Which of the following best describes the primary purpose of audit programme preparation?
|a) To detect errors or fraud.|
b) To comply with GAAP
c) To gather sufficient appropriate evidence
d) To assess audit risk
The Correct Answer Is:
c) To gather sufficient appropriate evidence
Correct Answer Explanation: c) To gather sufficient appropriate evidence
Audit program preparation serves as a crucial step in the audit process, as it lays the foundation for conducting a systematic and effective examination of a company’s financial statements and internal controls.
The primary purpose of audit program preparation is to gather sufficient appropriate evidence to support the auditor’s opinion on the fairness of the financial statements.
Option (c) “To gather sufficient appropriate evidence” is the most accurate description of this purpose.
Here’s a detailed explanation of why option (c) is correct:
i. Gathering Evidence:
The heart of any audit is the evidence gathered. Evidence provides the basis for forming an auditor’s opinion on the financial statements. This evidence needs to be both sufficient (enough quantity) and appropriate (relevant and reliable) to support the auditor’s conclusions.
ii. Systematic Approach:
An audit program outlines the procedures to be followed during the audit. It provides a structured, systematic approach to ensure that all relevant areas are covered, and appropriate evidence is obtained. This is essential for maintaining consistency and thoroughness in the audit process.
iii. Compliance with Auditing Standards:
The audit program is designed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) or international auditing standards. These standards provide a framework for auditors to plan and perform their audit work, with the ultimate goal of expressing an opinion on the financial statements.
iv. Risk Assessment:
While assessing audit risk (as mentioned in option d), is an integral part of the audit process, it is not the primary purpose of audit program preparation. Risk assessment guides the auditor in determining the nature, timing, and extent of audit procedures to be performed, but it is not the sole purpose of the audit program.
v. Detecting Errors or Fraud:
While detecting errors or fraud (as mentioned in option a) is certainly a goal of the audit process, it is not the primary purpose of audit program preparation. Detecting errors or fraud is an outcome of the audit process, which is facilitated by gathering sufficient and appropriate evidence.
Now, let’s explain why the other options are not the primary purpose of audit program preparation:
a) To detect errors or fraud:
While detecting errors or fraud is a critical objective of the audit process, it is not the primary purpose of preparing an audit program. The program serves as a roadmap for conducting the audit, outlining the specific procedures and steps to be followed.
These procedures are designed to systematically examine the financial statements and internal controls to gather evidence. This evidence can include documents, records, interviews, and other sources that support or refute the accuracy of the financial information.
While conducting the audit, if the auditor uncovers errors or indications of fraud, it is a result of the evidence-gathering process facilitated by the audit program. The program ensures that a comprehensive and structured examination is conducted, increasing the likelihood of detecting such irregularities.
b) To comply with GAAP:
Ensuring compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is indeed a fundamental aspect of auditing. GAAP provides the standard framework for financial reporting, and it is crucial that the financial statements adhere to these principles.
However, the primary purpose of audit program preparation is not specifically to ensure compliance with GAAP.
The audit program is designed to encompass a range of procedures, including substantive testing and tests of controls, to gather evidence about the financial statements as a whole. This evidence includes not only GAAP compliance but also broader assessments of the fairness, accuracy, and completeness of the financial information.
d) To assess audit risk:
Assessing audit risk is a pivotal step in the audit process, as it guides the auditor in determining the nature, timing, and extent of audit procedures to be performed. However, the primary purpose of audit program preparation is not solely to assess audit risk.
The audit program is developed based on the assessment of risks, taking into account factors such as materiality, inherent risk, and control risk. It outlines the specific procedures and tests to be performed to address these identified risks.
The program ensures that the audit procedures are tailored to the assessed risks, optimizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the audit process. While assessing audit risk is integral to the audit, it is one component within the broader framework of evidence-gathering facilitated by the audit program.
In summary, while each of these objectives (detecting errors or fraud, complying with GAAP, and assessing audit risk) is critical to the audit process, they are outcomes or components of the larger process facilitated by the audit program, which is primarily focused on guiding the systematic gathering of evidence.
The audit program provides the structured framework that ensures a comprehensive examination of the financial statements and internal controls.