AS 2310: The Confirmation Process

financial reporting

Because investors, creditors, and stakeholders use financial statements, an audit risk comes with legal liability for the firm performing audit work. Organizations must have adequate internal controls in place to prevent and detect instances of fraud and error. Control risk is considered to be high where the audit entity does not have adequate internal controls to prevent and detect instances of fraud and error in the financial statements. Audit risk is the risk that an audit opinion is incorrectly issued, and it has come from a leak of internal control over financial reporting, poor audit quality, and inherent risks. Fraud risk is the risk that financial statements have material misstatements without detection by both auditor and management.

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Thus, when designing the confirmation requests, the auditor should consider the assertion being addressed and the factors that are likely to affect the reliability of the confirmations. Though this model seems simple enough, the problem is how to derive the inputs to the model. It is not possible to quantify any of the inputs to the planned level of detection risk – which means that the 9% planned level of detection risk noted in the preceding example could have been half that amount or double it simply by changing an estimate. Another concern is that, since every input to the equation is subjective, how can we realistically expect to multiply and divide them? Nonetheless, the equation is a useful way to conceptualize how an audit program should be constructed to collect a sufficient amount of appropriate audit evidence. C) The combination of performance materiality and the audit risk model factors determines planned audit evidence.


They’ll also need to look at external restaurant bookkeeping like government policy and market conditions, as well as financial performance and management strategies. Auditors will also look at the client’s internal controls and risk mitigation procedures during this evidence gathering process. With a greater understanding of the controls and procedures put in place, auditors can then pinpoint the areas where risks are higher.

  • We can see what the formula above looks like in practice with this audit risk model example.
  • Whether the risk is related to recent significant economic, accounting or other developments, and therefore requires specific attention.
  • These three risks are multiplied together to calculate overall audit risk, or the risk of an auditor drawing inaccurate conclusions.

Alternatively, control risks might also exist in cases where the internal control system of the company fails to point out any material misstatements within the financial statements. However, the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements are the same for both the audit of financial statements and the audit of internal control over financial reporting. The higher the risk of material misstatement, the lower the level of detection risk needs to be in order to reduce audit risk to an appropriately low level. Reasonable assurance3is obtained by reducing audit risk to an appropriately low level through applying due professional care, including obtaining sufficient appropriate audit evidence. The detection risk of audit evidence for an assertion failing to detect material misstatements is 5%. The audit, therefore, provides (1 – .05) assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement.

Audit Risk Model: Inherent Risk, Control Risk & Detection Risk

All subsequent references in this article to the standard will be stated simply as ISA 315, although ISA 315 is a ‘redrafted’ standard, in accordance with the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Clarity Project. For further details on the IAASB Clarity Project, read the article ‘The IAASB Clarity Project’ (see ‘Related links’). Look at the functionality offered by the Predict360 Audit management software and learn how your organization can do audits at a better pace with fewer resources. The people at the accounting firm who failed to detect the many problems in Enron’s books were not paid off or bribed in any way – they genuinely failed to discover any major problems in Enron.

Inherent Riskis the risk of a material misstatement in the financial statements arising due to error or omission as a result of factors other than the failure of controls . Based on these assessments, the auditor concludes that the overall audit risk is high. In addition, it may include inventory or revenue recognition and ongoing communication and collaboration with company management to ensure the audit is conducted effectively and efficiently.

From an auditor’s viewpoint, the three components of audit risk are inherent risk, control risk and detection risk. Risk elements are inherent risk, control risk, acceptable audit risk, and detection risk. The detection risks are also increased when the audit team member who assigned to conduct the audit of the company’s financial statements are not competence both in term of audit knowledge and experiences as well as industry knowledge. First, the audit model is important because regulations for business accountability are stricter and encourage the beefing up of auditing practices. The audit risk model allows auditors to incorporate these standards to ensure strong audits that businesses and investors depend on.

substantive procedures

Above, we have mentioned the audit risks model, and by that, you might think of casting audit risk. Before we say whether or not audit risk is calculable, let’s see the model first. If certain risks are identified during the cause of the audit, the auditor should perform additional assessments to figure out the real size of the risks. Having a strong audit team could also help auditors to minimize detection risks.

What is Auditing? – Overview, Types, Opinions, Processes, And More

The risk of fraud should be assessed for the entire audit as well as by cycle, account, and objective. At the time of planning, auditors should set the right audit strategy, employed the right audit approach, and have a strong strategic audit plan. Especially in small entities, the internal control systems may not exist at all, or even if the systems exist, they may not be followed by the managements. The reason as to why these risks are multiplied and not added is simply because of the reason that in the case where one of these risks exists, it tends to have an exponential impact on the overall audit risk. If one risk exists, it tends to amplify the overall audit risk by a factor of more than 1.


The auditor has to design his substantive procedures to minimize the audit risk. The audit risk model is best applied during the planning stage and possesses little value in terms of evaluating audit performance. Control risk involved in the audit also appears to be high since the company does not have proper oversight by a competent audit committee of financial aspects of the organization. The company also lacks an internal audit department which is a key control especially in a highly regulated environment. Audit risk may be considered as the product of the various risks which may be encountered in the performance of the audit. In order to keep the overall audit risk of engagements below acceptable limit, the auditor must assess the level of risk pertaining to each component of audit risk.

Therefore, performing such an assessment will require the auditor to possess a strong understanding of the organization’s internal controls. Audit risks can be defined as the risk that the auditor expresses as an appropriate audit opinion when the financial statements are not representative of the actual financial condition of the company. In other words, it implies that the financial statements are materially misstated. Audit risk is defined as a function of the risks of material misstatement and well as detection risk.

In this regard, it can be seen that the risk of material misstatement is declared to be under the control of the management.Hence, an auditor might not have total control regarding leveraging that particular risk. For example, if during an audit process, the auditors realize that the risk of material misstatement is high, they need to reduce the detection risk in order to ensure that the total audit risk is under an acceptable level. However, there’s some level of detection risk involved with every audit due to its inherent limitations. This includes the fact that financial statements are created with a standard range of acceptable numerical values. Key risks can be identified at any stage of the audit process, and ISA 315 requires that the engagement partner should also determine which matters are to be communicated to those engagement team members not involved in the discussion. Where the auditor’s assessment of inherent and control risk is high, the detection risk is set at a lower level to keep the audit risk at an acceptable level.

Audit Risks Model

There are many reasons this happened – the major one being that no one really had a problem with Enron. The government was happy, the stockholders were happy, and Enron itself was happy with the audits being carried out, thus the auditing company had no reason to rethink their approach towards Enron. When we look at the results of an audit, we assume that the content in it is correct, but there is no way to guarantee that fact. It will take a lot of time to go through all the research that was done by the auditors to verify everything. Many businesses have suffered losses because there were audits that failed to discover the problems and risks present within the organization. Accounting for audit risks enables businesses to ensure that they are prepared for such an eventuality.

Enron was regularly audited by what was perhaps the most respected auditing organization in the world, but it was still able to misreport figures and ended up losing money for hundreds of thousands of people. In the course of the audit, the auditor inquires and performs tests on the ledger and supporting documents. If there are errors, the auditor requests the management to correct journal entries. At the conclusion of the audit, after corrections, the auditor provides a written statement highlighting whether the financial statements are clean of material misstatement. If inherent risk and control risk are assumed to be 60% each, detection risk has to be set at 27.8% in order to prevent the overall audit risk from exceeding 10%. Control Riskis the risk of a material misstatement in the financial statements arising due to absence or failure in the operation of relevant controls of the entity.

Detection risk is the risk that the auditor fails to detect the material misstatement in the financial statements and then issued an incorrect opinion to the audited financial statements. The auditor needs to understand and assess the client’s internal control over financial reporting and conclude whether those control could be relied on or not. Basically, if the control is weak, there is a high chance that financial statements are materially misstated, and there is subsequently a high chance that auditors could not detect all kinds of those misstatements.

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This formula shows that the overall level of audit risk is a product of the individual risk components. Therefore, the auditor must assess each component and determine an appropriate level of audit procedures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. This is the risk that the auditor will not detect a material misstatement, even if it exists.

For example, negative confirmations may provide some evidence of the existence of third parties if they are not returned with an indication that the addressees are unknown. However, unreturned negative confirmations do not provide explicit evidence that the intended third parties received the confirmation requests and verified that the information contained on them is correct. Detection risk is the risk that the audit procedures used are not capable of detecting a material misstatement. This is especially likely when there are several misstatements that are individually immaterial, but which are material when aggregated.

It is influenced by the nature, timing, and extent of audit procedures the auditor performs. Thus, the use of blank confirmation requests may provide a greater degree of assurance about the information confirmed. However, blank forms might result in lower response rates because additional effort may be required of the recipients; consequently, the auditor may have to perform more alternative procedures.

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Control risk or internal control risk is the risk that current internal control could not detect or fail to protect against significant errors or misstatements in financial statements. The procedures auditors use to perform risk assessment are inquiry, inspection, observation, and analytical procedures. The auditor assesses the risks at the entity control level and deep dives into the risks related to the activities control level that could significantly affect the quality of financial information.

Control Risks

The tool helps the auditor decide on the types of evidence and how much is needed for each relevant assertion. Inherent Risks are perhaps the most naturalistic risk that often occurs during an auditing process. The main reasons behind inherent risks lie as a result of the nature of the transaction involved. At certain times, auditors need to tackle these risks by using their professional judgment, as well as their analytical insights to reduce the inherent risk of material misstatement. After the auditors are able to gauge the relationship between the different components, as well as the total risk resulting as a consequence, they then aim to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

This kind of risk could also be affected by the external environment, such as climate change, political problems, or other PESTEL effects. Auditors are required to assess those kinds of risks and set up audit procedures to address inherent risks properly. They also study the trend of balance or transactions of accounting items in the financial statements over a period of time to see if the change is normal or not and if there are any risks of misstatement related to the change. An audit risk model is a conceptual tool applied by auditors to evaluate and manage the overall risk encountered in performing an audit. The internal control structure of the company safeguards them against potential losses.

inherent risk

Unqualified audit reports state financial statements are presumed free from misstatements. Audit risk is a risk that an auditor is likely to issue an incorrect opinion on the financial statements of a company. The purpose of auditing records is to lower the audit risk to a low level through testing and evidence.

The outcome is that the auditor would conclude that there is no material misstatement of the financial statements when such an error actually exists. Increasing the quantity and especially the quality of audit procedures will reduce detection risk. Inherent risk is perhaps the hardest component of the audit risk model to mitigate.

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