what is audit process step by step 😎?
Process audit: This type of audit verifies that processes are working within established limits. It evaluates an operation or method against predetermined instructions or standards to measure conformance to these standards and the effectiveness of the instructions
The general model of the audit process consists of the following basic stages:
– Client acceptance.
– Planning the audit process.
– Tests and audit guides.
– Evaluation and release of the report.
A. Definition of auditing Definition
Auditing of accounts means examining the internal control systems, data, documents, accounts, and notebooks of the project under scrutiny, with a systematic critical examination, with the intention of coming up with a neutral technical opinion about the extent of the significance of the financial statements about the financial position of that project at the end of a known period of time, and the extent to which they portray the results of its work in terms of profit or loss during that period.
Thus, the audit process includes Examination, Verification, and Reporting.
Examination and Verification
The examination is intended to ensure the correctness and integrity of the measurement of the operations that have been recorded, analyzed, and classified, that is, an examination of the mathematical measurement of the financial operations of the specific activity of the project.
As for the Verification, it is intended to judge the validity of the final financial statements as a valid expression of the project’s business for a specific financial period, and as an indication of its financial position at the end of that period.
As for the report, it is intended to crystallize the results of the examination and verification and prove them in a report presented to those who are interested in the matter inside and outside the entity, which is the conclusion of the audit process, in which the auditor expresses his / her neutral technical opinion on the financial statements as a whole in terms of their portrayal of the project’s financial position and its operations in a sound and fair manner.
The expression “Fair Presentation” means the data contained in the financial statements are consistent with the reality of the project, and this requires these data to be accountably sound and adequate, meaning that nothing has been omitted and that the auditor certifies all of this.
In general, the objectives of the audit can be limited to several aspects, the most important of which are:
1- Ensuring the accuracy and correctness of the accounting data recorded in the books and records of the project and determining the extent of reliance on them.
2- Obtaining an impartial technical opinion on conforming the financial statements to what is recorded in the books and records.
3- Discovery of errors or fraud that may exist in the books.
4- Reducing the chances of errors and fraud through sudden auditor visits to the project and strengthening the internal control systems used by him.
Today, the audit process has diversified these goals into other goals and purposes, the most important of which are:
- Monitoring the established plans and following up on their implementation.
- Evaluating the results of the project work in relation to the set objectives.
- Achieving the maximum possible production efficiency by eliminating wastefulness in all aspects of the project’s activity.
B. Types of audit
There are several types of auditing that differ according to the angle through which the audit is viewed. But the performance levels that govern all types are the same. In general, the audit categorizes – according to different points
of view – into the following:
I. First: In terms of the Scope of Audit:
a) Complete Audit.
b) Partial Audit.
II. Second: In terms of the Timing of Audit:
a) Final (Balance Sheet) Audit.
b) Continuous Audit.
III. Third: In terms of the Staff of Audit
a) Internal Audit.
b) External Audit.
IV. Fourth: In terms of Degree of Compulsion
a) Mandatory Audit.
b) Optional Audit.
V. Fifth: In terms of the Comprehensiveness
a) Ordinary Audit.
What follows from this chapter is an explanation of all these different types.
The audit in terms of the Scope of Audit
Complete audit: here, the auditor examines the entries, documents, and records with the intention of reaching a neutral technical opinion on the validity of the financial statements as a whole.
This type was fully scrutinized in detail (Detailed Audit).
The auditor examines any restrictions and the other 100% were on the projects audited accounts are small in size and its operations are few in number. This has turned into a (test Check audit).
As a result of the development that occurred in the business world and the accompanying emergence of large industries and joint-stock companies, so that it did not become reasonable for the auditor to audit all operations, records, and documents.
The adoption of the sample and test method in auditing increased the projects’ interest in internal control systems. Because the number of tests and the size of samples depends on the degree of robustness of those systems used, the auditor increases the percentage of his tests if these systems are weak and there are gaps in them.
Thus, it becomes clear that the difference between these two types of audits lies in the difference in the scope of the audit process only. The authority of the auditor in both types cannot be limited in any way, as he alone has the right to decide the scope of the audit process.
Partial audit: Here, the auditor’s work is limited to some operations and items without others, such as being entrusted with checking cash-only, or inventory… etc. In this case, he/she cannot come up with an opinion on the financial statements as a whole, but the auditor’s report is limited to what has been identified for him/her of the issues.
It is desirable here for the auditor to obtain a written contract that clarifies the scope of the audit process entrusted to him so that he is not accused of negligence or failure to perform the audit of a clause that he was not originally entrusted with auditing, thus protecting himself through the contract from any such responsibilities.
The audit is in terms of the Timing of the Audit.
The auditor is assigned to carry out such an audit after the end of the financial period to be audited because the accounts have been closed in advance, and it is a feature of this type of audit that it is blamed for:
- His / Her failure to discover what is on the books of errors or fraud if they occur.
- Taking a long time may lead to the report being submitted on time.
- Confusion to work in both the auditor’s office and the client, as the bookkeeping dates coincide in many client projects for the same office, which leads to the sacrifice of some accuracy in performance in exchange for speeding up the work, in addition to that the work may stop for some time until the auditor collects evidence and the necessary clues.
It is clear that this type is suitable for application in small or medium enterprises and is limited in most cases to fully and detailed auditing of the elements of the financial statements, especially the budget, and for this reason it is often called the budget audit.
Here the auditor checks the accounts and documents on an ongoing basis, as he makes multiple visits to the facility subject of auditing throughout the period he audits, and then at the end of the year audits the final accounts and the budget. It is clear that this type is suitable for auditing large establishments, as it is difficult to audit them through a final audit.
This type of audit has the following characteristics:
- The auditor has sufficient time to enable him to get to know the establishment better and to audit more fully.
- Rapid detection of fraud and error in a short time instead of leaving it until the end of the year.
- The regularity of work in the auditor’s office and in the project as well, due to the wide scope of time for auditing.
- Reducing the chances of tampering with the books because of the psychological impact of repeated visits by the auditor on the project staff.
- The completion of the work on time without negligence or delay by the project staff, due to the auditor’s hesitation in the facility as well.
But despite these advantages, the constant scrutiny of the following blames:
- The possibility of the establishment employees changing or deleting numbers or entries in documents and records after checking them, whether in good faith or with intent to cheat to cover embezzlement, depending on the fact that the auditor does not return again to audit those documents and records.
- Here, the auditor can avoid this occurrence by placing certain signs or symbols in front of the data or account balances that he audited and verify their validity, or by taking a note of the account balances that he finished auditing until the date of the audit.
- Suspending the work of the employees of the accounts department from time to time when visiting the auditor to check what has been proven in the books and records, but he can overcome this by his good choice for the periods in which he visits the facility.
- The possibility of the auditor neglecting to complete some of the things he left open on his last visit. However, he can overcome this by referring to his observations, in addition to the existence of an audit program in which the auditor confirms the work that has been accomplished step by step.
- The possibility of acquaintance and friendship links between the auditor and the project’s employees due to his frequent reluctance to the project, which causes embarrassment to the auditor when he discovers fraud or error in the project books, or when writing the report.
The potential for this ongoing audit process to turn into a chore.
However, the auditor can avoid this by introducing modifications in the audit program, which must be flexible.
The audit is in terms of the Staff of Audit.
This audit is carried out by an internal body or auditors affiliated with the facility, in order to protect the facility’s funds and to achieve management objectives such as achieving the greatest possible administrative and productive efficiency for the project and encouraging adherence to administrative policies.
its main purpose is to conclude a report on the fairness of the general budget portrayal of the company’s financial position and the fairness of portraying the final accounts of the results of its business for the relevant financial period. Therefore, it is carried out by a neutral external person independent of project management. That is why this type is sometimes called a neutral or independent audit.
It should not be borne in mind that the existence of a sound system of internal auditing obviates the auditing of accounts by an independent external auditor, because of the above differences between the two types, the most important of which is the lack of neutrality in internal auditing because the internal auditor is subordinate to the administration that serves its objectives, while the principle of independence in external audit Where the auditor here is a remunerated agent for the majority of the shareholders or the owners of the project.
Audit in terms of the Degree of Compulsion
This is the audit that the law stipulated that must be carried out. Then the penalty can be imposed on companies that fail to do so and do not provide Reports of their final accounts and financial positions audited by licensed account auditors. This type is sometimes referred to as legal audit Statutory Audit It is not true that this should be fully scrutinized.
which is required by the establishment’s owners without a legal obligation to do so. This is the case for individual projects, LLC, and joint ventures), and this may be fully or partially according to the desire of the establishment owners and as indicated in the contract concluded between the auditor and the client.
The audit was first optional, and a long period of time passed until it became legally binding when the minds of those in charge of the economy generated the need to respect the provision of the neutral external account audit component, and to include it in the statutory company contracts the provisions related to this aspect.
For whom is interested to be an auditor:
C. Definition of auditor:
An auditor is a person who possesses the required academic and practical qualifications and who takes the work of accounting and auditing a regular profession that he practices after obtaining a license to do so from the official authority in the state. In the USA, AICPA is the association responsible for certifying the external auditors.
D. The scientific and practical qualification of the auditor
The auditor must have scientific competence as well as practical competence in addition to his knowledge.
Most of the countries in the world have stipulated the availability of the following academic qualifications in the auditor, namely: Obtaining, as a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in commerce (accounting major) or one of the academic degrees in commercial, financial, or economic sciences whose study programs include accounting materials in order to gain the auditor’s familiarity and knowledge of all types and branches of accounting.
E. Personal characteristics and the basis of professional behavior of the auditor:
1- Personal characteristics:
The most prominent universally recognized qualities in the personality of an auditor are:
- Skill and great caution in carrying out his work and estimating the responsibility entrusted to him/her.
- To be honest, impartial, and fair during the exercise of his work.
- To be secretive and trustworthy, keeping the secrets of the projects whose accounts, he audits, and not to use the secrets obtained for the benefit of any other institution.
- He should be endowed with perseverance and brave work and say the truth in his reports without favoritism.
2- The foundations of professional conduct:
- Members of the profession adhere to fair competition among themselves, and they are not entitled to resort to advertising or propaganda, or to enter into wage tenders, or to pay commission in exchange for a job.
- That the wage is commensurate with the effort, it is not permissible to accept low wages that are not commensurate with the effort made to compete with another colleague by accepting a wage less than what he would receive.
- When there are multiple auditors in a single project, they must cooperate and divide the work between them in a way that secures the public interest.
- Not accepting the engagement with a job with any project weakens the objectivity of providing professional services and his role as one of those responsible for strengthening and improving the profession.
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