Risk Based Auditing

The course introduces audit staff to risk based auditing and helps them to apply it in practice.

A good grounding in risk based auditing will assist staff to make the move to value added services such as corporate finance and due diligence, and delivering sound business advice.

The course is specifically designed for managers and senior staff, although more junior staff will also benefit. The running time of the course is seven hours, but it can be tailored to suit your needs.

The issue

The introduction of the ISAs has presented significant challenges to auditors. Audit staff are faced with a greatly increased standard of documentation and list of procedures, especially at the planning stage. As a result of the sheer volume of work required, staff may adopt a procedural or checklist based approach to auditing. The primary objective may be to complete a series of tasks which appear to constitute the audit. In these circumstances, the focus may shift to risk areas only at the conclusion of the audit, following the manager or partner review. The budget for the audit may have been used up before the most important work has begun. The quality of audit evidence and documentation can suffer in those areas that it is most important.

Proposed approach

It is arguable that the most serious audit risks flow from business risks. Going concern is perhaps the most obvious case in point. The process of addressing business risk will assist staff in understanding the clients’ businesses, which will assist the firm in adding value.

Equally important is the identification of those tests that are not considered to be critical, and the extent to which these can be cut out, cut down, applied only to material items, replaced by analytical review or rotated out from year to year. Even senior staff and managers may find difficulty with this process. It may appear easier to complete standard checklists in full, but this will remove much of the benefit from the planning process.

Risk based auditing is more interesting and helps to keep staff motivated and engaged. It facilitates the output of documents that can form the basis of meaningful and insightful communications with the client. A good grounding in risk based auditing will assist staff to make the move to value added services such as corporate finance and due diligence, and delivering sound business advice.

The course will consist of a series of presentations followed by case studies dealing with specific issues that arise regularly on audits. Participants will be asked to identify business risks and audit risks and to draft specific sections of audit plans or audit tests.

If you consider it to be useful, a short presentation will be given on the new PQAs and the extent to which these support risk based auditing.

Also covered is the approach to take to medium sized companies that have recently become audit exempt. This can include a presentation on the Chartered Accountants Ireland audit exempt procedures if you want.

The running time is seven hours and the course is specifically designed for managers and senior staff, although more junior staff will also benefit. Our fee for presenting the course to a single group is €2,100.  The running time of the course can be subjected to tailoring to suit your needs.

Contact us

This course can be tailored to suit your practice's needs


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