Risk Assessment Procedures and Related Activities
The auditor shall perform risk assessment procedures to provide a basis for the identification and assessment of risks of material misstatement at the financial statement and assertion levels. Risk assessment procedures by themselves, however, do not provide sufficient appropriate audit evidence on which to base the audit opinion.
Risk Assessment Methods
1. The risk assessment procedures shall include the following:
- Inquiries of management, and of others within the entity who in the auditor’s judgment may have information that is likely to assist in identifying risks of material misstatement due to fraud or error.
- Analytical procedures.
- Observation and inspection.
2. The auditor shall consider whether information obtained from the auditor’s client acceptance or continuance process is relevant to identifying risks of material misstatement.
3. If the engagement partner has performed other engagements for the entity, the engagement partner shall consider whether information obtained is relevant to identifying risks of material misstatement.
- Where the auditor intends to use information obtained from the auditor’s previous experience with the entity and from audit procedures performed in previous audits, the auditor shall determine whether changes have occurred since the previous audit that may affect its relevance to the current audit.
- The engagement partner and other key engagement team members shall discuss the susceptibility of the entity’s financial statements to material misstatement, and the application of the applicable financial reporting framework to the entity’s facts and circumstances. The engagement partner shall determine which matters are to be communicated to engagement team members not involved in the discussion.
The Required Understanding of the Entity and Its Environment, Including the Entity’s Internal Control:
The Entity and Its Environment
The auditor shall obtain an understanding of the following:
a. Relevant industry, regulatory, and other external factors including the applicable financial reporting framework.
b. The nature of the entity, including:
- its operations;
- its ownership and governance structures;
- the types of investments that the entity is making and plans to make, including investments in special-purpose entities; and
- the way that the entity is structured and how it is financed,
to enable the auditor to understand the classes of transactions, account balances, and disclosures to be expected in the financial statements.
- The entity’s selection and application of accounting policies, including the reasons for changes thereto. The auditor shall evaluate whether the entity’s accounting policies are appropriate for its business and consistent with the applicable financial reporting framework and accounting policies used in the relevant industry.
- The entity’s objectives and strategies, and those related business risks that may
result in risks of material misstatement.
- The measurement and review of the entity’s financial performance.
The Entity’s Internal Control
The auditor shall obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit. Although most controls relevant to the audit are likely to relate to financial reporting, not all controls that relate to financial reporting are relevant to the audit. It is a matter of the auditor’s professional judgment whether a control, individually or in combination with others, is relevant to the audit.
Nature and Extent of the Understanding of Relevant Controls
When obtaining an understanding of controls that are relevant to the audit, the auditor shall evaluate the design of those controls and determine whether they have been implemented, by performing procedures in addition to inquiry of the entity’s personnel.
Components of Internal Control
The auditor shall obtain an understanding of the control environment. As part of obtaining this understanding, the auditor shall evaluate whether:
- Management, with the oversight of those charged with governance, has created and maintained a culture of honesty and ethical behavior; and
- The strengths in the control environment elements collectively provide an appropriate foundation for the other components of internal control, and whether those other components are not undermined by deficiencies in the control environment.
The entity’s risk assessment process
The auditor shall obtain an understanding of whether the entity has a process for:
- Identifying business risks relevant to financial reporting objectives;
- Estimating the significance of the risks;
- Assessing the likelihood of their occurrence; and
- Deciding about actions to address those risks.
If the entity has established such a process (referred to hereafter as the “entity’s risk assessment process”), the auditor shall obtain an understanding of it, and the results thereof. If the auditor identifies risks of material misstatement that management failed to identify, the auditor shall evaluate whether there was an underlying risk of a kind that the auditor expects would have been identified by the entity’s risk assessment process. If there is such a risk, the auditor shall obtain an understanding of why that process failed to identify it, and evaluate whether the process is appropriate to its circumstances or determine if there is a significant deficiency in internal control with regard to the entity’s risk assessment process.
If the entity has not established such a process or has an ad hoc process, the auditor shall discuss with management whether business risks relevant to financial reporting objectives have been identified and how they have been addressed. The auditor shall evaluate whether the absence of a documented risk assessment process is appropriate in the circumstances, or determine whether it represents a significant deficiency in internal control.