Management maybe unwilling to sign letters of representations or pass minutes required by the auditor. If management declines the auditor should inform management that he will himself prepare a statement in writing setting out his understanding of any representations that may have been made during the course of the audit and then sends this statement to management with a request for confirmation that the auditor’s understanding of the representation is correct.
If management disagrees with the auditor’s statement of representation, discussions should be held to clarify the matters in doubt and if necessary a revised statement prepared and agreed. Should management fail to reply the auditor should follow the matter up to try to ensure that his understanding of the position as set out in his statement is correct.
In rare circumstances the auditor may be completely unable to obtain written representations, which he requires. E.g. because of refusal by management to co-operate, or because management properly declines to give representations required on the grounds of its own uncertainty regarding that particular issue. In such circumstances the auditor may have to conclude that he has not received all the information and explanations required and consequently may need to consider qualifying his audit report on the grounds of limitation in the scope of the audit.