Audit working papers are the documents that record the audit evidence obtained during financial statements auditing, internal management auditing, information systems auditing, and investigations. Audit working papers give detailed information of accounts under audit. They are written and private papers prepared by the auditor during the audit. They basically consist of account information, investigation and examination method, auditor’s conclusion, and final statement.
If you are looking for goals, content, and elements of audit working papers, then this guide is for you.
Goals of Audit Working Paper
When preparing an audit working paper, the auditor must ensure that the working papers serve the following purposes
- Include the planning, performance, and review of the client’s audit work.
- Include the observations, conclusions, and final statement to support the audit communication.
- Facilitate third-party reviews and re-performance requirements.
- Serves as a basis to analyze the internal audit’s Q.C (quality control) program.
How to Write Audit Working Papers
Working papers represent a summary of the auditor’s actions like planning, procedure, and conclusion, etc. The schedule highlights the steps taken to reach a conclusion and pass a final statement.
To write unique audit working papers, the auditor is suggested to follow these guidelines and ensure the following elements of audit working papers.
1. Using an Explanatory Heading
A descriptive heading must include the client’s name, work paper’s purpose, objectives and goals and the date of audit.
2. Indexing of Audit File
Each paper in an audit file must be given a unique number and arranged in a sequence like the pages of a book.
3. Cross Indexing with a Related Paper
To eliminate the duplication of work, improve your efficiency and save your time as an auditor, cross-index your work paper with a related work paper. If you file the client’s bank rapprochement in section A and refer to them in section C, you don’t need to make copies of rapprochement to place in section C. You can add a cross-reference like “See bank rapprochement in section C”.
4. Using Tick Marks as Abbreviation
To make it concise and save time, you can use abbreviations for standard auditing procedures. For example, V represents an item being vouched to the source document. Similarly, F means that you confirmed the arithmetic calculations on the working paper.
5. Identifying the information’s source
Use the documents you examined and the persons you interviewed as a source of information for the ongoing auditing procedure.
EXAMPLE: to support the conclusion that cash is correctly stated on the balance sheet, you must prepare a schedule showing all the bank’s rapprochement ensuring that they reunite without making any difference to the balance sheet. In this example, the auditor while writing the audit working papers must include the following elements of audit working papers.
- Schedule of client’s mortgagor and mortgagee
- Balance sheet
- Certificates of officials relating to certain matters like bad debts or unpaid expenses etc.
- Devaluation statement
- Communication between the auditor and client’s debtor and creditors
- A detailed schedule of investment made by the client
- Client’s bank balance confirmation by the bank.
- Details of cash balance
- Accounting and adjustment entries
- Draft financial accounts
- Correlation with a legal advisor
- Test of transactions
- Investor’s fairness and the minutes
Write a brief summary of your examination and the results of your analysis. Give your opinion on the rationality of client declaration.