The auditing process requires auditors to collect evidence that supports their work. During this process, auditors must ensure the evidence is sufficient and appropriate. This evidence then forms the basis for the auditor’s report. Apart from the client’s supporting documents, auditors must also possess proof of their plan and the work they perform. Therefore, they prepare audit working papers.
What are Audit Working Papers?
Audit working papers are documents prepared by auditors that show their plan and performance. These papers provide evidence that the auditors planned and performed the audit under the auditing standards. Similarly, they illustrate that the process followed any applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Auditors prepare audit working papers as a part of their work.
Audit working papers summarize the client’s nature and processes, the audit program, audit procedures, etc. These documents are a crucial part of any audit and form a part of a client’s current file. Similarly, there are several procedures or evidence that audit working papers may include. It will usually differ based on the client’s nature and how the auditors tackle the audit.
Overall, audit working papers help auditors document the information they gather during an audit. They also act as evidence of the auditor’s work during an audit service. Similarly, they ascertain that auditors obtained sufficient evidence to support their opinions in the audit report. Audit working papers are also necessary for quality control and risk management in case of future issues.
What do Audit Working Papers include?
There are several documents that audit working papers may include. As mentioned, the auditors’ work will differ from one client to another. Accordingly, these working papers will also vary based on the auditor’s work performed. There are some prevalent items that the audit working papers may include. Some of these consist of the following.
- Documentation of the client’s nature of business.
- Audit planning documents under the relevant standards, including audit programs.
- Analysis of transactions and account balances.
- Ratio and trend analysis documentation.
- Materiality and performance materiality calculations.
- Risk assessment of the client’s business and material misstatements.
- Record of the nature, timing, extent, and results of audit procedures.
- Evidence of supervision and review of work.
- Extracts of the client’s corporate minutes.
- Flowcharts of the client’s key transaction processes.
- Questionnaires about the client’s business, answered by the management.
The above represent some of the prevalent documents that are a part of audit working papers. Apart from these, auditors may also prepare other documents based on their requirements.
What are the factors that affect Audit Working Papers?
As mentioned, several factors dictate the audit working papers that auditors must prepare. The first is the client’s nature, which includes its size and complexity. Usually, clients of larger nature and more complexity require more work. Therefore, auditors will perform more procedures which will result in a higher number of working papers. Apart from the client’s nature, the audit’s nature will also impact these papers.
Similarly, the audit working papers will also get influenced by the client’s risk assessment. The higher the risk for an audit service is, the more audit working papers will be required. Furthermore, the significance of the audit evidence obtained will also impact these papers. Lastly, if auditors identify material misstatements, the audit working papers will get affected.
Audit working papers include documentation of the work performed by auditors and their planning. These papers are of high significance for various reasons. Usually, audit working papers differ based on the client’s nature. However, several other factors also impact them.
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