Antoine road near Picardie, France, killing all seven people on both aircraft. This is the first mid-air collision of two airliners. Both members of crew and all five passengers are killed.
Why is independence often considered the cornerstone of the auditing profession? Why were independence issues a primary concern of Congress when they developed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?
Due professional care is to be exercised in the performance of the audit and the preparation of the report. The exercise of due professional care requires observance of all general standards and fieldwork standards but adds an additional element of professionalism.
Auditors must properly plan and supervise the audit in order to complete the engagement on a timely basis. The standard for due audit care is the care that would be exercised by a reasonable auditor in the same circumstance.
The prudent auditor is one who exercises reasonable judgment, who is not expected to be omniscient, who is presumed to have knowledge special to his or her profession, who is expected to be aware of his or her own ignorance, and who is expected to possess the skills of the profession, whether a beginner or a veteran.
Auditors are expected to be unbiased and impartial with respect to the financial statements and other information they audit.
They are expected to be fair both to the companies and executives who issue financial information and to the outside persons who use it. The notion of individual independence is more specific in the conduct of each audit engagement.
In essence, an individual auditor must not subordinate his or her judgment to that of others and must stay away from influences that might bias judgment.
Assurance services and the integrity of financial reporting. Auditing and assurance services. My interpretation of this is to be thorough and objective.
If an inconsistency is found, investigate it completely to see if it may be just a honest error or an intentional act of misconduct. The reporting should be clear and concise and include no misleading information. I would think that if an audit firm followed the 10 GAAS properly and consistently, then the courts would consider the standard to have been met.
Independence is critical in the auditing profession. The concept of independence is necessary to provide impartiality and objectivity. If an auditor is invested in any way in the organization that his is auditing, then the unbiased review cannot be assured. In the case of Enron, the Houston office of Arthur Andersen was involved in producing the financial statements and other accounting functions at Enron.
It is inappropriate to audit your own work. The integrity cannot be there. If an error in an accounting function is uncovered during an audit by the same person that caused the error, it is uncommon for even the highly ethical person to disclose their error.
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