INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ON AUDITING 700 (REVISED) FORMING AN OPINION AND REPORTING ON FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

Introduction

Scope of this ISA

  1. This International Standard on Auditing (ISA) deals with the auditor’s responsibility to form an opinion on the financial statements. It also deals with the form and content of the auditor’s report issued as a result of an audit of financial statements.
  2. ISA 701[1] deals with the auditor’s responsibility to communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report. ISA 705[2] (Revised) and ISA 706[3] (Revised) deal with how the form and content of the auditor’s report are affected when the auditor expresses a modified opinion or includes an Emphasis of Matter paragraph or an Other Matter paragraph in the auditor’s report. Other ISAs also contain reporting requirements that are applicable when issuing an auditor’s report.
  3. This ISA applies to an audit of a complete set of general purpose financial statements and is written in that context. ISA 800[4] deals with special considerations when financial statements are prepared in accordance with a special purpose framework. ISA 805[5] deals with special considerations relevant to an audit of a single financial statement or of a specific element, account or item of a financial statement. This ISA also applies to audits for which ISA 800 or ISA 805 apply.
  4. The requirements of this ISA are aimed at addressing an appropriate balance between the need for consistency and comparability in auditor reporting globally and the need to increase the value of auditor reporting by making the information provided in the auditor’s report more relevant to users. This ISA promotes consistency in the auditor’s report, but recognizes the need for flexibility to accommodate particular circumstances of individual jurisdictions. Consistency in the auditor’s report, when the audit has been conducted in accordance with ISAs, promotes credibility in the global marketplace by making more readily identifiable those audits that have been conducted in accordance with globally recognized standards. It also helps to promote the user’s understanding and to identify unusual circumstances when they occur.

Effective Date

  1. This ISA is effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2016.

Objectives

  1. The objectives of the auditor are:
  • To form an opinion on the financial statements based on an evaluation of the conclusions drawn from the audit evidence obtained; and
  • To express clearly that opinion through a written report.

[1] ISA 701, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report

[2] ISA 705 (Revised), Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor’s Report

[3] ISA 706 (Revised), Emphasis of Matter Paragraphs and Other Matter Paragraphs in the Independent Auditor’s Report

[4] ISA 800, Special Considerations—Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance with Special Purpose Frameworks

[5] ISA 805, Special Considerations—Audits of Single Financial Statements and Specific Elements, Accounts or Items of a Financial Statement

Definitions



  1. For purposes of the ISAs, the following terms have the meanings attributed below:
    • General purpose financial statements – Financial statements prepared in accordance with a general purpose framework.
    • General purpose framework – A financial reporting framework designed to meet the common financial information needs of a wide range of users. The financial reporting framework may be a fair presentation framework or a compliance framework.

The term “fair presentation framework” is used to refer to a financial reporting framework that requires compliance with the requirements of the framework and:

  • Acknowledges explicitly or implicitly that, to achieve fair presentation of the financial statements, it may be necessary for management to provide disclosures beyond those specifically required by the framework; or
  • Acknowledges explicitly that it may be necessary for management to depart from a requirement of the framework to achieve fair presentation of the financial statements. Such departures are expected to be necessary only in extremely rare circumstances.

The term “compliance framework” is used to refer to a financial reporting framework that requires compliance with the requirements of the framework, but does not contain the acknowledgements in (i) or (ii) above.[1]

  • Unmodified opinion – The opinion expressed by the auditor when the auditor concludes that the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.[2]
  1. Reference to “financial statements” in this ISA means “a complete set of general purpose financial statements, including the related notes.” The related notes ordinarily comprise a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information. The requirements of the applicable financial reporting framework determine the form and content of the financial statements, and what constitutes a complete set of financial statements.
  2. Reference to “International Financial Reporting Standards” in this ISA means the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, and reference to “International Public Sector Accounting Standards” means the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.

Requirements

Forming an Opinion on the Financial Statements

  1. The auditor shall form an opinion on whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.[3],[4]
  2. In order to form that opinion, the auditor shall conclude as to whether the auditor has obtained reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. That conclusion shall take into account:
    • The auditor’s conclusion, in accordance with ISA 330, whether sufficient appropriate audit evidence has been obtained;[5]
    • The auditor’s conclusion, in accordance with ISA 450, whether uncorrected misstatements are material, individually or in aggregate;[6] and
    • The evaluations required by paragraphs 12–15.
  3. The auditor shall evaluate whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the requirements of the applicable financial reporting framework. This evaluation shall include consideration of the qualitative aspects of the entity’s accounting practices, including indicators of possible bias in management’s judgments. (Ref: Para. A1–A3)
  4. In particular, the auditor shall evaluate whether, in view of the requirements of the applicable financial reporting framework:
    • The financial statements adequately disclose the significant accounting policies selected and applied;
    • The accounting policies selected and applied are consistent with the applicable financial reporting framework and are appropriate;
    • The accounting estimates made by management are reasonable;
    • The information presented in the financial statements is relevant, reliable, comparable, and understandable;
    • The financial statements provide adequate disclosures to enable the intended users to understand the effect of material transactions and events on the information conveyed in the financial statements; and (Ref: Para. A4)
    • The terminology used in the financial statements, including the title of each financial statement, is appropriate.

When the financial statements are prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework, the evaluation required by paragraphs 12–13 shall also include whether

[1] ISA 200, Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing, paragraph 13(a)

[2] Paragraphs 25–26 deal with the phrases used to express this opinion in the case of a fair presentation framework and a compliance framework respectively.

[3] ISA 200, paragraph 11

[4] Paragraphs 25–26 deal with the phrases used to express this opinion in the case of a fair presentation framework and a compliance framework respectively.

[5] ISA 330, The Auditor’s Responses to Assessed Risks, paragraph 26

[6] ISA 450, Evaluation of Misstatements Identified during the Audit, paragraph 11

  1. fair presentation. The auditor’s evaluation as to whether the financial statements achieve fair presentation shall include consideration of:
    • The overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements; and
    • Whether the financial statements, including the related notes, represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
  2. The auditor shall evaluate whether the financial statements adequately refer to or describe the applicable financial reporting framework. (Ref: Para. A5–A10)

Form of Opinion

  1. The auditor shall express an unmodified opinion when the auditor concludes that the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.
  2. If the auditor:
    • concludes that, based on the audit evidence obtained, the financial statements as a whole are not free from material misstatement; or
    • is unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to conclude that the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement,

the auditor shall modify the opinion in the auditor’s report in accordance with ISA 705 (Revised).

  1. If financial statements prepared in accordance with the requirements of a fair presentation framework do not achieve fair presentation, the auditor shall discuss the matter with management and, depending on the requirements of the applicable financial reporting framework and how the matter is resolved, shall determine whether it is necessary to modify the opinion in the auditor’s report in accordance with ISA 705 (Revised). (Ref: Para. A11)
  2. When the financial statements are prepared in accordance with a compliance framework, the auditor is not required to evaluate whether the financial statements achieve fair presentation. However, if in extremely rare circumstances the auditor concludes that such financial statements are misleading, the auditor shall discuss the matter with management and, depending on how it is resolved, shall determine whether, and how, to communicate it in the auditor’s report. (Ref: Para. A12)

Auditor’s Report

  1. The auditor’s report shall be in writing. (Ref: Para. A13–A14)

Auditor’s Report for Audits Conducted in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing

Title

  1. The auditor’s report shall have a title that clearly indicates that it is the report of an independent auditor. (Ref: Para. A15)

Addressee

  1. The auditor’s report shall be addressed, as appropriate, based on the circumstances of the engagement. (Ref: Para. A16)

Auditor’s Opinion

  1. The first section of the auditor’s report shall include the auditor’s opinion, and shall have the heading “Opinion.”
  2. The Opinion section of the auditor’s report shall also:
    • Identify the entity whose financial statements have been audited;
    • State that the financial statements have been audited;
    • Identify the title of each statement comprising the financial statements;
    • Refer to the notes, including the summary of significant accounting policies; and
    • Specify the date of, or period covered by, each financial statement comprising the financial statements. (Ref: Para. A17–A18)
  3. When expressing an unmodified opinion on financial statements prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework, the auditor’s opinion shall, unless otherwise required by law or regulation, use one of the following phrases, which are regarded as being equivalent:
    • In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, […] in accordance with [the applicable financial reporting framework]; or
    • In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements give a true and fair view of […] in accordance with [the applicable financial reporting framework]. (Ref: Para. A19–A26)
  4. When expressing an unmodified opinion on financial statements prepared in accordance with a compliance framework, the auditor’s opinion shall be that the accompanying financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with [the applicable financial reporting framework]. (Ref: Para. A21–A26)
  5. If the reference to the applicable financial reporting framework in the auditor’s opinion is not to IFRSs issued by the International Accounting Standards Board or IPSASs issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, the auditor’s opinion shall identify the jurisdiction of origin of the framework.

Basis for Opinion

  1. The auditor’s report shall include a section, directly following the Opinion section, with the heading “Basis for Opinion”, that: (Ref: Para. A27)
    • States that the audit was conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing; (Ref: Para. A28)
    • Refers to the section of the auditor’s report that describes the auditor’s responsibilities under the ISAs;
    • Includes a statement that the auditor is independent of the entity in accordance with the relevant ethical requirements relating to the audit, and has fulfilled the auditor’s other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. The statement shall identify the jurisdiction of origin of the relevant ethical requirements or refer to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (IESBA Code); and (Ref: Para. A29–A34)
    • States whether the auditor believes that the audit evidence the auditor has obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for the auditor’s opinion.

Going Concern

  1. Where applicable, the auditor shall report in accordance with ISA 570 (Revised).[1]

Key Audit Matters

  1. For audits of complete sets of general purpose financial statements of listed entities, the auditor shall communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report in accordance with ISA 701.
  2. When the auditor is otherwise required by law or regulation or decides to communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report, the auditor shall do so in accordance with ISA 701. (Ref: Para. A35– A38)

Responsibilities for the Financial Statements

  1. The auditor’s report shall include a section with a heading “Responsibilities of Management for the Financial Statements.” The auditor’s report shall use the term that is appropriate in the context of the legal framework in the particular jurisdiction and need not refer specifically to “management”. In some jurisdictions, the appropriate reference may be to those charged with governance. (Ref: Para. A39)
  2. This section of the auditor’s report shall describe management’s responsibility for: (Ref: Para. A40–A43)
    • Preparing the financial statements in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error; and
    • Assessing the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern[2] and whether the use of the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate as well as disclosing, if applicable, matters relating to going concern. The explanation of management’s responsibility for this assessment shall include a description of when the use of the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate. (Ref: Para. A43)
  3. This section of the auditor’s report shall also identify those responsible for the oversight of the financial reporting process, when those responsible for such oversight are different from those who fulfill the responsibilities described in paragraph 33 above. In this case, the heading of this section shall also refer to “Those Charged with Governance” or such term that is appropriate in the context of the legal framework in the particular jurisdiction. (Ref: Para. A44)
  4. When the financial statements are prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework, the description of responsibilities for the financial statements in the auditor’s report shall refer to “the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements” or “the preparation of financial statements that give a true and fair view,” as appropriate in the circumstances.

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

  1. The auditor’s report shall include a section with the heading “Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements.”
  2. This section of the auditor’s report shall: (Ref: Para. A45) (a) State that the objectives of the auditor are to:
    • Obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error; and
    • Issue an auditor’s report that includes the auditor’s opinion. (Ref: Para. A46)


  • State that reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists; and
  • State that misstatements can arise from fraud or error, and either:
    • Describe that they are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements; or [3]
    • Provide a definition or description of materiality in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework. (Ref: Para. A47)
  1. The Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements section of the auditor’s report shall further: (Ref: Para. A45)
    • State that, as part of an audit in accordance with ISAs, the auditor exercises professional judgment and maintains professional skepticism throughout the audit; and (b) Describe an audit by stating that the auditor’s responsibilities are:
      • To identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error; to design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks; and to obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for the auditor’s opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
      • To obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control. In circumstances when the auditor also has a responsibility to express an opinion on the effectiveness of internal control in conjunction with the audit of the financial statements, the auditor shall omit the phrase that the auditor’s consideration of internal control is not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control.
      • To evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
      • To conclude on the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. If the auditor concludes that a material uncertainty exists, the auditor is required to draw attention in the auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify the opinion. The auditor’s conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of the auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause an entity to cease to continue as a going concern.
      • When the financial statements are prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework, to evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.

(c) When ISA 600[4] applies, further describe the auditor’s responsibilities in a group audit engagement by stating that:

  • The auditor’s responsibilities are to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence regarding the financial information of the entities or business activities within the group to express an opinion on the group financial statements;
  • The auditor is responsible for the direction, supervision and performance of the group audit; and
  • The auditor remains solely responsible for the auditor’s opinion.
  1. The Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements section of the auditor’s report also shall: (Ref: Para. A45)
    • State that the auditor communicates with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that the auditor identifies during the audit;
    • For audits of financial statements of listed entities, state that the auditor provides those charged with governance with a statement that the auditor has complied with relevant ethical requirements regarding independence and communicate with them all relationships and other matters that may reasonably be thought to bear on the auditor’s independence, and where applicable, related safeguards; and
    • For audits of financial statements of listed entities and any other entities for which key audit matters are communicated in accordance with ISA 701, state that, from the matters communicated with those charged with governance, the auditor determines those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the financial statements of the current period and are therefore the key audit matters. The auditor describes these matters in the auditor’s report unless law or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, the auditor determines that a matter should not be communicated in the auditor’s report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication. (Ref: Para. A48)

Location of the description of the auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements

  1. The description of the auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements required by paragraphs 38–39 shall be included: (Ref: Para. A49) (a) Within the body of the auditor’s report;
    • Within an appendix to the auditor’s report, in which case the auditor’s report shall include a reference to the location of the appendix; or (Ref: Para. A49–A50)
    • By a specific reference within the auditor’s report to the location of such a description on a website of an appropriate authority, where law, regulation or national auditing standards expressly permit the auditor to do so. (Ref: Para. A49, A51–A52)
  2. When the auditor refers to a description of the auditor’s responsibilities on a website of an appropriate authority, the auditor shall determine that such description addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the requirements in paragraphs 38–39 of this ISA. (Ref: Para. A51)

Other Reporting Responsibilities

  1. If the auditor addresses other reporting responsibilities in the auditor’s report on the financial statements that are in addition to the auditor’s responsibilities under the ISAs, these other reporting responsibilities shall be addressed in a separate section in the auditor’s report with a heading titled “Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements” or otherwise as appropriate to the content of the section, unless these other reporting responsibilities address the same topics as those presented under the reporting responsibilities required by the ISAs in which case the other reporting responsibilities may be presented in the same section as the related report elements required by the ISAs. (Ref: Para. A53–A55)
  2. If other reporting responsibilities are presented in the same section as the related report elements required by the ISAs, the auditor’s report shall clearly differentiate the other reporting responsibilities from the reporting that is required by the ISAs. (Ref: Para. A55)
  3. If the auditor’s report contains a separate section that addresses other reporting responsibilities, the requirements of paragraphs 20–39 of this ISA shall be included under a section with a heading “Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements.” The “Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements” shall follow the “Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements.” (Ref: Para. A55)

Name of the Engagement Partner

  1. The name of the engagement partner shall be included in the auditor’s report for audits of complete sets of general purpose financial statements of listed entities unless, in rare circumstances, such disclosure is reasonably expected to lead to a significant personal security threat. In the rare circumstances that the auditor intends not to include the name of the engagement partner in the auditor’s report, the auditor shall discuss this intention with those charged with governance to inform the auditor’s assessment of the likelihood and severity of a significant personal security threat. (Ref: Para. A56–A58)

Signature of the Auditor

  1. The auditor’s report shall be signed. (Ref: Para. A59–A60)

Auditor’s Address

  1. The auditor’s report shall name the location in the jurisdiction where the auditor practices.

Date of the Auditor’s Report

  1. The auditor’s report shall be dated no earlier than the date on which the auditor has obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence on which to base the auditor’s opinion on the financial statements, including evidence that: (Ref: Para. A61–A64)
    • All the statements that comprise the financial statements, including the related notes, have been prepared; and
    • Those with the recognized authority have asserted that they have taken responsibility for those financial statements.

Auditor’s Report Prescribed by Law or Regulation

  1. If the auditor is required by law or regulation of a specific jurisdiction to use a specific layout, or wording of the auditor’s report, the auditor’s report shall refer to International Standards on Auditing only if the auditor’s report includes, at a minimum, each of the following elements: (Ref: Para. A65– A66)
    • A title.
    • An addressee, as required by the circumstances of the engagement.
    • An Opinion section containing an expression of opinion on the financial statements and a reference to the applicable financial reporting framework used to prepare the financial statements (including identifying the jurisdiction of origin of the financial reporting framework that is not International Financial Reporting Standards or International Public Sector Accounting Standards, see paragraph 26).
    • An identification of the entity’s financial statements that have been audited.
    • A statement that the auditor is independent of the entity in accordance with the relevant ethical requirements relating to the audit, and has fulfilled the auditor’s other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. The statement shall identify the jurisdiction of origin of the relevant ethical requirements or refer to the IESBA Code.
    • Where applicable, a section that addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the reporting requirements in paragraph 22 of ISA 570 (Revised).
    • Where applicable, a Basis for Qualified (or Adverse) Opinion section that addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the reporting requirements in paragraph 23 of ISA 570 (Revised).
    • Where applicable, a section that includes the information required by ISA 701, or additional information about the audit that is prescribed by law or regulation and that addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the reporting requirements in that ISA.[5] (Ref: Para. A66–A67)
    • A description of management’s responsibilities for the preparation of the financial statements and an identification of those responsible for the oversight of the financial reporting process that addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the requirements in paragraphs 32–35.
    • A reference to International Standards on Auditing and the law or regulation, and a description of the auditor’s responsibilities for an audit of the financial statements that addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the requirements in paragraphs 36–39. (Ref: Para. A49–A50)
    • For audits of complete sets of general purpose financial statements of listed entities, the name of the engagement partner unless, in rare circumstances, such disclosure is reasonably expected to lead to a significant personal security threat.
    • The auditor’s signature.
    • The auditor’s address.
    • The date of the auditor’s report.

Auditor’s Report for Audits Conducted in Accordance with Both Auditing Standards of a Specific Jurisdiction and International Standards on Auditing

  1. An auditor may be required to conduct an audit in accordance with the auditing standards of a specific jurisdiction (the “national auditing standards”), and has additionally complied with the ISAs in the conduct of the audit. If this is the case, the auditor’s report may refer to International Standards on Auditing in addition to the national auditing standards, but the auditor shall do so only if: (Ref: Para. A71–A72)
    • There is no conflict between the requirements in the national auditing standards and those in ISAs that would lead the auditor (i) to form a different opinion, or (ii) not to include an Emphasis of Matter paragraph or Other Matter paragraph that, in the particular circumstances, is required by ISAs; and
    • The auditor’s report includes, at a minimum, each of the elements set out in paragraphs 49(a)–(n) above when the auditor uses the layout or wording specified by the national auditing standards. However, reference to “law or regulation” in paragraph 49(j) shall be read as reference to the national auditing standards. The auditor’s report shall thereby identify such national auditing standards.
  2. When the auditor’s report refers to both the national auditing standards and International Standards on Auditing, the auditor’s report shall identify the jurisdiction of origin of the national auditing standards.

Supplementary Information Presented with the Financial Statements (Ref: Para. A73–A79)

  1. If supplementary information that is not required by the applicable financial reporting framework is presented with the audited financial statements, the auditor shall evaluate whether, in the auditor’s professional judgment, supplementary information is nevertheless an integral part of the financial statements due to its nature or how it is presented. When it is an integral part of the financial statements, the supplementary information shall be covered by the auditor’s opinion.
  2. If supplementary information that is not required by the applicable financial reporting framework is not considered an integral part of the audited financial statements, the auditor shall evaluate whether such supplementary information is presented in a way that sufficiently and clearly differentiates it from the audited financial statements. If this is not the case, then the auditor shall ask management to change how the unaudited supplementary information is presented. If management refuses to do so, the auditor shall identify the unaudited supplementary information and explain in the auditor’s report that such supplementary information has not been audited. ***

Application and Other Explanatory Material

Qualitative Aspects of the Entity’s Accounting Practices (Ref: Para. 12)

A1. Management makes a number of judgments about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements.

A2. ISA 260 (Revised) contains a discussion of the qualitative aspects of accounting practices.[6] In considering the qualitative aspects of the entity’s accounting practices, the auditor may become aware of possible bias in management’s judgments. The auditor may conclude that the cumulative effect of a lack of neutrality, together with the effect of uncorrected misstatements, causes the financial statements as a whole to be materially misstated. Indicators of a lack of neutrality that may affect the auditor’s evaluation of whether the financial statements as a whole are materially misstated include the following:

  • The selective correction of misstatements brought to management’s attention during the audit (e.g., correcting misstatements with the effect of increasing reported earnings, but not correcting misstatements that have the effect of decreasing reported earnings).
  • Possible management bias in the making of accounting estimates.

A3. ISA 540 addresses possible management bias in making accounting estimates.[7] Indicators of possible management bias do not constitute misstatements for purposes of drawing conclusions on the reasonableness of individual accounting estimates. They may, however, affect the auditor’s evaluation of whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement.

Disclosures of the Effect of Material Transactions and Events on the Information Conveyed in the Financial Statements (Ref: Para. 13(e))

A4.  It is common for financial statements prepared in accordance with a general purpose framework to present an entity’s financial position, financial performance and cash flows. In such circumstances, the auditor evaluates whether the financial statements provide adequate disclosures to enable the intended users to understand the effect of material transactions and events on the entity’s financial position, financial performance and cash flows.

Description of the Applicable Financial Reporting Framework (Ref: Para. 15)

A5. As explained in ISA 200, the preparation of the financial statements by management and, where appropriate, those charged with governance requires the inclusion of an adequate description of the applicable financial reporting framework in the financial statements.19 That description advises

users of the financial statements of the framework on which the financial statements are based.

A6. A description that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with a particular applicable financial reporting framework is appropriate only if the financial statements comply with all the requirements of that framework that are effective during the period covered by the financial statements.

A7. A description of the applicable financial reporting framework that contains imprecise qualifying or limiting language (e.g., “the financial statements are in substantial compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards”) is not an adequate description of that framework as it may mislead users of the financial statements.

Reference to More than One Financial Reporting Framework

A8. In some cases, the financial statements may represent that they are prepared in accordance with two financial reporting frameworks (e.g., the national framework and IFRSs). This may be because management is required, or has chosen, to prepare the financial statements in accordance with both frameworks, in which case both are applicable financial reporting frameworks. Such description is appropriate only if the financial statements comply with each of the frameworks individually. To be regarded as being prepared in accordance with both frameworks, the financial statements need to comply with both frameworks simultaneously and without any need for reconciling statements. In practice, simultaneous compliance is unlikely unless the jurisdiction has adopted the other framework (e.g., IFRSs) as its own national framework, or has eliminated all barriers to compliance with it.

A9. Financial statements that are prepared in accordance with one financial reporting framework and that contain a note or supplementary statement reconciling the results to those that would be shown under another framework are not prepared in accordance with that other framework. This is because the financial statements do not include all the information in the manner required by that other framework.

A10. The financial statements may, however, be prepared in accordance with one applicable financial reporting framework and, in addition, describe in the notes to the financial statements the extent to which the financial statements comply with another framework (e.g., financial statements prepared in accordance with the national framework that also describe the extent to which they comply with IFRSs). Such description may constitute supplementary financial information as discussed in paragraph 53 and is covered by the auditor’s opinion if it cannot be clearly differentiated from the financial statements.

Form of Opinion (Ref: Para. 18–19)

A11. There may be cases where the financial statements, although prepared in accordance with the requirements of a fair presentation framework, do not achieve fair presentation. Where this is the case, it may be possible for management to include additional disclosures in the financial statements beyond those specifically required by the framework or, in extremely rare circumstances, to depart from a requirement in the framework in order to achieve fair presentation of the financial statements.

A12. It will be extremely rare for the auditor to consider financial statements that are prepared in accordance with a compliance framework to be misleading if, in accordance with ISA 210, the auditor determined that the framework is acceptable.[8]

Auditor’s Report (Ref: Para. 20)

A13. A written report encompasses reports issued in hard copy and those using an electronic medium.

A14. The Appendix to this ISA contains illustrations of auditor’s reports on financial statements, incorporating the elements set out in paragraphs 20–48. With the exception of the Opinion and Basis for Opinion sections, this ISA does not establish requirements for ordering the elements of the auditor’s report. However, this ISA requires the use of specific headings, which are intended to assist in making auditor’s reports that refer to audits that have been conducted in accordance with ISAs more recognizable, particularly in situations where the elements of the auditor’s report are presented in an order that differs from the illustrative auditor’s reports in the Appendix to this ISA.

Auditor’s Report for Audits Conducted in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing Title (Ref: Para. 21)

A15. A title indicating the report is the report of an independent auditor, for example, “Independent Auditor’s Report,” distinguishes the independent auditor’s report from reports issued by others.

Addressee (Ref: Para. 22)

A16. Law, regulation or the terms of the engagement may specify to whom the auditor’s report is to be addressed in that particular jurisdiction. The auditor’s report is normally addressed to those for whom the report is prepared, often either to the shareholders or to those charged with governance of the entity whose financial statements are being audited.

Auditor’s Opinion (Ref. Para. 24–26)

Reference to the financial statements that have been audited

A17. The auditor’s report states, for example, that the auditor has audited the financial statements of the entity, which comprise [state the title of each financial statement comprising the complete set of financial statements required by the applicable financial reporting framework, specifying the date or period covered by each financial statement] and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.

A18. When the auditor is aware that the audited financial statements will be included in a document that contains other information, such as an annual report, the auditor may consider, if the form of presentation allows, identifying the page numbers on which the audited financial statements are presented. This helps users to identify the financial statements to which the auditor’s report relates.

“Present fairly, in all material respects” or “give a true and fair view”

A19.  The phrases “present fairly, in all material respects,” and “give a true and fair view” are regarded as being equivalent. Whether the phrase “present fairly, in all material respects,” or the phrase “give a true and fair view” is used in any particular jurisdiction is determined by the law or regulation governing the audit of financial statements in that jurisdiction, or by generally accepted practice in

that jurisdiction. Where law or regulation requires the use of different wording, this does not affect the requirement in paragraph 14 of this ISA for the auditor to evaluate the fair presentation of financial statements prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework.

A20.  When the auditor expresses an unmodified opinion, it is not appropriate to use phrases such as “with the foregoing explanation” or “subject to” in relation to the opinion, as these suggest a conditional opinion or a weakening or modification of opinion.

Description of the financial statements and the matters they present

A21. The auditor’s opinion covers the complete set of financial statements as defined by the applicable financial reporting framework. For example, in the case of many general purpose frameworks, the financial statements may include: a statement of financial position, a statement of comprehensive income, a statement of changes in equity, a statement of cash flows, and related notes, which ordinarily comprise a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information. In some jurisdictions, additional information may also be considered to be an integral part of the financial statements.

A22.  In the case of financial statements prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework, the auditor’s opinion states that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, or give a true and fair view of, the matters that the financial statements are designed to present. For example, in the case of financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRSs, these matters are the financial position of the entity as at the end of the period and the entity’s financial performance and cash flows for the period then ended. Consequently, the […] in paragraph 25 and elsewhere in this ISA is intended to be replaced by the words in italics in the preceding sentence when the applicable financial reporting framework is IFRSs or, in the case of other applicable financial reporting frameworks, be replaced with words that describe the matters that the financial statements are designed to present.

Description of the applicable financial reporting framework and how it may affect the auditor’s opinion

A23.  The identification of the applicable financial reporting framework in the auditor’s opinion is intended to advise users of the auditor’s report of the context in which the auditor’s opinion is expressed; it is not intended to limit the evaluation required in paragraph 14. The applicable financial reporting framework is identified in such terms as:

“… in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards” or

“… in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in Jurisdiction X …”

A24. When the applicable financial reporting framework encompasses financial reporting standards and legal or regulatory requirements, the framework is identified in such terms as “… in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and the requirements of Jurisdiction X Corporations Act.” ISA 210 deals with circumstances where there are conflicts between the financial reporting standards and the legislative or regulatory requirements.[9]

A25. As indicated in paragraph A8, the financial statements may be prepared in accordance with two financial reporting frameworks, which are therefore both applicable financial reporting frameworks. Accordingly, each framework is considered separately when forming the auditor’s opinion on the financial statements, and the auditor’s opinion in accordance with paragraphs 25–27 refers to both frameworks as follows:

  • If the financial statements comply with each of the frameworks individually, two opinions are expressed: that is, that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with one of the applicable financial reporting frameworks (e.g., the national framework) and an opinion that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the other applicable financial reporting framework (e.g., IFRSs). These opinions may be expressed separately or in a single sentence (e.g., the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects […], in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in Jurisdiction X and with IFRSs).
  • If the financial statements comply with one of the frameworks but fail to comply with the other framework, an unmodified opinion can be given that the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the one framework (e.g., the national framework) but a modified opinion given with regard to the other framework (e.g., IFRSs) in accordance with ISA 705 (Revised).

A26.  As indicated in paragraph A10, the financial statements may represent compliance with the applicable financial reporting framework and, in addition, disclose the extent of compliance with another financial reporting framework. Such supplementary information is covered by the auditor’s opinion if it cannot be clearly differentiated from the financial statements (see paragraphs 52–53 and related application material in paragraphs A73–A79). Accordingly,

  • If the disclosure as to the compliance with the other framework is misleading, a modified opinion is expressed in accordance with ISA 705 (Revised).
  • If the disclosure is not misleading, but the auditor judges it to be of such importance that it is fundamental to the users’ understanding of the financial statements, an Emphasis of Matter paragraph is added in accordance with ISA 706 (Revised), drawing attention to the disclosure.

Basis for Opinion (Ref: Para. 28)

A27.  The Basis for Opinion section provides important context about the auditor’s opinion. Accordingly, this ISA requires the Basis for Opinion section to directly follow the Opinion section in the auditor’s report.

A28. The reference to the standards used conveys to the users of the auditor’s report that the audit has been conducted in accordance with established standards.

Relevant ethical requirements

A29.  The identification of the jurisdiction of origin of relevant ethical requirements increases transparency about those requirements relating to the particular audit engagement. ISA 200 explains that relevant ethical requirements ordinarily comprise Parts A and B of the IESBA Code related to an audit of financial statements together with national requirements that are more restrictive.[10] When the relevant ethical requirements include those of the IESBA Code, the statement may also make reference to the IESBA Code. If the IESBA Code constitutes all of the ethical requirements relevant to the audit, the statement need not identify a jurisdiction of origin.

A30.  In some jurisdictions, relevant ethical requirements may exist in several different sources, such as the ethical code(s) and additional rules and requirements within law and regulation. When the independence and other relevant ethical requirements are contained in a limited number of sources, the auditor may choose to name the relevant source(s) (e.g., the name of the code, rule or regulation applicable in the jurisdiction), or may refer to a term that is commonly understood and that appropriately summarizes those sources (e.g., independence requirements for audits of private entities in Jurisdiction X).

A31.  Law or regulation, national auditing standards or the terms of an audit engagement may require the auditor to provide in the auditor’s report more specific information about the sources of the relevant ethical requirements, including those pertaining to independence, that applied to the audit of the financial statements.

A32.  In determining the appropriate amount of information to include in the auditor’s report when there are multiple sources of relevant ethical requirements relating to the audit of the financial statements, an important consideration is balancing transparency against the risk of obscuring other useful information in the auditor’s report.

Considerations specific to group audits

A33. In group audits when there are multiple sources of relevant ethical requirements, including those pertaining to independence, the reference in the auditor’s report to the jurisdiction ordinarily relates to the relevant ethical requirements that are applicable to the group engagement team. This is because, in a group audit, component auditors are also subject to ethical requirements that are relevant to the group audit.[11]

A34. The ISAs do not establish specific independence or ethical requirements for auditors, including component auditors, and thus do not extend, or otherwise override, the independence requirements of the IESBA Code or other ethical requirements to which the group engagement team is subject, nor do the ISAs require that the component auditor in all cases to be subject to the same specific independence requirements that are applicable to the group engagement team. As a result, relevant ethical requirements, including those pertaining to independence, in a group audit situation may be complex. ISA 600[12] provides guidance for auditors in performing work on the financial information of a component for a group audit, including those situations where the component auditor does not meet the independence requirements that are relevant to the group audit.

Key Audit Matters (Ref: Para. 30)

A35. Law or regulation may require communication of key audit matters for audits of entities other than listed entities, for example, entities characterized in such law or regulation as public interest entities.

A36. The auditor may also decide to communicate key audit matters for other entities, including those that may be of significant public interest, for example because they have a large number and wide range of stakeholders and considering the nature and size of the business. Examples of such entities may include financial institutions (such as banks, insurance companies, and pension funds), and other entities such as charities.

A37. ISA 210 requires the auditor to agree the terms of the audit engagement with management and those charged with governance, as appropriate, and explains that the roles of management and those charged with governance in agreeing the terms of the audit engagement for the entity depend on the governance arrangements of the entity and relevant law or regulation.[13] ISA 210 also requires the audit engagement letter or other suitable form of written agreement to include reference to the expected form and content of any reports to be issued by the auditor.[14] When the auditor is not otherwise required to communicate key audit matters, ISA 210[15] explains that it may be helpful for the auditor to make reference in the terms of the audit engagement to the possibility of communicating key audit matters in the auditor’s report and, in certain jurisdictions, it may be necessary for the auditor to include a reference to such possibility in order to retain the ability to do so.

[1] ISA 570 (Revised), Going Concern, paragraphs 21–23

[2] ISA 570 (Revised), paragraph 2

[3] ISA 320, Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit, paragraph 2

[4] ISA 600, Special Considerations—Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors)

[5] ISA 701, paragraphs 11–16

[6] ISA 260 (Revised), Communication with Those Charged with Governance, Appendix 2

[7] ISA 540, Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Accounting Estimates, and Related Disclosures, paragraph 21 19  ISA 200, paragraphs A2–A3

[8] ISA 210, Agreeing the Terms of Audit Engagements, paragraph 6(a)

[9] ISA 210, paragraph 18

[10] ISA 200, paragraph A14

[11] ISA 600, paragraph A37

[12] ISA 600, paragraphs 19–20

[13] ISA 210, paragraphs 9 and A21

[14] ISA 210, paragraph 10

[15] ISA 210, paragraph A23a

Considerations specific to public sector entities


A38.  Listed entities are not common in the public sector. However, public sector entities may be significant due to size, complexity or public interest aspects. In such cases, an auditor of a public sector entity may be required by law or regulation or may otherwise decide to communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report.

Responsibilities for the Financial Statements (Ref: Para. 32–33)

A39. ISA 200 explains the premise, relating to the responsibilities of management and, where appropriate, those charged with governance, on which an audit in accordance with ISAs is conducted.[1] Management and, where appropriate, those charged with governance accept responsibility for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework, including, where relevant, their fair presentation. Management also accepts responsibility for such internal control as it determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. The description of management’s responsibilities in the auditor’s report includes reference to both responsibilities as it helps to explain to users the premise on which an audit is conducted. ISA 260 (Revised) uses the term those charged with governance to describe the person(s) or organization(s) with responsibility for overseeing the entity, and provides a discussion about the diversity of governance structures across jurisdictions and by entity.

A40. There may be circumstances when it is appropriate for the auditor to add to the descriptions of the responsibilities of management and those charged with governance in paragraphs 33–34 to reflect additional responsibilities that are relevant to the preparation of the financial statements in the context of the particular jurisdiction or the nature of the entity.

A41. ISA 210 requires the auditor to agree management’s responsibilities in an engagement letter or other suitable form of written agreement.[2] ISA 210 provides some flexibility in doing so, by explaining that, if law or regulation prescribes the responsibilities of management and, where appropriate, those charged with governance in relation to financial reporting, the auditor may determine that the law or regulation includes responsibilities that, in the auditor’s judgment, are equivalent in effect to those set out in ISA 210. For such responsibilities that are equivalent, the auditor may use the wording of the law or regulation to describe them in the engagement letter or other suitable form of written agreement. In such cases, this wording may also be used in the auditor’s report to describe the responsibilities as required by paragraph 33(a) of this ISA. In other circumstances, including where the auditor decides not to use the wording of law or regulation as incorporated in the engagement letter, the wording in paragraph 33(a) of this ISA is used. In addition to including the description of management’s responsibilities in the auditor’s report as required by paragraph 33, the auditor may refer to a more detailed description of these responsibilities by including a reference to where such information may be obtained (e.g., in the annual report of the entity or a website of an appropriate authority).

A42. In some jurisdictions, law or regulation prescribing management’s responsibilities may specifically refer to a responsibility for the adequacy of accounting books and records, or accounting system. As books, records and systems are an integral part of internal control (as defined in ISA 315 (Revised)[3]), the descriptions in ISA 210 and in paragraph 33 do not make specific reference to them.

A43. The Appendix to this ISA provides illustrations of how the requirement in paragraph 33(b) would be applied when IFRSs is the applicable financial reporting framework. If an applicable financial reporting framework other than IFRSs is used, the illustrative statements featured in the Appendix to this ISA may need to be adapted to reflect the application of the other financial reporting framework in the circumstances.

Oversight of the financial reporting process (Ref: Para. 34)

A44. When some, but not all, of the individuals involved in the oversight of the financial reporting process are also involved in preparing the financial statements, the description as required by paragraph 34 of this ISA may need to be modified to appropriately reflect the particular circumstances of the entity. When individuals responsible for the oversight of the financial reporting process are the same as those responsible for the preparation of the financial statements, no reference to oversight responsibilities is required.

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements (Ref: Para. 36–39)

A45.  The description of the auditor’s responsibilities as required by paragraphs 36–39 of this ISA may be tailored to reflect the specific nature of the entity, for example, when the auditor’s report addresses consolidated financial statements. Illustration 2 in the Appendix to this ISA includes an example of how this may be done.

Objectives of the auditor (Ref: Para. 37(a))

A46. The auditor’s report explains that the objectives of the auditor are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes the auditor’s opinion. These are in contrast to management’s responsibilities for the preparation for the financial statements.

Description of materiality (Ref: Para. 37(c))

A47.  The Appendix to this ISA provides illustrations of how the requirement in paragraph 37(c), to provide a description of materiality, would be applied when IFRSs is the applicable financial reporting framework. If an applicable financial reporting framework other than IFRSs is used, the illustrative statements presented in the Appendix to this ISA may need to be adapted to reflect the application of the other financial reporting framework in the circumstances.

Auditor’s responsibilities relating to ISA 701 (Ref: Para. 39(c))

A48. The auditor may also consider it useful to provide additional information in the description of the auditor’s responsibilities beyond what is required by paragraph 39(c). For example, the auditor may make reference to the requirement in paragraph 9 of ISA 701 to determine the matters that required significant auditor attention in performing the audit, taking into account areas of higher assessed risk of material misstatement or significant risks identified in accordance with ISA 315 (Revised); significant auditor judgments relating to areas in the financial statements that involved significant management judgment, including accounting estimates that have been identified as having high estimation uncertainty; and the effects on the audit of significant events or transactions that occurred during the period.

Location of the description of the auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements (Ref: Para. 40, 49(j))

A49.  Including the information required by paragraphs 38–39 of this ISA in an appendix to the auditor’s report or, when law, regulation or national auditing standards expressly permit, referring to a website of an appropriate authority containing such information may be a useful way of streamlining the content of the auditor’s report. However, because the description of the auditor’s responsibilities contains information that is necessary to inform users’ expectations of an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs, a reference is required to be included in the auditor’s report indicating where such information can be accessed.

Location in an appendix (Ref: Para. 40(b), 49(j))

A50. Paragraph 40 permits the auditor to include the statements required by paragraphs 38–39 describing the auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements in an appendix to the auditor’s report, provided that appropriate reference is made within the body of the auditor’s report to the location of the appendix. The following is an illustration of how such a reference to an appendix could be made in the auditor’s report:

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

A further description of our responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is included in appendix X of this auditor’s report. This description, which is located at [indicate page number or other specific reference to the location of the description], forms part of our auditor’s report.

Reference to a website of an appropriate authority (Ref: Para. 40(c), 41)

A51. Paragraph 40 explains that the auditor may refer to a description of the auditor’s responsibilities located on a website of an appropriate authority, only if expressly permitted by law, regulation or national auditing standards. The information on the website that is incorporated in the auditor’s report by way of a specific reference to the website location where such information can be found may describe the auditor’s work, or the audit in accordance with ISAs more broadly, but it cannot be inconsistent with the description required in paragraphs 38–39 of this ISA. This means that the wording of the description of the auditor’s responsibilities on the website may be more detailed, or may address other matters relating to an audit of financial statements, provided that such wording reflects and does not contradict the matters addressed in paragraphs 38–39.

A52.  An appropriate authority could be a national auditing standard setter, regulator, or an audit oversight body. Such organizations are well-placed to ensure the accuracy, completeness and continued availability of the standardized information. It would not be appropriate for the auditor to maintain such a website. The following is an illustration of how such a reference to a website could be made in the auditor’s report:

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

A further description of our responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located at [Organization’s] website at: [website address]. This description forms part of our auditor’s report.

Other Reporting Responsibilities (Ref: Para. 42–44)

A53. In some jurisdictions, the auditor may have additional responsibilities to report on other matters that are supplementary to the auditor’s responsibilities under the ISAs. For example, the auditor may be asked to report certain matters if they come to the auditor’s attention during the course of the audit of the financial statements. Alternatively, the auditor may be asked to perform and report on additional specified procedures, or to express an opinion on specific matters, such as the adequacy of accounting books and records, internal control over financial reporting or other information. Auditing standards in the specific jurisdiction often provide guidance on the auditor’s responsibilities with respect to specific additional reporting responsibilities in that jurisdiction.

A54.  In some cases, the relevant law or regulation may require or permit the auditor to report on these other responsibilities as part of their auditor’s report on the financial statements. In other cases, the auditor may be required or permitted to report on them in a separate report.

A55. Paragraphs 42–44 of this ISA permit combined presentation of other reporting responsibilities and the auditor’s responsibilities under the ISAs only when they address the same topics and the wording of the auditor’s report clearly differentiates the other reporting responsibilities from those under the ISAs. Such clear differentiation may make it necessary for the auditor’s report to refer to the source of the other reporting responsibilities and to state that such responsibilities are beyond those required under the ISAs. Otherwise, other reporting responsibilities are required to be addressed in a separate section in the auditor’s report with a heading “Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements,” or otherwise as appropriate to the content of the section. In such cases, paragraph 44 requires the auditor to include reporting responsibilities under the ISAs under a heading titled “Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements.”

Name of the Engagement Partner (Ref: Para. 45)

A56. ISQC 1[4] requires that the firm establish policies and procedures to provide reasonable assurance that engagements are performed in accordance with professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Notwithstanding these ISQC 1 requirements, naming the engagement partner in the auditor’s report is intended to provide further transparency to the users of the auditor’s report of a complete set of general purpose financial statements of a listed entity.

A57. Law, regulation or national auditing standards may require that the auditor’s report include the name of the engagement partner responsible for audits other than those of complete sets of general purpose financial statements of listed entities. The auditor may also be required by law, regulation or national auditing standards, or may decide to include additional information beyond the engagement partner’s name in the auditor’s report to further identify the engagement partner, for example, the engagement partner’s professional license number that is relevant to the jurisdiction where the auditor practices.

A58.  In rare circumstances, the auditor may identify information or be subject to experiences that indicate the likelihood of a personal security threat that, if the identity of the engagement partner is made public, may result in physical harm to the engagement partner, other engagement team members or other closely related individuals. However, such a threat does not include, for example, threats of legal liability or legal, regulatory or professional sanctions. Discussions with those charged with governance about circumstances that may result in physical harm may provide additional information about the likelihood or severity of the significant personal security threat. Law, regulation or national auditing standards may establish further requirements that are relevant to determining whether the disclosure of the name of the engagement partner may be omitted.

Signature of the Auditor (Ref: Para. 46)

A59.  The auditor’s signature is either in the name of the audit firm, the personal name of the auditor or both, as appropriate for the particular jurisdiction. In addition to the auditor’s signature, in certain jurisdictions, the auditor may be required to declare in the auditor’s report the auditor’s professional accountancy designation or the fact that the auditor or firm, as appropriate, has been recognized by the appropriate licensing authority in that jurisdiction.

A60.  In some cases, law or regulation may allow for the use of electronic signatures in the auditor’s report.

Date of the Auditor’s Report (Ref: Para. 48)

A61. The date of the auditor’s report informs the user of the auditor’s report that the auditor has considered the effect of events and transactions of which the auditor became aware and that occurred up to that date. The auditor’s responsibility for events and transactions after the date of the auditor’s report is addressed in ISA 560.[5]

A62. Since the auditor’s opinion is provided on the financial statements and the financial statements are the responsibility of management, the auditor is not in a position to conclude that sufficient appropriate audit evidence has been obtained until evidence is obtained that all the statements that comprise the financial statements, including the related notes, have been prepared and management has accepted responsibility for them.

A63. In some jurisdictions, law or regulation identifies the individuals or bodies (e.g., the directors) that are responsible for concluding that all the statements that comprise the financial statements, including the related notes, have been prepared, and specifies the necessary approval process. In such cases, evidence is obtained of that approval before dating the report on the financial statements. In other jurisdictions, however, the approval process is not prescribed in law or regulation. In such cases, the procedures the entity follows in preparing and finalizing its financial statements in view of its management and governance structures are considered in order to identify the individuals or body with the authority to conclude that all the statements that comprise the financial statements, including the related notes, have been prepared. In some cases, law or regulation identifies the point in the financial statement reporting process at which the audit is expected to be complete.

A64. In some jurisdictions, final approval of the financial statements by shareholders is required before the financial statements are issued publicly. In these jurisdictions, final approval by shareholders is not necessary for the auditor to conclude that sufficient appropriate audit evidence has been obtained. The date of approval of the financial statements for purposes of ISAs is the earlier date on which those with the recognized authority determine that all the statements that comprise the financial statements, including the related notes, have been prepared and that those with the recognized authority have asserted that they have taken responsibility for them.

Auditor’s Report Prescribed by Law or Regulation (Ref: Para. 49)

A65. ISA 200 explains that the auditor may be required to comply with legal or regulatory requirements in addition to ISAs.[6] When the differences between the legal or regulatory requirements and ISAs relate only to the layout and wording of the auditor’s report, the requirements in paragraph 49(a)– (n) set out the minimum elements to be included in the auditor’s report to enable a reference to the International Standards on Auditing. In those circumstances, the requirements in paragraphs 21–48 that are not included in paragraph 49(a)–(n) do not need to be applied including, for example, the required ordering of the Opinion and Basis for Opinion sections.

A66. Where specific requirements in a particular jurisdiction do not conflict with ISAs, the layout and wording required by paragraphs 21–48 of this ISA assist users of the auditor’s report in more readily recognizing the auditor’s report as a report of an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs.

Information Required by ISA 701 (Ref: Para. 49(h))

A67.  Law or regulation may require the auditor to provide additional information about the audit that was performed, which may include information that is consistent with the objectives of ISA 701, or may prescribe the nature and extent of communication about such matters.

A68.  The ISAs do not override law or regulation that governs an audit of financial statements. When ISA 701 is applicable, reference can only be made to ISAs in the auditor’s report if, in applying the law or regulation, the section required by paragraph 49(h) of this ISA is not inconsistent with the reporting requirements in ISA 701. In such circumstances, the auditor may need to tailor certain aspects of the communication of key audit matters in the auditor’s report required by ISA 701, for example by:

  • Modifying the heading “Key Audit Matters”, if law or regulation prescribes a specific heading;
  • Explaining why the information required by law or regulation is being provided in the auditor’s report, for example by making a reference to the relevant law or regulation and describing how that information relates to the key audit matters;
  • Where law or regulation prescribes the nature and extent of the description, supplementing the prescribed information to achieve an overall description of each key audit matter that is consistent with the requirement in paragraph 13 of ISA 701.

A69.  ISA 210 deals with circumstances where law or regulation of the relevant jurisdiction prescribes the layout or wording of the auditor’s report in terms that are significantly different from the requirements of ISAs, which in particular includes the auditor’s opinion. In these circumstances, ISA 210 requires the auditor to evaluate:

  • Whether users might misunderstand the assurance obtained from the audit of the financial statements and, if so,
  • Whether additional          explanation       in         the       auditor’s     report   can       mitigate            possible misunderstanding.

If the auditor concludes that additional explanation in the auditor’s report cannot mitigate possible misunderstanding, ISA 210 requires the auditor not to accept the audit engagement, unless required by law or regulation to do so. In accordance with ISA 210, an audit conducted in accordance with such law or regulation does not comply with ISAs. Accordingly, the auditor does not include any reference in the auditor’s report to the audit having been conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing.[7]

Considerations specific to public sector entities

A70.  Auditors of public sector entities may also have the ability pursuant to law or regulation to report publicly on certain matters, either in the auditor’s report or in a supplementary report, which may include information that is consistent with the objectives of ISA 701. In such circumstances, the auditor may need to tailor certain aspects of the communication of key audit matters in the auditor’s report required by ISA 701 or include a reference in the auditor’s report to a description of the matter in the supplementary report.

Auditor’s Report for Audits Conducted in Accordance with Both Auditing Standards of a Specific

Jurisdiction and International Standards on Auditing (Ref: Para. 50)

A71. The auditor may refer in the auditor’s report to the audit having been conducted in accordance with both International Standards on Auditing as well as the national auditing standards when, in addition to complying with the relevant national auditing standards, the auditor complies with each of the ISAs relevant to the audit.[8]

A72. A reference to both International Standards on Auditing and the national auditing standards is not appropriate if there is a conflict between the requirements in ISAs and those in the national auditing standards that would lead the auditor to form a different opinion or not to include an Emphasis of Matter or Other Matter paragraph that, in the particular circumstances, is required by ISAs. In such a case, the auditor’s report refers only to the auditing standards (either International Standards on Auditing or the national auditing standards) in accordance with which the auditor’s report has been prepared.

Supplementary Information Presented with the Financial Statements (Ref: Para. 52–53)

A73. In some circumstances, the entity may be required by law, regulation or standards, or may voluntarily choose, to present together with the financial statements supplementary information that is not required by the applicable financial reporting framework. For example, supplementary information might be presented to enhance a user’s understanding of the applicable financial reporting framework or to provide further explanation of specific financial statement items. Such information is normally presented in either supplementary schedules or as additional notes.

A74. Paragraph 52 of this ISA explains that the auditor’s opinion covers supplementary information that is an integral part of the financial statements because of its nature or how it is presented. This evaluation is a matter of professional judgment. To illustrate:

  • When the notes to the financial statements include an explanation or the reconciliation of the extent to which the financial statements comply with another financial reporting framework, the auditor may consider this to be supplementary information that cannot be clearly differentiated from the financial statements. The auditor’s opinion would also cover notes or supplementary schedules that are cross-referenced from the financial statements.
  • When an additional profit and loss account that discloses specific items of expenditure is disclosed as a separate schedule included as an Appendix to the financial statements, the auditor may consider this to be supplementary information that can be clearly differentiated from the financial statements.

A75. Supplementary information that is covered by the auditor’s opinion does not need to be specifically referred to in the auditor’s report when the reference to the notes in the description of the statements that comprise the financial statements in the auditor’s report is sufficient.

A76. Law or regulation may not require that the supplementary information be audited, and management may decide to ask the auditor not to include the supplementary information within the scope of the audit of the financial statements.

A77. The auditor’s evaluation whether unaudited supplementary information is presented in a manner that could be construed as being covered by the auditor’s opinion includes, for example, where that information is presented in relation to the financial statements and any audited supplementary information, and whether it is clearly labeled as “unaudited.”

A78. Management could change the presentation of unaudited supplementary information that could be construed as being covered by the auditor’s opinion, for example, by:

  • Removing any cross-references from the financial statements to unaudited supplementary schedules or unaudited notes so that the demarcation between the audited and unaudited information is sufficiently clear.
  • Placing the unaudited supplementary information outside of the financial statements or, if that is not possible in the circumstances, at a minimum placing the unaudited notes together at the end of the required notes to the financial statements and clearly labeling them as unaudited. Unaudited notes that are intermingled with the audited notes can be misinterpreted as being audited.

A79. The fact that supplementary information is unaudited does not relieve the auditor of the responsibilities described in [proposed] ISA 720 (Revised).[9]

Appendix

(Ref: Para. A14)

Illustrations of Independent Auditor’s Reports on Financial Statements

  • Illustration 1: An auditor’s report on financial statements of a listed entity prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework
  • Illustration 2: An auditor’s report on consolidated financial statements of a listed entity prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework
  • Illustration 3: An auditor’s report on financial statements of an entity other than a listed entity prepared in accordance with a fair presentation framework (where reference is made to material that is located on a website of an appropriate authority)
  • Illustration 4: An auditor’s report on financial statements of an entity other than a listed entity prepared in accordance with a general purpose compliance framework

         

Illustration 1 – Auditor’s Report on Financial Statements of a Listed Entity Prepared in Accordance with a Fair Presentation Framework

For purposes of this illustrative auditor’s report, the following circumstances are assumed:

  • Audit of a complete set of financial statements of a listed entity using a fair presentation framework. The audit is not a group audit (i.e., ISA 600 does not apply).
  • The financial statements are prepared by management of the entity in accordance with IFRSs (a general purpose framework).
  • The terms of the audit engagement reflect the description of management’s responsibility for the financial statements in ISA 210.
  • The auditor has concluded an unmodified (i.e., “clean”) opinion is appropriate based on the audit evidence obtained.
  • The relevant ethical requirements that apply to the audit comprise the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants together with the ethical requirements relating to the audit in the jurisdiction, and the auditor refers to both.
  • Based on the audit evidence obtained, the auditor has concluded that a material uncertainty does not exist related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern in accordance with ISA 570 (Revised).
  • Key audit matters have been communicated in accordance with ISA 701.
  • Those responsible for oversight of the financial statements differ from those responsible for the preparation of the financial statements.
  • In addition to the audit of the financial statements, the auditor has other reporting responsibilities required under local law.

INDEPENDENT AUDITOR’S REPORT  

To the Shareholders of ABC Company [or Other Appropriate Addressee]  

Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements[10]

Opinion

We have audited the financial statements of ABC Company (the Company), which comprise the statement of financial position as at December 31, 20X1, and the statement of comprehensive income, statement of changes in equity and statement of cash flows for the year then ended, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.

In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, (or give a true and fair view of) the financial position of the Company as at December 31, 20X1, and (of) its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).

[1] ISA 200, paragraph 13(j)

[2] ISA 210, paragraph 6(b)(i)–(ii)

[3] ISA 315 (Revised), Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and Its Environment, paragraph 4(c)

[4]     ISQC 1, Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements, paragraph 32

[5] ISA 560, Subsequent Events, paragraphs 10–17

[6] ISA 200, paragraph A55

[7] ISA 210, paragraph 21

[8] ISA 200, paragraph A56

[9] [Proposed] ISA 720 (Revised), The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information

[10] The sub-title “Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements” is unnecessary in circumstances when the second sub-title “Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements” is not applicable.

Basis for Opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISAs). Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements section of our report. We are independent of the Company in accordance with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (IESBA Code) together with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in [jurisdiction], and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements and the IESBA Code. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Key Audit Matters

Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgment, were of most significance in our audit of the financial statements of the current period. These matters were addressed in the context of our audit of the financial statements as a whole, and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on these matters.

[Description of each key audit matter in accordance with ISA 701.]

Responsibilities of Management and Those Charged with Governance for the Financial Statements[1]

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in accordance with IFRSs,[2] and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern andusing the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the Company or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the Company’s financial reporting process.

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

Paragraph 40(b) of this ISA explains that the shaded material below can be located in an Appendix to the auditor’s report. Paragraph 40(c) explains that when law, regulation or national auditing standards expressly permit, reference can be made to a website of an appropriate authority that contains the description of the auditor’s responsibilities, rather than including this material in the auditor’s report, provided that the description on the website addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the description of the auditor’s responsibilities below.

As part of an audit in accordance with ISAs, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit. We also:

  • Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
  • Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control.[3]
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
  • Conclude on the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Company to cease to continue as a going concern.
  • Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.

We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.

We also provide those charged with governance with a statement that we have complied with relevant ethical requirements regarding independence, and to communicate with them all relationships and other matters that may reasonably be thought to bear on our independence, and where applicable, related safeguards.

From the matters communicated with those charged with governance, we determine those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the financial statements of the current period and are therefore the key audit matters. We describe these matters in our auditor’s report unless law or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, we determine that a matter should not be communicated in our report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication.

Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements

[The form and content of this section of the auditor’s report would vary depending on the nature of the auditor’s other reporting responsibilities prescribed by local law, regulation, or national auditing standards. The matters addressed by other law, regulation or national auditing standards (referred to as “other reporting responsibilities”) shall be addressed within this section unless the other reporting responsibilities address the same topics as those presented under the reporting responsibilities required by the ISAs as part of the Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements section. The reporting of other reporting responsibilities that address the same topics as those required by the ISAs may be combined (i.e., included in the Report on the Audit of the Financial Statements section under the appropriate subheadings) provided that the wording in the auditor’s report clearly differentiates the other reporting responsibilities from the reporting that is required by the ISAs where such a difference exists.

The engagement partner on the audit resulting in this independent auditor’s report is [name].

[Signature in the name of the audit firm, the personal name of the auditor, or both, as appropriate for the particular jurisdiction]

[Auditor Address]

[Date]

Illustration 2 – Auditor’s Report on Consolidated Financial Statements of a Listed Entity Prepared in Accordance with a Fair Presentation Framework

For purposes of this illustrative auditor’s report, the following circumstances are assumed:

  • Audit of a complete set of consolidated financial statements of a listed entity using a fair presentation framework. The audit is a group audit of an entity with subsidiaries (i.e., ISA 600 applies).
  • The consolidated financial statements are prepared by management of the entity in accordance with IFRSs (a general purpose framework).
  • The terms of the audit engagement reflect the description of management’s responsibility for the consolidated financial statements in ISA 210.
  • The auditor has concluded an unmodified (i.e., “clean”) opinion is appropriate based on the audit evidence obtained.
  • The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants comprises all of the relevant ethical requirements that apply to the audit.
  • Based on the audit evidence obtained, the auditor has concluded that a material uncertainty does not exist related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern in accordance with ISA 570 (Revised).
  • Key audit matters have been communicated in accordance with ISA 701.
  • Those responsible for oversight of the consolidated financial statements differ from those responsible for the preparation of the consolidated financial statements.
  • In addition to the audit of the consolidated financial statements, the auditor has other reporting responsibilities required under local law.

INDEPENDENT AUDITOR’S REPORT  

To the Shareholders of ABC Company [or Other Appropriate Addressee]  

Report on the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements[4]

Opinion

We have audited the consolidated financial statements of ABC Company and its subsidiaries (the Group), which comprise the consolidated statement of financial position as at December 31, 20X1, and the consolidated statement of comprehensive income, consolidated statement of changes in equity and consolidated statement of cash flows for the year then ended, and notes to the consolidated financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.

In our opinion, the accompanying consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, (or give a true and fair view of) the consolidated financial position of the Group as at December 31, 20X1, and (of) its consolidated financial performance and its consolidated cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).

Basis for Opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISAs). Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements section of our report. We are independent of the Group in accordance with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (IESBA Code), and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with the IESBA Code. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Key Audit Matters

Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgment, were of most significance in our audit of the consolidated financial statements of the current period. These matters were addressed in the context of our audit of the consolidated financial statements as a whole, and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on these matters.

[Description of each key audit matter in accordance with ISA 701.]

Responsibilities of Management and Those Charged with Governance for the Consolidated Financial Statements[5]  

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRSs,[6] and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of consolidated financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the consolidated financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the Group or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the Group’s financial reporting process.

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these consolidated financial statements.

Paragraph 40(b) of this ISA explains that the shaded material below can be located in an Appendix to the auditor’s report. Paragraph 40(c) explains that when law, regulation or national auditing standards expressly permit, reference can be made to a website of an appropriate authority that contains the description of the auditor’s responsibilities, rather than including this material in the auditor’s report, provided that the description on the website addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the description of the auditor’s responsibilities below.

As part of an audit in accordance with ISAs, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit. We also:

  • Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
  • Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Group’s internal control.[7]
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
  • Conclude on the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the consolidated financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Group to cease to continue as a going concern.
  • Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the consolidated financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the consolidated financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
  • Obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence regarding the financial information of the entities or business activities within the Group to express an opinion on the consolidated financial statements. We are responsible for the direction, supervision and performance of the group audit. We remain solely responsible for our audit opinion.

We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.

We also provide those charged with governance with a statement that we have complied with relevant ethical requirements regarding independence, and to communicate with them all relationships and other matters that may reasonably be thought to bear on our independence, and where applicable, related safeguards.

From the matters communicated with those charged with governance, we determine those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the consolidated financial statements of the current period and are therefore the key audit matters. We describe these matters in our auditor’s report unless law or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, we determine that a matter should not be communicated in our report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication.

Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements

[The form and content of this section of the auditor’s report would vary depending on the nature of the auditor’s other reporting responsibilities prescribed by local law, regulation, or national auditing standards. The matters addressed by other law, regulation or national auditing standards (referred to as “other reporting responsibilities”) shall be addressed within this section unless the other reporting responsibilities address the same topics as those presented under the reporting responsibilities required by the ISAs as part of the Report on the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements section. The reporting of other reporting responsibilities that address the same topics as those required by the ISAs may be combined (i.e., included in the Report on the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements section under the appropriate subheadings) provided that the wording in the auditor’s report clearly differentiates the other reporting responsibilities from the reporting that is required by the ISAs where such a difference exists.]

The engagement partner on the audit resulting in this independent auditor’s report is [name].

[Signature in the name of the audit firm, the personal name of the auditor, or both, as appropriate for the particular jurisdiction]

[Auditor Address]

[Date           

[1] Throughout these illustrative auditor’s reports, the terms management and those charged with governance may need to be replaced by another term that is appropriate in the context of the legal framework in the particular jurisdiction.

[2] Where management’s responsibility is to prepare financial statements that give a true and fair view, this may read: “Management is responsible for the preparation of financial statements that give a true and fair view in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, and for such …”

[3] This sentence would be modified, as appropriate, in circumstances when the auditor also has a responsibility to issue an opinion on the effectiveness of internal control in conjunction with the audit of the financial statements.

[4] The sub-title “Report on the Audit of the Consolidated Financial Statements” is unnecessary in circumstances when the second sub-title “Report on Other Legal and Regulatory Requirements” is not applicable.

[5] Or other terms that are appropriate in the context of the legal framework of the particular jurisdiction

[6] Where management’s responsibility is to prepare financial statements that give a true and fair view, this may read: “Management is responsible for the preparation of financial statements that give a true and fair view in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, and for such …”

[7] This sentence would be modified, as appropriate, in circumstances when the auditor also has a responsibility to issue an opinion on the effectiveness of internal control in conjunction with the audit of the consolidated financial statements.

Illustration 3 – Auditor’s Report on Financial Statements of an Entity Other than a Listed Entity Prepared in Accordance with a Fair Presentation Framework

For purposes of this illustrative auditor’s report, the following circumstances are assumed:

  • Audit of a complete set of financial statements of an entity other than a listed entity using a fair presentation framework. The audit is not a group audit (i.e., ISA 600 does not apply).
  • The financial statements are prepared by management of the entity in accordance with IFRSs (a general purpose framework).
  • The terms of the audit engagement reflect the description of management’s responsibility for the financial statements in ISA 210.
  • The auditor has concluded an unmodified (i.e., “clean”) opinion is appropriate based on the audit evidence obtained.
  • The relevant ethical requirements that apply to the audit are those of the jurisdiction.
  • Based on the audit evidence obtained, the auditor has concluded that a material uncertainty does not exist related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern in accordance with ISA 570 (Revised).
  • The auditor is not required, and has otherwise not decided, to communicate key audit matters in accordance with ISA 701.
  • Those responsible for oversight of the financial statements differ from those responsible for the preparation of the financial statements.
  • The auditor has no other reporting responsibilities required under local law.
  • The auditor elects to refer to the description of the auditor’s responsibility included on a website of an appropriate authority.

INDEPENDENT AUDITOR’S REPORT

To the Shareholders of ABC Company [or Other Appropriate Addressee]  

Opinion

We have audited the financial statements of ABC Company (the Company), which comprise the statement of financial position as at December 31, 20X1, and the statement of comprehensive income, statement of changes in equity and statement of cash flows for the year then ended, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.

In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, (or give a true and fair view of) the financial position of the Company as at December 31, 20X1, and (of) its financial performance and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs).

Basis for Opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISAs). Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements section of our report. We are independent of the Company in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in [jurisdiction], and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Responsibilities of Management and Those Charged with Governance for the Financial Statements[1]  

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in accordance with IFRSs,[2] and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the Company or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the Company’s financial reporting process.

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

A further description of the auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial is located at [Organization’s] website at: [website link].This description forms part of our auditor’s report.

[Signature in the name of the audit firm, the personal name of the auditor, or both, as appropriate for the particular jurisdiction]

[Auditor Address]

[Date]

Illustration 4 – Auditor’s Report on Financial Statements of an Entity Other than a Listed Entity Prepared in Accordance with a General Purpose Compliance Framework

For purposes of this illustrative auditor’s report, the following circumstances are assumed:

  • Audit of a complete set of financial statements of an entity other than a listed entity required by law or regulation. The audit is not a group audit (i.e., ISA 600 does not apply).
  • The financial statements are prepared by management of the entity in accordance with the Financial Reporting Framework (XYZ Law) of Jurisdiction X (that is, a financial reporting framework, encompassing law or regulation, designed to meet the common financial information needs of a wide range of users, but which is not a fair presentation framework).
  • The terms of the audit engagement reflect the description of management’s responsibility for the financial statements in ISA 210.
  • The auditor has concluded an unmodified (i.e., “clean”) opinion is appropriate based on the audit evidence obtained.
  • The relevant ethical requirements that apply to the audit are those of the jurisdiction.
  • Based on the audit evidence obtained, the auditor has concluded that a material uncertainty does not exist related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern in accordance with ISA 570 (Revised).
  • The auditor is not required, and has otherwise not decided, to communicate key audit matters in accordance with ISA 701.
  • Those responsible for oversight of the financial statements differ from those responsible for the preparation of the financial statements.
  • The auditor has no other reporting responsibilities required under local law.

INDEPENDENT AUDITOR’S REPORT

[Appropriate Addressee]

Opinion

We have audited the financial statements of ABC Company (the Company), which comprise the balance sheet as at December 31, 20X1, and the income statement, statement of changes in equity and cash flow statement for the year then ended, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.

In our opinion, the accompanying financial statements of the Company are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with XYZ Law of Jurisdiction X.

Basis for Opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISAs). Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements section of our report. We are independent of the Company in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in [jurisdiction], and we have fulfilled our other responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.

Responsibilities of Management and Those Charged with Governance for the Financial Statements[3]  

Management is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with XYZ Law of Jurisdiction X,[4] and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements, management is responsible for assessing the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless management either intends to liquidate the Company or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.

Those charged with governance are responsible for overseeing the Company’s financial reporting process.

Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

Paragraph 40(b) of this ISA explains that the shaded material below can be located in an Appendix to the auditor’s report. Paragraph 40(c) explains that when law, regulation or national auditing standards expressly permit, reference can be made to a website of an appropriate authority that contains the description of the auditor’s responsibilities, rather than including this material in the auditor’s report, provided that the description on the website addresses, and is not inconsistent with, the description of the auditor’s responsibilities below.

As part of an audit in accordance with ISAs, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional skepticism throughout the audit. We also:

  • Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
  • Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control.[5]
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by management.
  • Conclude on the appropriateness of management’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Company to cease to continue as a going concern.

We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.

[Signature in the name of the audit firm, the personal name of the auditor, or both, as appropriate for the particular jurisdiction]

[Auditor Address]

[Date]

[1] Or other terms that are appropriate in the context of the legal framework of the particular jurisdiction

[2] Where management’s responsibility is to prepare financial statements that give a true and fair view, this may read: “Management is responsible for the preparation of financial statements that give a true and fair view in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, and for such …”

[3] Or other terms that are appropriate in the context of the legal framework of the particular jurisdiction

[4] Where management’s responsibility is to prepare financial statements that give a true and fair view, this may read: “Management is responsible for the preparation of financial statements that give a true and fair view in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, and for such …”

[5] This sentence would be modified, as appropriate, in circumstances when the auditor also has responsibility to issue an opinion on the effectiveness of internal control in conjunction with the audit of the financial statements.

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