1. Identify and assess risks associated with the audit
The auditor should begin by identifying any potential risks that could affect the accuracy of the financial statements, such as disagreements between management and external parties, discrepancies in accounting records, or changes to existing systems or processes. Once these are identified, a risk assessment should be conducted which includes analyzing the likelihood and magnitude of the potential risks.
2. Prepare a written statement of work
The auditor should then prepare a written statement that outlines the scope, objectives and timeline of the audit engagement. This document should be approved by both external parties such as shareholders or board members, as well as management.
3. Create an audit plan, including scope, objectives, procedures and timeline
The auditor will then develop an audit plan which includes specific procedures to be followed throughout the audit process. This plan should clearly define what information will be examined, how it will be analyzed and documented, when reports are due and other important details related to the engagement.
4. Gather information relevant to the audit
Once the audit plan is established, the auditor will begin to gather all information relevant to the financial statements. This includes reviewing documents such as bank statements, invoices and contracts in order to gain a better understanding of any potential discrepancies or errors.
5. Execute audit procedures
The auditor will then execute the procedures outlined in their audit plan. This typically involves testing transactions and examining internal controls, as well as any other procedures necessary for determining whether or not the financial statements are accurate.
6. Evaluate and document results
Once all of the audit procedures have been completed, it’s important to evaluate and document all findings in order to come up with an opinion on whether or not the financial statements are in accordance with accepted accounting principles.
7. Communicate results with management, and provide recommendations for improvement
Communicating the results of the audit to management is an important part of the process. This includes notifying them of any discrepancies or errors that were discovered during the course of the audit, as well as providing recommendations for improving internal controls or procedures.
8. Prepare a report detailing findings of the audit
The auditor will then prepare a report summarizing all findings from their engagement which should include an opinion on whether or not the financial statements are free from material misstatement. The report should also include recommendations for corrective action if necessary.
9. Follow-up on any corrective action taken in response to audit findings or recommendations
The auditor should follow-up on any corrective action taken in response to the audit findings or their recommendations. This may include conducting additional procedures to verify that the corrective actions have been implemented successfully.
10. Monitor ongoing progress and changes since date of audit
After completing an engagement, the auditor should monitor any changes that have occurred since the date of the audit. This includes tracking new transactions and understanding how they might affect financial statements.
11. Close out engagement by issuing a report on conclusions and findings
At the end of an engagement, it’s important for the auditor to issue a final report which summarizes all conclusions and findings from their work. This document should clearly state whether or not there were any material misstatements and provide any necessary recommendations for improvement. The report should be signed off by the auditor and presented to all relevant stakeholders.