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To what extent can an auditor rely on Analytical …

To what extent can an auditor rely on Analytical Procedures?

To what extent can an auditor rely on Analytical Procedures?

Chiranjibi Feb. 20, 2018

Extent of Reliance on Analytical Procedures:

“Analytical procedures” means the analysis of significant ratios and trends, including the resulting investigation of fluctuations and relationships that are inconsistent with other relevant information or which deviate from predicted amounts.

The application of analytical procedures is based on the expectation that relationships among data exist and continue in the absence of known conditions to the contrary. The presence of these relationships provides audit evidence as to the completeness, accuracy and validity of the data produced by the accounting system.

However, reliance on the results of analytical procedures will depend on the auditor’s assessment of the risk that the analytical procedures may identify relationships as expected when, in fact, a material misstatement exists. The extent of reliance that the auditor places on the results of analytical procedures depends on the following factors:

(i) materiality of the items involved, for example, when inventory balances are material, the auditor does not rely only on analytical procedures in forming conclusions.

However, the auditor may rely solely on analytical procedures for certain income and expense items when they are not individually material;

(ii) other audit procedures directed toward the same audit objectives, for example,other procedures performed by the auditor in reviewing the collectability of accounts receivable, such as the review of subsequent cash receipts, might confirm or dispel questions raised from the application of analytical procedures to an ageing schedule of customers’ accounts;

(iii) accuracy with which the expected results of analytical procedures can be predicted. For example, the auditor will ordinarily expect greater consistency in comparing gross profit margins from one period to another than in comparing discretionary expenses, such as research or advertising; and

(iv) assessments of inherent and control risks, for example, if internal control over sales

order processing is weak and, therefore, control risk is high, more reliance on tests of details of transactions and balances than on analytical procedures in drawing conclusions on receivables may be required.

The auditor will need to consider testing the controls, if any, over the preparation of information used in applying analytical procedures. When such controls are effective, the auditor will have greater confidence in the reliability of the information and, therefore, in the results of analytical procedures.

The tests of accounting-related controls. For, example, an entity in establishing recording of unit sales. In these circumstances, the auditor could test the controls over the recording of unit sales in conjunction with tests of the controls over the processing of sales invoices.