Auditors must be free to approach a piece of work in whatever manner they consider best. In addition, the auditing profession is a dynamic one, with new techniques constantly being developed and upgraded which the auditor may decide to use. Basically, auditors must have unlimited access to all company information. The collection of audit evidence is an essential process, and cannot be restricted in any way by the client company.
Auditors must be free to approach a piece of work in whatever manner they consider best. In addition, the auditing profession is a dynamic one, with new techniques constantly being developed and upgraded which the auditor may decide to use.
Basically, auditors must have unlimited access to all company information. The collection of audit evidence is an essential process, and cannot be restricted in any way by the client company. If company directors have been misleading shareholders by falsifying accounting information, they will strive to prevent the auditors from reporting this.
It is in situations like this when auditor independence is most likely to be compromised. Real independence and perceived independence[ edit ] There are two important aspects to independence which must be distinguished from each other: Together, both forms are essential to achieve the goals of independence.
Real independence refers to independence of the auditor, also known as independence of mind. If an auditor is in fact independent, but one or more factors suggest otherwise, this could potentially lead to the public concluding that the audit Audit independence does not represent a true and fair view.
Independence in appearances also reduces the opportunity for an auditor to act otherwise than independently, which subsequently adds credibility to the audit report. Relationship with the client[ edit ] An auditor earns a living from the fee he is paid.
It is therefore automatic that he does not want to do anything to jeopardize this income. The larger the fee income the more likely the auditor is to shirk his responsibilities and perform the audit without independence.
This could lead to the manipulation of figures and exploitation of accounting standards. If they were able to challenge statements and figures without the risk of losing their job they would be more likely to work with complete independence.
Ultimately, as long as the client determines audit appointments and fees an auditor will never be able to have complete economic independence. This may cause problems. Audit firms on occasions quote low prices to directors to ensure repeat business, or to get new clients.
By doing so the firm may not be able to perform the audit fully as they do not have enough income to pay for a thorough investigation.
Cutting corners could mean the audit team would be reporting without all the evidence required which will affect the quality of the report. This would bring into question their independence. Under what conditions an auditor is dependent on the client is an open question.
It is common for the audit firm of a company to provide extra services as well as performing the audit.
Helping a company reduce its tax charges or acting as a consultant for the implementation of a new computer system, are common examples. Having this additional working relationship with the client would result in questions being asked of the independence of the audit firm.
If non-audit fees are substantial in retaliation to audit fees suspicions will arise that auditing standards may be compromised. The firm would no longer be unbiased, as it would want the company to perform well so it can continue to earn the addition fee for their consultancy.
This would mean the audit firm would be dependent on the directors and they would no longer be working with independence.
The structure of the accountancy profession[ edit ] Price competition is a major factor in auditor independence.Auditor independence refers to the independence of the external auditor. It is characterised by integrity and an objective approach to the audit process.
The concept requires the auditor to carry out his or her work freely and in an objective manner. An auditor who is independent 'in fact' has the ability to make independent decisions even if there is a perceived lack of independence present, or if the auditor is placed in a compromising position by company directors.
Auditor Independence; Independence Reference Materials; Guidance for Consulting with Office of the Chief Accountant (Section - Auditor Independence Matters) Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Firms registered with PCAOB are required to comply with ethics and independence rules that have been approved by the SEC.
The PCAOB has also issued staff guidance applicable to certain . Communications Between the Audit Committee and the Independent Auditor. Independence Standards Board Standard No.
1 requires that the auditor disclose to the audit committee in writing all relationships between the audit firm and the company that may reasonably be . Auditor independence refers to the independence of the external auditor.
It is characterised by integrity and an objective approach to the audit process. The concept requires the auditor to carry out his or her work freely and in an objective manner. n November the Independence Standards Board (ISB) issued an exposure draft (ED) of a conceptual framework for auditor independence containing the concepts and basic principles that will guide the board in its standard setting.
The framework defines auditor independence as “freedom from those.