The standard audit report in the united states of america Essay

The Price Waterhouse audit report sentiment of U.S. Steel in 1903 was on of the first fiscal statements accompanied by an independent hearer ‘s study in the United States of America. Since so, the independent hearer ‘s study has gone through legion alterations to reflect the duties of hearers and direction. Numerous cases were caused by hearer ‘s carelessness, a deficiency of independency, and a failure to observe frauds and material misstatements. Hearers were publishing sentiments that did no truly reflect the fiscal place of companies. Because it would be really hard for an auditing house to wholly verify everything in a company fiscal statements, alterations were made to protect hearers from liabilities and to repeat their duties. The type of work to be performed, the figure of paragraphs and the length of the sentiment paragraph, the linguistic communication used in the study were some of the alterations that the independent audit study has gone through. The intent of this paper is to supply a timeline and a reappraisal of the alterations to the independent hearer ‘s study over the old ages as users demands and wants were altering. The Federal Reserve Bulletin Pronouncements of 1917 and 1929, the alterations of 1934, 1939, 1948, 1977, and 1988 of the independent hearer ‘s study will be discussed. The paper will besides discourse the duties of the hearer and some effects of the accounting dirts of early 2000 on the scrutinizing profession.

BACKGROUND ON AUDITING

At the beginning, scrutinizing was chiefly a tool to keep and see authorities accounting and record maintaining was its chief intent. The first record maintaining began around 4000 B.C, with the oldest commercial paperss being traced to around 3500 B.C ( Brown, 1905 ) . It is clear that record maintaining and accounting has ever been of import for human existences. In its early age, the audit map was already a tool to keep proper recording of assorted minutess and emphasized fiscal accounting. However, scrutinizing gained its impulse in the 1750 to 1850 during the Industrial revolution where occupations and companies ‘ grosss were increasing well. Businesss were spread outing and the demand for people to pull off them arisen. Business proprietors found an increasing demand to command fiscal activities for the truth of records and for frauds combat. Entrepreneurs began to to a great extent trust on hearers ‘ to protect their involvement from none knowing mistakes, skips, and frauds. The audit map began to develop into a field of fraud sensing, fiscal answerability and would prosecute a reappraisal of most of the minutess recorded. With the addition in size and grosss of companies, the force per unit area from shareholders and other concerned parties, the force per unit area from distant investors non familiar with the house an independent sentiment of accounting records and studies started to burden in the balance in the United States. A reappraisal of the fiscal statements from an foreigner point of position was so required from concerns on top of the presentation of their fiscal statements. The independent hearers ‘ sentiment became a demand for houses with the Price Waterhouse being one of the first accounting houses to bring forth an independent hearer ‘s sentiment to attach to on a concern fiscal statement.

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Development OF THE STANDARD AUDIT REPORT

1917 – Uniform accounting

Prior to the development of the first criterion audit sentiment in the United States, hearers had the discretion over the construction and the diction of their audit sentiments. Audited account studies were long in an effort to supply a clear and precise description of the work that the hearer had performed. Some other hearers used a short signifier similar to the British audit sentiments prior to the standardisation of the audit study in 1917 by the U.S Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve Bulletin of April 1917 titled “ Uniform Accounting ” suggested the undermentioned linguistic communication for the first criterion audit study sentiment:

“ I have audited the histories of aˆ¦.. for the period from aˆ¦ to aˆ¦ and I certify that the above balance sheet and statement of net income and loss have been made in conformity with the program suggested and advised by the Federal Reserve Board and in my sentiment set forth the fiscal status of the house aˆ¦and the consequences of its operations for the period. ”

The Federal Reserve besides specifies audit processs that should be completed and the linguistic communication that should be used in the audit study. The Federal Reserve was concerned about a unvarying system of accounting at this clip of increasing concern operations. Investors, bankers, and users of audit studies were necessitating more confidence as to the unity of balance sheets Numberss. The audit study sentiment was developed in order to extinguish uncertainness and increase uniformity. The statement emphasized that hearers do non verify all minutess in a company ‘s books but instead focused on the balance sheet figures and the statement of net income and loss.

1929 – Confirmation of fiscal statements

The following noticeable update to the hearer ‘s sentiment was introduced in the Federal Reserve Bulletin of 1929. “ Verification of fiscal statements ” was the name of the 1929 Bulletin. The update or alteration was the consequence of turning critics against the April 1917 publication of the Federal Reserve. Critics argued that the processs in the predating publication by the Federal Reserve failed to supply the coveted information. The 1917 study was chiefly about the balance sheet and the statement of net income and loss. The rubric of the 1929 Federal Reserve Bulletin emphasized the confirmation of fiscal statements and non merely the balance sheets and statement of net income and loss. Language similar to the 1s in the 1917 audit study sentiment such as the word “ certify ” could be found in the 1929 alteration. 1929 besides introduced the word examine to replace “ verify ” which was really popular in anterior old ages auditor study sentiments. Audit sampling was introduced with the 1929 alterations to the sentiment. An scrutiny of histories implies a reappraisal of selected histories or minutess which is in line with trying techniques. The new nomenclature represented a displacement from the confirmation or reviewing of all of the minutess of the concern being audited.

I have examined the histories of aˆ¦ . company for the period from aˆ¦ . to aˆ¦ . I certify that the attach toing balance sheet and statement of net income and loss, in my sentiment, set Forth the fiscal status of the company at aˆ¦ . and the consequences of operations for the period.

1934 – Audited account of Corporate Histories

With the “ Audits of Corporate Accounts ” , the word “ certify ” is removed by the word “ scrutiny ” which is more in line with the work hearers were executing. The American Institute of Accountant felt that the old term was misdirecting because it was showing more than the hearers sentiment about the statements. For the first clip, the term “ reasonably present ” was used in the hearer study. This represented a move from the thought that the statements being audited were wholly right. This new give voicing better communicated the duties of the hearers in the procedure of scrutinizing fiscal statements. With shareholders desiring more information about what was done in the audit procedure, a 2nd paragraph was for the first clip added to the sentiment. The new paragraph added a range to the sentiment section.

We have made an scrutiny of the balance sheet of the XYZ Company as of December 31, 1933, and of the statement of income and excess for the twelvemonth 1933. In connexion therewith, we examined or tested accounting records accounting records of the company and other back uping grounds and obtained information and accounts from officers and employees of the company ; we besides made a general reappraisal of the accounting methods and of the operating and income histories for the twelvemonth, but we did non do a elaborate audit of the minutess.

In our sentiment, based upon such scrutiny, the attach toing balance sheet and related statements of income and excess reasonably present, in conformity with recognized rules of accounting systematically maintained by the company during the twelvemonth under reappraisal, its place at December 31, 1933, and the consequences of its operations for the twelvemonth.

1939 & A ; 1948 – Statement on Auditing Procedure No. 1 & A ; 24

The Statement on scrutinizing process ( SAP ) No. 1 titled “ Extension of Auditing Procedure ” will convey important alterations in 1939. The alterations to the hearer study sentiment in 1939 were important because many of the alterations still on today ‘s study. Changes that were introduced in 1939 resulted from the remotion and the debut of new words and footings. The most noticeable alteration was in the sentiment paragraph which now included the term “ in conformance with by and large accepted accounting rules ” . Another important add-on in 1939 was the debut of the word “ consistence ” in the sentiment paragraph. With SAP No. 1, the range paragraph provinces that the “ hearers have reviewed the system of internal control ” and the range paragraph no longer mentioned “ obtaining information from officers and employees ” .

We have examined the balance sheet of the ABC Company as of December 31, 1939, and the statements of income and excess for the financial twelvemonth so ended ; hold reviewed the system of internal control and the accounting processs of the company, and, without doing a elaborate audit of the minutess, have examined or tested accounting records of the company and other back uping grounds by methods and to the extent we deemed appropriate. A

In our sentiment, the attach toing balance sheet and related statements of income and excess present reasonably the place of the ABC Company at December 31, 1939, and the consequences of its operations for the financial twelvemonth, in conformance with by and large accepted accounting rules applied on a footing consistent with that of the predating twelvemonth.

In 1948, SAP No. 24 coroneted Revision in Short-Form Accountant ‘s Report or Certificate besides introduced new words and while some footings were being removed. “ By and large accepted auditing criterions ” and trial of the accounting records and such as other scrutinizing processs ” were used for the first clip. These alterations were in line with the creative activity of GAAS ( Generally Accepted Auditing Standards ) which provided an lineation that each audit should follow. The remotion of the “ system of internal control ” and “ without doing a elaborate audit of the minutess ” was they of import alteration to the range paragraph in 1948. New scrutinizing criterions and the size of and degree of concerns activities were the ground of the riddance of these words.

We have examined the balance sheet of ABC Company as of December 31, 1949, and the related statements of income and excess for the twelvemonth so ended. Our scrutiny was made in conformity with by and large accepted auditing criterions, and consequently included such trials of the accounting records and such other scrutinizing processs as we considered necessary in the circumstances.A

In our sentiment, the attach toing balance sheet and statements of income and excess present reasonably the fiscal place of ABC Company at December 31, 1949, and the consequences of operations for the twelvemonth so ended, in conformance with by and large accepted accounting rules applied on a footing consistent with that of the predating twelvemonth.

1976 & A ; 1988 – Statement on Auditing Standards No. 15 & A ; 58

From 1948 to 1976, the accounting profession went through legion alterations. The American Institute for Accountants for illustration changed its name to the American Institute of Certified Accountants. These events that occurred during the period 1948 to 1976 caused the 1976 alterations to the standard audit study. Stockholders, as concerns continued to alter requested more and more from hearers. The alterations in 1976 emphasized a comparative rating with two balance sheets day of the month presented. Anterior twelvemonth hearer studies referred to a individual financial twelvemonth terminal. The comparative rating was utile for investors who frequently compared old ages of operations to find tendencies and do fiscal determinations. Rather than naming particulars studies, the 1976 alteration refers to the statements being audited as “ fiscal statements ” . The Balance sheet, the income statement, the maintained net incomes statement, and the statement of alterations in fiscal place were now considered in the audit procedure.

We have examined the balance sheets of ABC Company as of December 31, 19X2 and 19X1, and the related statements of income, retained net incomes, and alterations in fiscal place for the old ages so ended. Our scrutinies were made in conformity with by and large accepted auditing criterions and, consequently, include such trials of the accounting records and such other scrutinizing processs as we considered necessary in the circumstances.A

In our sentiment, the fiscal statements referred to above present reasonably the fiscal place of the ABC Company as of December 31, 19X2 and 19X1, and the consequences of its operations and the alterations in its fiscal place for the old ages so ended, in conformance with by and large accepted accounting rules applied on a consistent footing ( AICPA, 1976 ) .

The alterations that occurred in 1988 with the statement on scrutinizing criterions No. 58 were the last 1. They were the last alterations because the independent hearer study sentiment of 1988 is still the one being used by hearers today. Major alterations to the study happened in 1988. The standard study moved from a two paragraphs to a three paragraphs audit study. The new paragraph being added laid the duty of the parties involved in the audit procedure ( i.e. hearers and direction ) . The new study stressed that the fiscal statements were the duty and merchandise of the organisation direction and non the hearers. Precise information refering to the audit house duty and the restrictions of the audit map were now included in the range paragraph. The new study of 1988 is decidedly more elaborate in an attempt to cut down the “ outlook spread ” by clearly specifying what is involved in the audit procedure and explicating the difference between direction and hearers duty. The outlook spread in accounting is the spread between an hearer existent criterion of public presentation and the more strict public outlook of what an auditors public presentation should be ( Ventureline, 2010 ) .The intent of the alterations of 1988 was to help the populace to better understand the audit procedure and the duties of the parties involved.

We have audited the attach toing balance sheets of X Company as of December 31, 19X2 and 19X1, and the related statements of income, retained net incomes, and hard currency flows for the old ages so ended. These fiscal statements are the duty of the Company ‘s direction. Our duty is to show and sentiment on these fiscal statements based on our audits.A

We conducted our audits in conformity with by and large accepted auditing criterions. Those criterions require that we plan and execute the audit to obtain sensible confidence about whether the fiscal statements are free of stuff misstatements. An audit includes analyzing, on a trial footing, grounds back uping the sums and revelations in the fiscal statements. An audit besides includes measuring the accounting rules used and important estimations made by direction, every bit good as measuring the overall fiscal statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a sensible footing for our opinion.A

In our sentiment, the fiscal statements referred to above present reasonably, in all stuff facets, the fiscal place of Ten Company as of [ at ] December 31, 19X2 and 19X1, and the consequences of its operations and its hard currency flows for the old ages so ended in conformance with by and large accepted accounting rules

UNDERSTANDING THE AUDITOR ‘S REPORT

Duties of the Independent Auditor

There will ever be a demand of an independent hearer because non all facts refering financials are decently and accurately presented by concerns. To better understand the hearer ‘s study, one must cognize or hold a good cognition of the function, duties, and maps of the independent hearer. As discussed in AU Section 110, the hearer has a duty to be after and execute the audit to obtain sensible confidence about whether the fiscal statements are free of material misstatement, whether caused by mistake or fraud ( AICPA.ORG, 2010 ) . Fiscal statements are ever the duty of direction. It is the hearer duty to show an sentiment on the statements and that the statements have been prepared in conformance with GAAP. Anything sing internal control, records, mandate, procedure, policies is the duty of direction. The independent hearer must hold professional makings and an equal instruction to carry on an audit. The independent hearer must besides follow with the professional criterions set for the Accounting profession. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants ( AICPA ) sets criterions and ordinances for Certified Public Accountants supplying professional services. The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC ) is to protect investors, maintain just, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation ( www.sec.gov, 2010 ) . The SEC protects investors and the public by advancing transparence in fiscal statements. Another organic structure of the Accounting profession is the Financial Accounting Standards Board ( FASB ) which mission is to set up and better criterions of fiscal accounting and coverage that surrogate fiscal coverage by nongovernmental entities that provides decision-useful information to investors and other users of fiscal studies. That mission is accomplished through a comprehensive and independent procedure that encourages wide engagement, objectively considers all stakeholder positions, and is capable to inadvertence by the Financial Accounting Foundation ‘s Board of Trustees ( www.fasb.org ) . It is the independent hearer duty to follow with the opinions set Forth by the public accounting profession organic structures.

The Auditor study

The audit study is the merchandise of an scrutiny of a steadfast accounting records by a certified hearer. It is a trial of concern fiscal statements for conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ( GAAP ) . The current audit study has three paragraphs. An introductory paragraph which clearly states that the hearer is bring forthing a study on the fiscal statement and non the accounting records, a range paragraph which describes the audit, conformance with by and large accepted auditing criterions ( GAAS ) , and supply confidence that the fiscal statements are free of material misstatement. The last paragraph is the sentiment paragraph where the hearer expresses an sentiment without guarantying or attesting that the fiscal statements are right. There are a few audit studies that can be issued on a company fiscal statement by hearers. An unqualified study, an explanatory linguistic communication added to the unqualified study, a qualified study, and inauspicious sentiment, or a disclaimer of sentiment can be issued. The study that every concerns would desire is the unqualified study. Au unqualified study means that the statements are non deceptive and that they were produce in conformance with GAAP. An explanatory linguistic communication is frequently added to the unqualified sentiment if there is demand to stress a affair or there is incompatibility in using the accounting rules for illustration. An illustration of an explanatory linguistic communication that could be added to the unqualified hearer study is the followers:

The attach toing fiscal statements have been prepared presuming that ABC Company will go on as a traveling concern. As discussed in Note 1 to the fiscal statements, ABC Company has suffered repeating losingss from operations and has a net capital lack that raises significant uncertainty about the entity ‘s ability to go on as a traveling concern. Management ‘s programs in respect to these affairs are besides described in Note 1. The fiscal statements do non include any accommodations that might ensue from the result of this uncertainness ( www.crfonline.org, 2010 ) .

A qualified sentiment is an audit study where the hearers do non hold with the just presentation of the fiscal statements in conformity with GAAP. It decreases the hearers ‘ exposure for just presentation in countries of the statements. A separate paragraph normally discloses the ground of the making. An inauspicious sentiment provinces that the fiscal statements are non presented reasonably and make non stand for the place of the company in conformity with GAAP. A revelation paragraph explicating the ground of the inauspicious sentiment should be included. A disclaimer of sentiment is issued when hearers do non show an sentiment. A disclaimer of sentiment is issued when important conditions prevent conformity with the by and large accepted accounting rules.

Accounting Scandals

The scrutinizing profession and the fiscal statements frauds of early 2000

The issue of independency of hearers and the ability to efficaciously detect fiscal statement frauds has been raised with the accounting dirts of the past old ages. The failure large corporations such as of Enron, Adelphia Communications, and the Arthur Andersen audit house in the early 2000 have triggered a batch of alterations in the Auditing profession. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SAS 99, the accent on moralss and professional incredulity are few of the alterations that followed the failure of these elephantine corporations. Arthur Andersen, a major scrutinizing house in the early 2000 was convicted of obstructor of justness by tear uping paperss related to the audit of Enron ( www.forbes.com, 2002 ) . The failure of Enron was one of the biggest corporate dirts in the history of the United States. It was a negative period for the auditing profession. Investors and the populace have lost trust in scrutinizing houses and their ability to efficaciously bring out frauds related to fiscal statements was invariably raised. The statement on scrutinizing criterions 99 was issued and took consequence on December 15, 2002 discoursing the consideration of fraud in a fiscal statement audit ( www.aicpa.org, ) . The statement on scrutinizing standard 99 stressed the importance for hearers to exert professional incredulity when sing the being of stuff misstatement due to fraud. SAS 99 provided new counsel for the overall audit procedure. The accounting dirts have stressed the importance of instruction and preparation comptrollers on moralss and the exercising of professional incredulity. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, with Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley as the originators ( www.soxlaw.com, 2010 ) was the major alteration that affected the scrutinizing profession following the many accounting dirts in the beginning of the current decennary.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

In the aftermath of many corporate fiscal statements dirts, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ( SOX ) was passed to protect the involvement of investors by guaranting that corporate revelations are accurate and conform to securities Torahs. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act introduced new criterions for corporate administration every bit good as punishments for non making the proper thing. New internal controls and steps to formalize financials records were included in the Act. SOX requires the being of equal controls to vouch the legitimacy of fiscal records. The Sarbanes-Oxley act applies to all public companies within the United States every bit good as to international companies that have securities registered with the SEC. It besides affects the auditing houses that provide services to these companies. As a consequence of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board became responsible of the regulations and criterions to be used in executing and describing on audits. Attachment to the regulations and criterions of the PCAOB became a demand for all public accounting houses. Non conformity to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by public companies and scrutinizing houses can ensue in tremendous mulcts, imprisonment, loss of exchanges naming, and possible loss of the managers and officers insurance. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has many subdivisions. Some subdivisions are more important to compliance than others. The cardinal subdivisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are Section 302, 404, 409, 802, 804, and 806 ( www.sox-online.com, 2010 ) . The United Sates Congress thinks that the Act efficaciously addresses and resolves the issue of corporate frauds by heightening corporate administration and beef uping answerability. The act enhances corporate administration and answerability by formalising and beef uping internal cheques and balances within corporations, establishing assorted new degrees of control and sign-off designed to guarantee that fiscal coverage exercisings full revelation, and that corporate administration is transacted with full transparence ( www.sox-online.com, 2010 ) .

Decision

The first standardised sentiment was introduced with the Federal Reserve Bulletin of 1917. Since so, the sentiment has been changed legion times. Some of the alterations were important than others. The format of the sentiment every bit good as the linguistic communication of the sentiment has changed over the old ages. The standard hearer sentiment has gone from a one paragraph to a two paragraph, and eventually to a three paragraph sentiment. The complexness and increasing size of corporation operations, the demands, and the wants of investors and stockholders caused the hearer sentiment growing in size. There was the demand for more revelation and a clear description of the hearer work and duty as more people were trusting on the hearer sentiment. The hearer study has remained unchanged since its last alteration in 1988. The frauds discovered in recent old ages and the issue of independency of hearers has caused the United States Congress to make organic structure and enact Acts of the Apostless to modulate the audit profession. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the diverse statements on scrutinizing criterions issued by the AICPA, the control of the regulations and criterions puting by the PCAOB have helped in contending corporate fiscal statements fraud. However, I believe the majority of the work has to be done by the profession itself. There will ever be the demand of the independent hearer as an outside to give credibleness to concerns fiscal statements. However, there is a necessity for the profession to take scruples and do every attempt to make the right thing to recover the populace and assurance in hearers.

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