The work we have considered so far has shown that the auditor first gathers facts about the enterprise and the environment it operates in. The next stage was the gathering of audit evidence about individual items and groups of items which together form the accounts. We then find that the auditor is in a position of knowing that he has sufficient evidence to substantiate the detail of the accounts. He then needs to form an opinion as to whether the accounts as a whole contain certain qualities and this is when a final review is carried out.
This is a stage of the audit carried out by senior members of the audit team using the financial statements. This is further to the analytical review procedures carried out as part of substantive tests. The aims of this review are:
i. To provide audit evidence by determining if the financial statements provide information that is internally consistent with other information in the possession of the auditor and
ii. Also to determine if the financial statements have been prepared using acceptable accounting policies, they comply with IFRS and other requirements and that there is adequate disclosure of all relevant matters.
I would stress however, the following two issues:
i. Qualities of the auditor who performs this review: this auditor must have:
a) An ability to distinguish between non-material, material and fundamental items;
b) An ability to assess the accuracy and completeness of information gathered in the audit;
c) Must possess skill, imagination and good judgement particularly on professional and economic issues;
d) An ability to recognise apparent inconsistencies and abnormalities which might indicate areas where errors, omissions, frauds, irregularities have occurred which might not have been revealed by the routine audit procedures and;
e) An ability to assess whether or not an audit opinion is possible.
ii. The qualities required of the final accounts: the final accounts must possess certain qualities and these are:
a) Use of acceptable accounting policies, appropriate to the business and consistently applied;
b) They must show the results of operations in the profit and loss account, state of affairs in the balance sheet, changes in the financial position in the statement of source and application of funds and all other information included in the financial statement should be compatible with each other and with the auditor's knowledge of the enterprise;
c) All appropriate matters should be adequately disclosed and information contained in the accounts should be suitably classified and presented;
d) There must be compliance with statutory requirements;
e) There must be compliance with other relevant regulations;
f) There must be compliance with Kenya Accounting Standards.
The final review may reveal:
a) All is well or
b) Further audit evidence is required in some areas or
c) That it may be desirable to make amendments to the accounts and
d) That a qualified report may be required.
The review stage is very important in modern auditing as current auditing opinion is moving more towards a consideration of the view given to users by financial statements. The detail is still important but the view given must be true in detail and fair in totality.