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Exposure Draft SA 220 Quality Control for an Audit of Financial Statements 

Introduction

Scope of this SA

1. This Standard on Auditing (SA) deals with the specific responsibilities of the auditor regarding quality control procedures for an audit of financial statements. It also addresses, where applicable, the responsibilities of the engagement quality control reviewer. This SA is to be read in conjunction with relevant ethical requirements.

System of Quality Control and Role of Engagement Teams

2. Quality control systems, policies and procedures are the responsibility of the audit firm. Under SQC 1, the firm has an obligation to establish and maintain a system of quality control to provide it with reasonable assurance that:

(a) The firm and its personnel comply with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements; and

(b) The reports issued by the firm or engagement partners are appropriate in the circumstances1.

This SA is premised on the basis that the firm is subject to SQC 1. (Ref: Para. A1)

3. Within the context of the firm’s system of quality control, engagement teams have a responsibility to implement quality control procedures that are applicable to the audit engagement and provide the firm with relevant information to enable the functioning of that part of the firm’s system of quality control relating to independence.

4. Engagement teams are entitled to rely on the firm’s system of quality control, unless information provided by the firm or other parties suggests otherwise. (Ref: Para. A2)

Effective Date

5. This SA is effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after .

Objective

6. The objective of the auditor is to implement quality control procedures at the engagement level that provide the auditor with reasonable assurance that:

(a) The audit complies with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements; and

(b) The auditor’s report issued is appropriate in the circumstances.

Definitions

7. For purposes of the SAs, the following terms have the meanings attributed below:

(a) Engagement partner – the partner or other person in the firm who is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and is in full time practice and is responsible for the engagement and its performance, and for the report that is issued on behalf of the firm, and who, where required, has the appropriate authority from a professional, legal or regulatory body.

(b) Engagement quality control review – a process designed to provide an objective evaluation, on or before the report is issued, of the significant judgments the engagement team made and the conclusions it reached in formulating the report.

(c) Engagement quality control reviewer – a partner, other person2 in the firm, suitably qualified external person, or a team made up of such individuals, with sufficient and appropriate experience and authority to objectively evaluate, before the report is issued, the significant judgments the engagement team made and the conclusions they reached in formulating the report. However, in case the review is done by a team of individuals, such team should be headed by a member of the Institute.

(d) Engagement team – all partners and staff performing the engagement, and any individuals engaged by the firm or a network firm who perform assurance procedures on the engagement. This excludes external experts engaged by the firm or by a network firm.

The term “engagement team” also excludes individuals within the client’s internal audit function who provide direct assistance on an audit engagement when the external auditor complies with the requirements of SA 610 (Revised), Using the Work of Internal Auditors.3

(e) Firm – a sole practitioner/proprietor, partnership including limited liability partnership or any such entity of professional accountants, as may be permitted by law.

(f) Inspection – in relation to completed engagements, procedures designed to provide evidence of compliance by engagement teams with the firm’s quality control policies and procedures.

(g) Listed entity – an entity whose shares, stock or debt are quoted or listed on a recognized stock exchange, or are marketed under the regulations of a recognized stock exchange or other equivalent body.

(h) Monitoring – a process comprising an ongoing consideration and evaluation of the firm’s system of quality control, including a periodic inspection of a selection of completed engagements, designed to enable the firm to obtain reasonable assurance that its system of quality control is operating effectively.

(i) Network firm – A firm or entity that belongs to a network in accordance with the networking guidelines issued by ICAI.

(j) Network – A larger structure:

(i) That is aimed at cooperation, and

(ii) That is clearly aimed at profit or cost-sharing or shares common ownership, control or management, common quality control policies and procedures, common business strategy, the use of a common brand name, or a significant part of professional resources.

(k) Partner – any individual with authority to bind the firm with respect to the performance of a professional services engagement.

(l) Personnel – partners and staff.

(m) Professional Standards – Engagement Standards, as defined in the “Preface to the Standards on Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance and Related Services”, issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and relevant ethical requirements as contained in the Code of Ethics issued by the Institute.

(n) Relevant ethical requirements – Ethical requirements to which the engagement team and engagement quality control reviewer are subject when undertaking an audit engagement, which ordinarily comprise the provisions of the Code of Ethics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India related to an audit of financial statements.

(o) Staff – professionals, other than partners, including any experts which the firm employs.

(p) Suitably qualified external person – an individual outside the firm with the capabilities and competence to act as an engagement partner, for example a partner or an employee4 (with appropriate experience) of another firm.

Requirements

Leadership Responsibilities for Quality on Audits

8. The engagement partner shall take responsibility for the overall quality on each audit engagement to which that partner is assigned. (Ref: Para. A3)

Relevant Ethical Requirements

9. Throughout the audit engagement, the engagement partner shall remain alert, through observation and making inquiries as necessary, for evidence of breaches of relevant ethical requirements by members of the engagement team. (Ref: Para. A4-A5)

10. If matters come to the engagement partner’s attention through the firm’s system of quality control or otherwise that indicate that members of the engagement team have breached relevant ethical requirements, the engagement partner, in consultation with others in the firm, shall determine the appropriate action. (Ref: Para. A5)

Independence

11. The engagement partner shall form a conclusion on compliance with independence requirements that apply to the audit engagement. In doing so, the engagement partner shall:

(a) Obtain relevant information from the firm and, where applicable, network firms, to identify and evaluate threats to independence;

(b) Evaluate information on identified breaches, if any, of the firm’s independence policies and procedures to determine whether they create a threat to independence for the audit engagement;

(c) Evaluate whether the identified threats are at an acceptable level; and

(d) Take appropriate action to address the threats that are not at an acceptable level by eliminating the circumstances that create the threats, applying safeguards to reduce threats to an acceptable level, or, withdrawing from the audit engagement, where withdrawal is possible under applicable law or regulation. The engagement partner shall promptly report to the firm any inability to resolve the matter for appropriate action. (Ref: Para. A5-A7)

Acceptance and Continuance of Client Relationships and Audit Engagements

12. The engagement partner shall be satisfied that appropriate procedures regarding the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and audit engagements have been followed, and shall determine that conclusions reached in this regard are appropriate. (Ref: Para. A8-A9)

13. If the engagement partner obtains information that would have caused the firm to decline the audit engagement had that information been available earlier, the engagement partner shall communicate that information promptly to the firm, so that the firm and the engagement partner can take the necessary action. (Ref: Para. A9)

Assignment of Engagement Teams

14. The engagement partner shall be satisfied that the engagement team, and any auditor’s experts who are not part of the engagement team, collectively have the appropriate competence and capabilities to:

(a) Perform the audit engagement in accordance with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements; and

(b) Enable an auditor’s report that is appropriate in the circumstances to be issued. (Ref: Para. A10-A12)

Engagement Performance

Direction, Supervision and Performance

15. The engagement partner shall take responsibility for:

(a) The direction, supervision and performance of the audit engagement in compliance with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements; and (Ref: Para. A13-A15, A20)

(b) The auditor’s report being appropriate in the circumstances. Reviews

16. The engagement partner shall take responsibility for reviews being performed in accordance with the firm’s review policies and procedures. (Ref: Para. A16-A17, A20)

17. On or before the date of the auditor’s report, the engagement partner shall, through a review of the audit documentation and discussion with the engagement team, be satisfied that sufficient appropriate audit evidence has been obtained to support the conclusions reached and for the auditor’s report to be issued. (Ref: Para. A18-A20)

Consultation

18. The engagement partner shall:

Take responsibility for the engagement team undertaking appropriate consultation on difficult or contentious matters;

(a) Be satisfied that members of the engagement team have undertaken appropriate consultation during the course of the engagement, both within the engagement team and between the engagement team and others at the appropriate level within or outside the firm;

(b) Be satisfied that the nature and scope of, and conclusions resulting from, such consultations are agreed with the party consulted; and

(c) Determine that conclusions resulting from such consultations have been implemented. (Ref: Para. A21-A22)

Engagement Quality Control Review

19. For audits of financial statements of listed entities, and those other audit engagements, if any, for which the firm has determined that an engagement quality control review is required, the engagement partner shall:

(a) Determine that an engagement quality control reviewer has been appointed;

(b) Discuss significant matters arising during the audit engagement, including those identified during the engagement quality control review, with the engagement quality control reviewer; and

(c) Not date the auditor’s report until the completion of the engagement quality control review. (Ref: Para. A23-A25)

20. The engagement quality control reviewer shall perform an objective evaluation of the significant judgments made by the engagement team, and the conclusions reached in formulating the auditor’s report. This evaluation shall involve:

(a) Discussion of significant matters with the engagement partner;

(b) Review of the financial statements and the proposed auditor’s report;

(c) Review of selected audit documentation relating to the significant judgments the engagement team made and the conclusions it reached; and

(d) Evaluation of the conclusions reached in formulating the auditor’s report and consideration of whether the proposed auditor’s report is appropriate. (Ref: Para. A26-A28, A30-A32)

21. For audits of financial statements of listed entities, the engagement quality control reviewer, on performing an engagement quality control review, shall also consider the following:

(a) The engagement team’s evaluation of the firm’s independence in relation to the audit engagement;

(b) Whether appropriate consultation has taken place on matters involving differences of opinion or other difficult or contentious matters, and the conclusions arising from those consultations; and

(c) Whether audit documentation selected for review reflects the work performed in relation to the significant judgments made and supports the conclusions reached. (Ref: Para. A29-A32)

Differences of Opinion

22. If differences of opinion arise within the engagement team, with those consulted or, where applicable, between the engagement partner and the engagement quality control reviewer, the engagement team shall follow the firm’s policies and procedures for dealing with and resolving differences of opinion.

Monitoring

23. An effective system of quality control includes a monitoring process designed to provide the firm with reasonable assurance that its policies and procedures relating to the system of quality control are relevant, adequate, and operating effectively. The engagement partner shall consider the results of the firm’s monitoring process as evidenced in the latest information circulated by the firm and, if applicable, other network firms and whether deficiencies noted in that information may affect the audit engagement. (Ref: Para A33-A35)

Documentation

24. The auditor shall document:

(a) Issues identified with respect to compliance with relevant ethical requirements and how they were resolved.

(b) Conclusions on compliance with independence requirements that apply to the audit engagement, and any relevant discussions with the firm that support these conclusions.

(c) Conclusions reached regarding the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and audit engagements.

(d) The nature and scope of, and conclusions resulting from, consultations undertaken during the course of the audit engagement. (Ref: Para. A36)

25. The engagement quality control reviewer shall document, for the audit engagement reviewed, that:

(a) The procedures required by the firm’s policies on engagement quality control review have been performed;

(b) The engagement quality control review has been completed on or before the date of the auditor’s report; and

(c) The reviewer is not aware of any unresolved matters that would cause the reviewer to believe that the significant judgments the engagement team made and the conclusions they reached were not appropriate.

***

Application and Other Explanatory Material

System of Quality Control and Role of Engagement Teams (Ref: Para. 2)

A1. SQC 1 deals with the firm’s responsibilities to establish and maintain its system of quality control for audit engagements. The system of quality control includes policies and procedures that address each of the following elements:

  • Leadership responsibilities for quality within the firm;
  • Relevant ethical requirements;
  • Acceptance and continuance of client relationships and specific engagements;
  • Human resources;
  • Engagement performance; and

Reliance on the Firm’s System of Quality Control (Ref: Para. 4)

A2. Unless information provided by the firm or other parties suggest otherwise, the engagement team may rely on the firm’s system of quality control in relation to, for example:

  • Competence of personnel through their recruitment and formal training.
  • Independence through the accumulation and communication of relevant independence information.
  • Maintenance of client relationships through acceptance and continuance systems.
  • Adherence to regulatory and legal requirements through the monitoring process.

Leadership Responsibilities for Quality on Audits (Ref: Para. 8)

A3. The actions of the engagement partner and appropriate messages to the other members of the engagement team, in taking responsibility for the overall quality on each audit engagement, emphasise:

(a) The importance to audit quality of:

(i) Performing work that complies with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements;

(ii) Complying with the firm’s quality control policies and procedures as applicable;

(iii) Issuing auditor’s reports that are appropriate in the circumstances; and

(iv) The engagement team’s ability to raise concerns without fear of reprisals; and

(b)   The fact that quality is essential in performing audit engagements.

Relevant Ethical Requirements

Compliance with Relevant Ethical Requirements (Ref: Para. 9)

A4. The Code of Ethics issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India establishes the fundamental principles of ethics, which are:

(a) Integrity;

(b) Objectivity;

(c) Professional Competence and Due Care;

(d) Confidentiality; and

(e) Professional behavior.

The fundamental principles of ethics establish the standard of behavior expected of a professional accountant.

Definition of “Firm”, “Network” and “Network Firm” (Ref: Para. 9-11)

A5. The definitions of “firm”, “network” or “network firm” in relevant ethical requirements may differ from those set out in this SA. For example, the Code of Ethics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) defines the “Network Firm” as:

“A firm or entity that belongs to a network in accordance with the networking guidelines issued by ICAI”.

In complying with the requirements in paragraphs 9-11, the definitions used in the relevant ethical requirements apply in so far as is necessary to interpret those ethical requirements.

Threats to Independence (Ref: Para. 11(c))

A6. The engagement partner may identify a threat to independence regarding the audit engagement that may not be at an acceptable level. In that case, as required by paragraph 11(d), the engagement partner reports to the relevant person(s) within the firm to determine the appropriate action, which may include eliminating the circumstances that creates the threat, applying safeguards to reduce the threat to an acceptable level, or withdrawing from the audit engagement, where withdrawal is possible under applicable law or regulation.

A7. In case of certain entities, such as, Central/State governments and related government entities (for example, agencies, boards, commissions), statutory measures may provide safeguards for the independence of auditors of certain entities. However, such auditors or audit firms carrying out audits on behalf of the statutory auditor may, depending on the terms of the applicable legal or regulatory framework, need to adapt their approach in order to promote compliance with the spirit of paragraph 11. This may include, where the applicable law or regulation does not permit withdrawal of the auditor from the engagement, disclosure through a public report, of circumstances that have arisen that would, have otherwise lead the auditor to withdraw.

Acceptance and Continuance of Client Relationships and Audit Engagements (Ref: Para. 12)

A8. SQC 1 requires the firm to obtain information considered necessary in the circumstances before accepting an engagement with a new client, when deciding whether to continue an existing engagement, and when considering acceptance of a new engagement with an existing client5. Information such as the following assists the engagement partner in determining whether the conclusions reached regarding the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and audit engagements are appropriate:

  • The integrity of the principal owners, key management and those charged with governance of the entity;
  • Whether the engagement team is competent to perform the audit engagement and has the necessary capabilities, including time and resources;
  • Whether the firm and the engagement team can comply with relevant ethical requirements; and
  • Significant matters that have arisen during the current or previous audit engagement, and their implications for continuing the relationship.

A9. In case of certain entities, such as, Central/State governments and related government entities (for example, agencies, boards, commissions), auditors may be appointed in accordance with statutory procedures. Accordingly, certain of the requirements and considerations regarding the acceptance and continuance of client relationships and audit engagements as set out in paragraphs 12, 13 and A7 may not be relevant. Nonetheless, information gathered as a result of the process described may be valuable to the auditors of such entities in performing risk assessments and in carrying out reporting responsibilities.

Assignment of Engagement Teams (Ref: Para. 14)

A10. An engagement team also includes a member using expertise in a specialised area of accounting or auditing, whether engaged or employed by the firm, if any, who performs audit procedures on the engagement.

A11. When considering the appropriate competence and capabilities expected of the engagement team as a whole, the engagement partner may take into consideration such matters as the team’s:

  • Understanding of, and practical experience with, audit engagements of a similar nature and complexity through appropriate training and participation.
  • Understanding of professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements.
  • Technical expertise, including expertise with relevant information technology and specialised areas of accounting or auditing.
  • Knowledge of relevant industries in which the client operates.
  • Ability to apply professional judgment.
  • Understanding of the firm’s quality control policies and procedures.

A12. In case of certain entities, such as, Central/State governments and related government entities (for example, agencies, boards, commissions), additional appropriate competence may include skills that are necessary to discharge the terms of the audit mandate in a particular jurisdiction. Such competence may include an understanding of the applicable reporting arrangements, including reporting to the legislature or other governing body or in the public interest. The wider scope of audit of such entities may include, for example, some aspects of performance auditing or a comprehensive assessment of compliance with legislative authorities and preventing and detecting fraud and corruption.

Engagement Performance

Direction, Supervision and Performance (Ref: Para. 15(a))

A13. Direction of the engagement team involves informing the members of the engagement team of matters such as:

  • Their responsibilities, including the need to comply with relevant ethical requirements, and to plan and perform an audit with professional skepticism as required by SA 2006.
  • Responsibilities of respective partners where more than one partner is involved in the conduct of an audit engagement.
  • The objectives of the work to be performed.
  • The nature of the entity’s business.
  • Risk-related issues.
  • Problems that may arise.
  • The detailed approach to the performance of the engagement.

Discussion among members of the engagement team allows less experienced team members to raise questions with more experienced team members so that appropriate communication can occur within the engagement team.

  • Appropriate teamwork and training assist less experienced members of the engagement team to clearly understand the objectives of the assigned work.
  • Supervision includes matters such as:
  • Tracking the progress of the audit engagement.
  • Considering the competence and capabilities of individual members of the engagement team, including whether they have sufficient time to carry out their work, whether they understand their instructions, and whether the work is being carried out in accordance with the planned approach to the audit engagement.
  • Addressing significant matters arising during the audit engagement, considering their significance and modifying the planned approach appropriately.
  • Identifying matters for consultation or consideration by more experienced engagement team members during the audit engagement.

Reviews

Review Responsibilities (Ref: Para. 16)

A16. Under SQC 1, the firm’s review responsibility policies and procedures are determined on the basis that work of less experienced team members is reviewed by more experienced team members7.

A17. A review consists of consideration whether, for example:

  • The work has been performed in accordance with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements;
  • Significant matters have been raised for further consideration;
  • Appropriate consultations have taken place and the resulting conclusions have been documented and implemented;
  • There is a need to revise the nature, timing and extent of work performed;
  • The work performed supports the conclusions reached and is appropriately documented;
  • The evidence obtained is sufficient and appropriate to support the auditor’s report; and
  • The objectives of the engagement procedures have been achieved. The Engagement Partner’s Review of Work Performed (Ref: Para. 17)

A18. Timely reviews of the following by the engagement partner at appropriate stages during the engagement allow significant matters to be resolved on a timely basis to the engagement partner’s satisfaction on or before the date of the auditor’s report:

  • Critical areas of judgment, especially those relating to difficult or contentious matters identified during the course of the engagement;
  • Significant risks; and
  • Other areas the engagement partner considers important.

The engagement partner need not review all audit documentation, but may do so. However, as required by SA 230, the partner documents the extent and timing of the reviews8.

A19. An engagement partner taking over an audit during the engagement may apply the review procedures as described in paragraphs A17 to review the work performed to the date of a change in order to assume the responsibilities of an engagement partner.

Considerations Relevant Where a Member of the Engagement Team with Expertise in a Specialised Area of Accounting or Auditing Is Used (Ref: Para. 15-17)

A20. Where a member of the engagement team with expertise in a specialised area of accounting or auditing is used, direction, supervision and review of that engagement team member’s work may include matters such as:

  • Agreeing with that member the nature, scope and objectives of that member’s work; and the respective roles of, and the nature, timing and extent of communication between that member and other members of the engagement team.
  • Evaluating the adequacy of that member’s work including the relevance and reasonableness of that member’s findings or conclusions and their consistency with other audit evidence.

Consultation (Ref: Para. 18)

A21. Effective consultation on significant technical, ethical, and other matters within the firm or, where applicable, outside the firm can be achieved when those consulted:

  • Are given all the relevant facts that will enable them to provide informed advice; and
  • Have appropriate knowledge, seniority and experience.
  • It may be appropriate for the engagement team to consult outside the firm, for example, where the firm lacks appropriate internal resources. They may take advantage of advisory services provided by other firms, professional and regulatory bodies, or commercial organisations that provide relevant quality control services.

Engagement Quality Control Review

Completion of the Engagement Quality Control Review before Dating of the Auditor’s Report (Ref: Para. 19(c))

A23. SA 700(Revised) requires the auditor’s report to be dated no earlier than the date on which the auditor has obtained sufficient appropriate evidence on which to base the auditor’s opinion on the financial statements9. In cases of an audit of financial statements of listed entities or when an engagement meets the criteria for an engagement quality control review, such a review assists the auditor in determining whether sufficient appropriate evidence has been obtained.

A24. Conducting the engagement quality control review in a timely manner at appropriate stages during the engagement allows significant matters to be promptly resolved to the engagement quality control reviewer’s satisfaction on or before the date of the auditor’s report.

A25. Completion of the engagement quality control review means the completion by the engagement quality control reviewer of the requirements in paragraphs 20-21, and where applicable, compliance with paragraph 22. Documentation of the engagement quality control review may be completed after the date of the auditor’s report as part of the assembly of the final audit file. SA 230 establishes requirements and provides guidance in this regard10.

Nature, Extent and Timing of Engagement Quality Control Review (Ref: Para. 20)

A26. Remaining alert for changes in circumstances allows the engagement partner to identify situations in which an engagement quality control review is necessary, even though at the start of the engagement, such a review was not required.

A27. The extent of the engagement quality control review may depend, among other things, on the complexity of the audit engagement, whether the entity is a listed entity, and the risk that the auditor’s report might not be appropriate in the circumstances. The performance of an engagement quality control review does not reduce the responsibilities of the engagement partner for the audit engagement and its performance.

  • When SA 70111 applies, the conclusions reached by the engagement team in formulating the auditor’s report include determining:
  • The key audit matters to be included in the auditor’s report;
  • The key audit matters that will not be communicated in the auditor’s report in accordance with paragraph 14 of SA 701, if any; and
  • If applicable, depending on the facts and circumstances of the entity and the audit, that there are no key audit matters to communicate in the auditor’s report.

In addition, the review of the proposed auditor’s report in accordance with paragraph 20(b) includes consideration of the proposed wording to be included in the Key Audit Matters section.

Engagement Quality Control Review of Listed Entities (Ref: Para. 21)

A29. Other matters relevant to evaluating the significant judgments made by the engagement team that may be considered in an engagement quality control review of a listed entity include:

  • Significant risks identified during the engagement in accordance with SA 31512, and the responses to those risks in accordance with SA 33013, including the engagement team’s assessment of, and response to, the risk of fraud in accordance with SA 24014.
  • Judgments made, particularly with respect to materiality and significant risks.
  • The significance and disposition of corrected and uncorrected misstatements identified during the audit.
  • The matters to be communicated to management and those charged with governance and, where applicable, other parties such as regulatory bodies.

These other matters, depending on the circumstances, may also be applicable for engagement quality control reviews for audits of financial statements of other entities.

Considerations Specific to Smaller Entities (Ref: Para. 20-21)

A30. In addition to the audits of financial statements of listed entities, an engagement quality control review is required for such audit engagements also that meet the criteria established by the firm that subjects engagements to an engagement quality control review. In some cases, none of the firm’s audit engagements may meet the criteria that would subject them to such a review.

Considerations Specific to Central/State Governments and Related Government Entities (Ref: Para. 20-21)

A31. In case of certain entities, such as, Central/State governments and related government entities (for example, agencies, boards, commissions), a statutorily appointed auditor (for example, an Auditor General, or other suitably qualified person appointed on behalf of the Auditor General), may act in a role equivalent to that of engagement partner with overall responsibility for certain entities audits. In such circumstances, where applicable, the selection of the engagement quality control reviewer includes consideration of the need for independence from the audited entity and the ability of the engagement quality control reviewer to provide an objective evaluation.

A32. Certain entities, such as, Central/State governments and related government entities (for example, agencies, boards, commissions), may not necessarily be listed entities yet may be significant due to size, complexity or public interest aspects, and which consequently have a wide range of stakeholders. Examples include state owned corporations and public utilities. Ongoing transformations within the certain entities may also give rise to new types of significant entities. There are no fixed objective criteria on which the determination of significance is based. Nonetheless, auditors of such entities evaluate which of these entities may be of sufficient significance to warrant performance of an engagement quality control review.

Monitoring (Ref: Para. 23)

A33. SQC 1 requires the firm to establish a monitoring process designed to provide it with reasonable assurance that the policies and procedures relating to the system of quality control is relevant, adequate and operating effectively15.

A34. In considering deficiencies that may affect the audit engagement, the engagement partner may have regard to measures the firm took to rectify the situation that the engagement partner considers are sufficient in the context of that audit.

A35. A deficiency in the firm’s system of quality control does not necessarily indicate that a particular audit engagement was not performed in accordance with professional standards and regulatory and legal requirements, or that the auditor’s report was not appropriate.

Documentation

Documentation of Consultations (Ref: Para. 24(d))

A36. Documentation of consultations with other professionals that involve difficult or contentious matters that is sufficiently complete and detailed contributes to an understanding of:

  • The issue on which consultation was sought; and
  • The results of the consultation, including any decisions taken, the basis for those decisions and how they were implemented.

Notes

1 Standard on Quality Control (SQC) 1, “Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Historical Financial Information, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements”, paragraph 10.

2 Such other person should be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

3 SA 610(Revised), Using the Work of Internal Auditors, establishes limits on the use of direct assistance. It also acknowledges that the external auditor may be prohibited by law or regulation from obtaining direct assistance from internal auditors. Therefore, the use of direct assistance is restricted to situations where it is permitted.

4 Such employee should be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

5 SQC 1, paragraph 28.

6 SA 200, paragraph 15.

7 SQC 1, paragraph 50.

8 SA 230, “Audit Documentation”, paragraph 9(c).

9 SA 700(Revised), “Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements”, paragraph 48.

10 SA 230, paragraphs 14-16 and A21-A24.

11 SA 701, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report.

12 SA 315, “Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement Through Understanding the Entity and Its Environment”.

13 SA 330, “The Auditor’s Responses to Assessed Risks”.

14 SA 240, “The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Fraud in an Audit of Financial Statements”.

15 SQC 1, Paragraph 86.

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