Under our review of audit evidence we examined techniques of obtaining audit evidence and these are the techniques for audit testing.
Timing of audit testing
1. Walk through tests: their purpose is to conform the correct recording of an accounting system and the auditor's understanding of that system and the related controls. These are therefore best performed:
a) After recording the system.
b) The following year if you are the auditor because it is inefficient to ascertain and record the system every year. All the auditor needs to do is to ask the client whether there has been any changes in the system and if there has been no changes then a walk through test confirms that the record is still appropriate.
c) After an interim audit visit when the auditor comes in for the final audit he can carry out walk through tests to confirm that the systems have not changed.
d) When the auditor did not prepare the record of the system then he carries out walkthrough tests to confirm his understanding of the system.
2. Compliance tests: the sample should be representative of the whole years transactions. They are usually carried out at the interim audit visit and up-dated at the final visit to ensure that the whole period has been covered.
3. Substantive test: these tests are applied to:
a) Transaction records where internal controls are weak or non-existent or where the system cannot be relied on.
b) Unusual, extraordinary or one off transaction and transactions which are not covered by the system.
c) All assets and liabilities at the balance sheet date.
Therefore we can see that substantive tests are usually carried out at any time during the audit but mostly concentrated at the final visit.