Types of Financial Statement Audit Evidence
The reliability of this type of evidence depends on the source. Some documents provide straightforward audit evidence, like a stock, bond, or a share.
However, the document doesn’t always provide the rights and obligations that come with each asset. Such as promises said during the deal a share or bond.
We gather this type of evidence by observing the performance of a process or procedure. For example, during inventory count, payroll process, bookkeeping or any other type financial activity. Keep in mind that observing people may affect the person’s performance, even during a simple task. Since people get nervous while being watched. Affecting the quality of the evidence.
External confirmation is a written response done by third-parties that have done transactions with your business. We contact third parties to confirm your accounts balances, like account payables, account receivables, and any other account in your business. We ask about any terms or conditions for any agreements and of course, about any other transaction that involved the exchange of money.
For accuracy purposes, we go back and double check the math of any documents and/or records used to verify transactions and accounting policies. Recalculation doesn’t provide any supporting evidence on the original documents. We have to rely on the originality of the source documents.
We go back and execute all procedures and controls used in your business. That includes any procedure involving the finances of the company. Like the general bookkeeping and other documents.
We used analytical procedures throughout the process of the audit. Analytical procedures involves checking all data from your company, whether it’s financial or not. We check for the smallest discrepancies in the data, whether that is finding numbers that don’t make sense or information given by anyone that has ever dealt with your business that doesn’t backup the numbers. For example, if you have an expected expense of $1000 in payroll costs a month but the amount spent was $500 less or more, that would raise a red flag.
Inquiries of the Client
We inquire to people known inside and outside of your business regarding any financial and non-financial information. Any information provided by an individual provides useful evidence, whether it’s corroborative or contradicting. We ask people questions throughout the whole audit process. It goes hand-in-hand with performing analytical procedures. What someone says, may differ from what the numbers show.