Developing the Audit Programme

The auditor should prepare a written audit programme setting forth the procedures that are needed to implement the audit plan. The programme may also contain the audit objectives for each area and should have sufficient details to serve as a set of instructions to the assistants involved in the audit and as a means to control the proper execution of the work. In preparing the audit programme, the auditor, having an understanding of the accounting system and
related internal controls, may wish to rely on certain internal controls in determining the nature, timing and extent of required auditing procedures. The auditor may conclude that relying on certain internal controls is an effective and efficient way to conduct his audit. However, the auditor may decide not to rely on internal controls when there are other more efficient ways of obtaining sufficient appropriate audit evidence. The auditor should also consider the timing of the procedures, the coordination of any assistance expected from the client, the availability of assistants, and the involvement of other auditors or experts.
The auditor normally has flexibility in deciding when to perform audit procedures. However, in some cases, the auditor may have no discretion as to timing, for example, when observing the taking of inventories by client personnel or verifying the securities and cash balances at the year-end. The audit planning ideally commences at the conclusion of the previous year’s audit, and along with the related programme, it should be reconsidered for modification as the audit progresses. Such consideration is based on the auditor’s review of the internal control, his preliminary evaluation thereof, and the results of his compliance and substantive procedures.

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