal controls which are facilitated manually or sometimes using many IT techniques such as CAATs.
- Analytical Procedures
Analytical procedures compare the evaluation of financial information with the auditor’s expectations. These procedures are used for the financial evaluation done by the plausible relationships between both the information such as financial and non-financial. Analytical procedures are of three types:
- Preliminary analytical procedures
- Substantive analytical procedures
- Final analytical procedures
Documentation inception consists of internal and external records examination. It further includes the paper, electronic or other media documents. While doing audit inspection, these documents make up a great amount of audit evidence for the auditor.
Confirmation is used to represent any information directly from a third party. This can also be used for audit evidence regarding the absence of certain conditions. There are many factors which directly affect the reliability of evidence which are obtained through confirmations, for example:
- confirmation form
- intended respondent
- information nature which is being confirmed
- prior experience with the entity
Observation is a method by which one looks at the procedures which are being performed. It includes the observation of control activities performance and observation of counting inventories by the personnel of the entity.
- Physical Inspection of Assets
This type is all about examining the assets physically. Here, the auditor inspects or counts the tangible asset. Inspection of tangible assets assures asset existence.
Scanning involves the accounting data review which is done to identify the significant or unusual items. Scanning identifies the abnormal individual items within the account balances. This can also include the client data by scanning or doing the analysis of the entries in listings of the transaction, general ledger accounts, subsidiary ledgers.
Audit evidence is collected at the time of the financial auditing of the company. It is then recorded in the form of audit working papers. The audit is that basic principle which governed by audit evidence. In order to consider the most effect an efficient audit approach, audit evidence is done at the planning stage of the audit. Audit evidence is very important and necessary to be collected by an auditor during his work.
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