The Role of Communication

  1. This ISA focuses primarily on communications from the auditor to those charged with governance. Nevertheless, effective two-way communication is important in assisting:
    a. The auditor and those charged with governance in understanding matters related to the audit in context, and in developing a constructive working relationship. This relationship is developed while maintaining the auditor’s independence and objectivity;
    b. The auditor in obtaining from those charged with governance information relevant to the audit. For example, those charged with governance may assist the auditor in understanding the entity and its environment, in identifying appropriate sources of audit evidence, and in providing information about specific transactions or events; and
    c. Those charged with governance in fulfilling their responsibility to oversee the financial reporting process, thereby reducing the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements.
  2. Although the auditor is responsible for communicating matters required by this ISA, management also has a responsibility to communicate matters of governance interest to those charged with governance. Communication by the auditor does not relieve management of this responsibility. Similarly, communication by management with those charged with governance of matters that the auditor is required to communicate does not relieve the auditor of the responsibility to also communicate them. Communication of these matters by management may, however, affect the form or timing of the auditor’s communication with those charged with governance.
  3. Clear communication of specific matters required to be communicated by ISAs is an integral part of every audit. ISAs do not, however, require the auditor to perform procedures specifically to identify any other matters to communicate with those charged with governance.
  4. Law or regulation may restrict the auditor’s communication of certain matters with those charged with governance. For example, laws or regulations may specifically prohibit a communication, or other action, that might prejudice an investigation by an appropriate authority into an actual, or suspected, illegal act. In some circumstances, potential conflicts between the auditor’s obligations of confidentiality and obligations to communicate may be complex. In such cases, the auditor may consider obtaining legal advice.