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Audit and Assurance
As a member firm of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand we are recognised as a qualified auditor in accordance with s36L(1)(a) of the New Zealand Financial Reporting Act 2013 and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (“Institute”) Rules.
We have a team of diverse, talented and financially astute audit professionals who utilise their skills every day to make a difference for businesses, public sector entities and not for profits. We audit with professional integrity, principled judgement, financial discipline and a forward-looking approach to business.
An audit is an engagement whereby an independent expert, the auditor, provides an opinion on "a matter of accountability" referred to as the subject matter. A "matter of accountability" is something that is the responsibility of someone else (usually management of the relevant entity).
The auditor's opinion is designed to give a high, but not absolute level of assurance (expressed as reasonable assurance) on the subject matter. For example, an audit of financial statements provides users of those statements with reasonable assurance from an independent professional that the financial statements do not contain material misstatements.
This is designed to increase the credibility of the information contained in the financial statements.
Reasonable assurance relates to the accumulation of the evidence necessary for the auditor to form a conclusion, i.e. to be able to report positively on the matter subject to audit. It relates to the whole audit process. An auditor cannot obtain absolute assurance because there are inherent limitations in an audit that affect the auditor's ability to detect material misstatements, for a number of reasons, such as the use of testing and the fact that most audit evidence is persuasive rather than conclusive Therefore an audit is not a guarantee.
An auditor can provide assurance on a wide variety of matters. It is important for the party requesting the audit to clearly establish what they want assurance on. In some cases this will be partly determined by legislation or regulations, for example, the Charities Act requires, with some exceptions, that performance reports of a charity be audited each year. However, an auditor can be engaged to give a high level of assurance on other matters - this may be other financial information, for example an opinion on a Statement of Receipts & Payments - or something not the subject of any written statements, such as the entity's compliance with grant conditions.
It is over to the party requesting the audit to specify what they require the auditor to give assurance on. This, however, must be identifiable and capable of consistent evaluation or measurement against identified criteria so that the information about it can be subjected to procedures for gathering sufficient appropriate evidence to support the auditor's opinion.
We adhere to the full suite of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) (where relevant to the particular engagement) when carrying out an audit.
These Standards apply to all audits carried out by members of the Institute, irrespective of the size or nature of the entity, whether or not the member is in public practice and whether or not a fee is charged for the service.
The ISAs contain the basic principles and minimum procedures for the conduct of an audit and reflect international best practice.
Nature of Work
In order to provide reasonable assurance we are required to obtain sufficient appropriate evidence on which to base our conclusions. This will involve, among other things:
Obtaining an understanding of the entity;
- Based on that understanding, assessing risks and then developing overall responses and performing further procedures clearly linked to the identified risks;
- Performing procedures to obtain evidence - these procedures may involve inspection, observation, confirmation, recalculation, re-performance, analytical procedures, enquiry - the nature and extent of these will depend, in part on the auditor's assessment (and testing) of controls;
- Obtaining corroborating information;
- Evaluating the evidence obtained.
The exact nature, timing and extent of evidence-gathering procedures will vary from one engagement to the next.
A review engagement is designed to give the reader a limited level of assurance on the financial information.
This involves an independent examination of information when the examination is conducted with the objective of providing a report that nothing has come to the reviewer's attention to cause the reviewer to believe that the information does not present a true and fair view. This helps lend some credibility to the information but provides a lower level of assurance than an audit.
A review is based on enquiries and analytical procedures (comparing information with other relevant information to see if it is consistent and 'makes sense') and the exercise of professional judgement. However, any indication that an error (or fraud) may have occurred, which could result in material misstatement, will result in us undertaking such further investigation as is necessary to confirm or dispel these suspicions.
Both reasonable assurance (audit) and limited assurance (review) engagements require the application of assurance skills and techniques and the gathering of sufficient appropriate evidence as part of an iterative, systematic engagement process that includes obtaining an understanding of the subject matter and other engagement circumstances.
The nature, timing and extent of procedures for gathering sufficient appropriate evidence in a review engagement are, however, deliberately more limited than an audit engagement.
If the user (e.g. a founder) needs a higher level of assurance on parts of the financial statements, a review could be supplemented with an audit of selected items in the financial statements.
In an agreed-upon procedures engagement we agree with our client to perform specific procedures. These procedures are not designed to support an expression of any opinion.
The member simply reports on the factual findings resulting from the procedures that have been performed. (As agreed with you, I did xxxx and found yyyy).
This type of engagement may be of particular usefulness to a funder, as it can target the specific area that they are interested in, for example, giving the funder specific information relating to their grant (that it was received and banked by the entity, that specific items were purchased, that wages of zzz was paid etc).
Our report is restricted to the party requesting that the procedures be performed and that party must form their own conclusions from the procedures performed and the factual findings reported.
Summary of Services
TYPE OF SERVICE
AGREED UPON PROCEDURES
Level of Assurance
No opinion expressed
Moderate/Limited (expressed as negative assurance)
High, but not absolute (expressed as reasonable assurance)
Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics
Independence in Assurance Engagements
Code of Ethics
Independence in Assurance Engagements
Other Professional Requirements
Compliance with Agreed Upon Procedures Engagement Standard
Compliance with Review Engagement Standard
Compliance with Auditing Standards
The accountant reports on factual findings and identifies the nature of the work performed enabling the accountant to make such statements.
The review reports that nothing has come to the reviewer's attention which would cause them to believe that the assertions contained in the financial information do not present a true and fair view in accordance with the disclosed basis of accounting (or the reasons for not being able to so state)
The audit report contains the auditor's clear expression of opinion on the matter to be reported on. For example, an audit report on financial statements may state whether or not the financial statements give a true and fair view of, for example the financial position, results and cash flows of the entity.
Because of the differences in the amount of work performed, the cost to perform these services varies accordingly.