Top Down Approach To Test Controls Accounting Essay

The PCAOB released AS5 “ An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audited account of Fiscal Statements ” in 2007, effectual for financial old ages stoping on November 15, 2007 and after. The papers AS5 serves as the criterion for executing audits of direction ‘s appraisal of the effectivity of internal control over fiscal coverage. Specifically, AS5 inside informations fieldwork and coverage criterions for these audits.

AS5 describes the top-down attack thought process hearers should utilize to place hazards and the controls to prove during the audit. The hearer ‘s end is to place countries where sensible possibility of material misstatement to the fiscal statements exists. The hearer first assesses hazard at the fiscal statement degree ( overall hazards to internal control over fiscal coverage ) , so entity-level controls, and eventually important histories and revelations and their relevant averments. The hearer uses his or her apprehension of the hazards identified to choose and prove controls that sufficiently address the effectivity of internal control over fiscal coverage and finally the hazard of misstatement to relevant averments.

An rating of the effectivity of entity-level controls can increase or diminish trials performed on lower controls. Entity-level controls operate in assorted capacities ; some indirectly affect the likeliness of misstatement ( ex. the control environment ) , some straight monitor the effectivity of lower-level controls, and some prevent or detect misstatements to relevant averment ( s ) with such preciseness that farther testing of the assessed hazard is unneeded. AS5 lists several entity-level controls including those over direction override, hazard appraisal processes, systems that monitor consequences of operations or other controls, and policies that address concern control and hazard direction patterns. AS5 gives particular attending to entity-level controls related to the control environment and period-end fiscal coverage procedure. The control environment includes direction ‘s doctrine and operating manner, the soundness and ethical values of top direction in peculiar, and the competency and effectivity of the Board of Directors and the audit commission in their oversight responsibilities. The control environment sets the tone for control and coverage unity. The period-end fiscal coverage procedure includes ( AS5 paragraph 26 ) :

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Procedures used to come in dealing sums into the general leger ;

Procedures related to the choice and application of accounting rules ;

Procedures used to originate, authorise, record, and process diary entries in the general leger ;

Procedures used to enter recurring and nonrecurring accommodations to the one-year and quarterly financials statements ;

Procedures for fixing one-year and quarterly fiscal statements and related revelations.

In measuring these processs the hearer should measure the function of information engineering, the engagement of individuals in direction, and the grade of inadvertence practiced by direction, the Board, and the audit commission. Additionally the hearer should measure the inputs, processs, and end products used to bring forth one-year and quarterly statements, the types of adjusting and consolidating entries, and locations involved in each measure of the procedure.

After measuring entity-level controls, the hearer should place important histories and revelations and their relevant averments. Relevant averments holding a sensible possibility of incorporating material misstatement include happening, completeness, rating, rights and duties, and presentation and revelation. Hazards to these averments and the important histories and revelations back uping the averments are the same as in an audit of the fiscal statements. Hazard factors include the history ‘s size, susceptibleness to fraud/error, volume of minutess, exposure to losingss, and related contingent liabilities, and the being of related party minutess within the history and alterations from anterior period history features. Controls over histories possessing these or other hazards are campaigners for proving.

In choosing controls to prove the hearer must derive an apprehension of the likely beginnings of misstatement. AS5 provides these four aims:

Understand the flow of minutess related to relevant averments ;

Identify points in the company ‘s processed where misstatement could happen, separately or in combination with other misstatements ;

Identify controls implemented to turn to these possible misstatements ;

Identify controls implemented to forestall or observe unauthorised activity with company assets.

In run intoing these aims the hearer should understand the function of IT and its hazards and controls as they are inseparable from internal control. To better understand company processes, the hearer should execute walkthroughs to detect, inspect, and find the being and effectivity of control processs in pattern.

The concluding measure in the top down attack is to officially choose controls to prove. Hearers should choose those controls that sufficiently address the assessed hazard of misstatement. A peculiar assessed hazard may necessitate multiple controls for different facets of the hazard, but proving should non be excess if it is determined that fewer controls sufficiently address the assessed hazard.

In proving and measuring controls, the hearer must find the badness of failings discovered. The differentiation between a ‘material failing ‘ and a ‘significant lack ‘ has particular deductions for the hearer ‘s decisions and communicating about internal control over fiscal coverage. As stated in AS5 paragraph A11, a important lack is a lack, or combination of lacks, in internal control over fiscal coverage that is less terrible than a material failing, yet of import plenty to deserve attending by oversight organic structures. If a lack, or combination of lacks, would forestall a prudent functionary from holding sensible confidence that the fiscal statements are prepared harmonizing to by and large recognized accounting rules so a stuff failing exists. As declared AS5 in paragraph A7, a stuff failing is a lack, or combination of lacks, in internal control over fiscal coverage such that there is sensible possibility ( or chance ) that a material misstatement in the company ‘s fiscal statements would non be prevented or detected in a timely manner. Indexs that stuff failings in internal control over fiscal coverage may be include:

Fraud by members of senior direction ;

Material misstatements in anterior periods, necessitating restatement of the fiscal statements ;

Material misstatements in the current period non prevented or detected by current controls ;

Ineffective inadvertence by the company ‘s audit commission.

Material failings or important lacks in internal control over fiscal describing require different communicating from the hearer to the client. Prior to issue of the hearer ‘s study, the hearer must pass on all stuff weaknesses to direction and the audit commission. All less than stuff lacks must be communicated to direction, but merely important lacks must be reported to the audit commission. In the hearer ‘s study, the hearer issues an sentiment about whether the company maintained effectual internal control over fiscal coverage in all material respects. Therefore important lacks would non be reflected in the hearer ‘s study.

AS5 established fieldwork criterions and guidelines that focus audit work and increase the likeliness that hearers will place material failings in internal control over fiscal coverage. Taking a top-down attack consequences in a more efficient audit. Lacks in internal control over fiscal describing classified as important lacks or stuff failings warrant particular communicating to the audit commission. Consequences of the audit culminate in the hearer ‘s study, which contains an sentiment on the hazard of material misstatement to the fiscal statements originating from a stuff failing in controls.