This case established that an auditor could be sued by a primary beneficiary for damages from negligence. A primary beneficiary is a party that has a direct benefit from the audit. Non-privity parties could also sue for gross negligence. This increased the auditor’s legal exposure to third parties. The SEC of 1934 reflected these changes and many others; one significant change was that auditor’s had a much higher litigation risk due to their new responsibility to third parties.
With different industry definitions and viewpoints, fraud can be a tough issue for audit committee members to grasp for oversight purposes. The legal obligations of audit committee members have intensified because their standard duty of care and loyalty to the entity has increased in light of management fraud activities.
Stage 2: Test of internal controls - By testing the effectiveness of the internal controls the auditor can determine the control risk that lies within the company. The audit team can perform tests of controls by making inquiries of appropriate client personnel, examining documents, records, and reports maintained by Smackey, observing control-related activities such as the one done for the inventory procedures for returned Best Boy Gourmet dog food, and re-perform the client procedures.
To conduct the audit, the firm must acquire sufficient understanding of the internal control processes to help determine the nature and timing of the audit. However, the audit is not designed to identify deficiencies in internal control or provide assurance. The firm will make the audit committee aware of any significant deficiencies that come to Anderson, Olds, and Watershed’s attention during the audit.
Moreover, the auditor should preform test for effectiveness of internal controls. He may interview management by asking questions on the process of the transactions and operational activities. He may discuss with management the process of some transactions from beginning to end and then test it by using sample testing. Also he/she should make sure that there is proper control of activities; policies and procedures for adequate segregation of duties are met.
Auditors have the responsibilities as well as management to report internal controls. The auditors must examine closely management’s claim of effectiveness and also physically test the controls. After the examination, the auditors should express their opinion and any recommendations to fix any internal control weaknesses.
Imagine trusting your hard-earned money like your retirement savings to a financial adviser or Certified Public Accountants (CPA) only to lose it all in a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. In today’s world of business many organizations, financial planners and accountants are in the news due to the financial ethical breaches that have affected their customers, employees, and the general public. A CPA has to be responsible for their audits and take any punishments as a result of their mistakes, incompetence or illegal actions. CPAs are expected to have integrity in their work,
The final responsibility for the integrity of an SEC registrant’s internal controls lies on the management team. U.S. companies need to refer to a comprehensive framework of internal control when assessing the quality of financial reporting to determine that financial statements are being presented under General Accepted Accounting Principles, GAAP. The widely used framework is referred as COSO, Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, sponsored by the following organizations American Accounting Association, the American Institute of CPA’s, Financial Executives International, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the Institute of Management Accountants. COSO’s defines internal control as:
The audit committee is responsible for the following. It is responsible for reviewing the financial statements, for reviewing the company's compliance and control systems, for monitoring the effectiveness of the internal audit function, assessing the independence and objectivity of the external auditors, and ensuring the employees have the opportunity to raise concerns about matters of financial reporting. The audit committee supports the Board. Ultimately, because the audit committee is comprised of members of the Board, they are elected by the shareholders. Should the shareholders decide, they can replace these members at the annual meetings.
The Audit Committee ensures the following corporate practices to evaluate and manage the company’s risks efficiently: meetings, review of periodic reports, quarterly review of CEO and CFO Certification Process, review of Earnings Releases and Information Provided to Analysts and Rating Agencies, approval of audit and non-audit services, hiring guidelines for the independent auditor employees, conflict of interest review, etc. (GE, 2008, p. 8). The nature of the risks determines the risk mitigating strategy and practice, for instance – “delegation of authorities, standardized processes, and strategic planning reviews operating reviews, insurance, and hedging (GE, 2017, p.
The purpose of this paper is to highlight the role of external auditing in promoting good corporate governance. The role of auditors has been emphasized after the pass of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as a response to the accounting scandal of Enron. Even though auditors are hired and paid by the company, their role is not to represent or act in favor of the company, but to watch and investigate the company’s financials to protect the public from any material misstatements that can affect their decisions. As part of this role, the auditors assess the level of the company’s adherence to its own code of ethics.