When auditing a publicly held company, auditors need to observe principles.
The ethical principles of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Code of Professional Conduct are independence, responsibilities, the public interest, integrity, objectivity and independence, due care, and scope and nature of services. More specifically, audit team members are required to be objective and independent with regard to the audit by maintaining objectivity and being free of conflicts of interest in discharging professional responsibilities and by being independent in fact and appearance when providing auditing and other attestation services.
Through this one can see how influential the SEC is. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, auditors have to be objective and independent otherwise legal sanctions can be incurred. Even though the above mentioned standards are imposed for audits of public companies, they can also be applied to the audit of a non public company like Smackey Dog Foods, Inc.
Q2: Discuss the essential activities involved in the initial planning of an audit. How do these all specifically to the Smackey Dog Food client?
Solution: First the audit team needs to understand the client’s business and industry.
It can be profitable for the audit firm to have experience in having audited other food manufacturer in preparing and performing the audit for Smackey. So far, members of the Audit team, the audit manager Pete and two audit staffers Ben and Maureen, have to understand the client’s business and industry. The next step would be to assess the client’s business risk. Business risk is the risk that measures by how much a company (here: Smackey) will fail to achieve its objectives. In this activity, the audit team assesses the risk of material misstatements arising from Smackey’s business risk.
For example, the high wastage in Smackey’s Best Dog division presents a lot of business risk, and therefore material misstatement risk. Following, the audit team will perform preliminary analytical procedures. Keller CPAs needs to compare the performance of Smackey’s with the industry (these are other competitors) to further support its initial assessment of business risk. These analytical procedures help the audit team indentify areas where the risks of misstatement are very high. Next, Keller CPA’s set materiality and assess acceptable audit risk and inherent risk.
The Smackey audit team now has to set the acceptable level of materiality. The circumstances of Smackey have to be taken into account in setting materiality level as this level is purely a relative and subject to auditor’s judgment. Then, the audit team is able to develop an overall audit plan and audit program. The audit plan and program aims to achieve the audit risk objectives of the audit team and to provide reasonable assurance and basis for the audit report and opinion.
Q3:Discuss the 4 stages of the audit and the major activities performed by the auditor in each phase.
Give an example of how each of these specifically applies to the Smackey Dog Food, Inc audit. For instance, examine the apparent internal control weaknesses and possible negative outcome of each. Solution: Stage 1: Planning and Risk assessment - During the planning stage the audit team will need to gain an understanding of the Smackey Dog Foods business and industry. More specifically, the design and implementation of the client’s internal control procedures, processes and systems are studied and analyzed for the audit team to be able to assess the control risk for each f the transaction-related audit objective – occurrence, completeness, accuracy, classification, timing and posting and summarization. After this they can assess the risk. The first risk they may want to look at is the control risk by taking a look at how the internal controls system works at Smackey Dog Foods. Stage 2: Test of internal controls - By testing the effectiveness of the internal controls the auditor can determine the control risk that lies within the company.
The audit team can perform tests of controls by making inquiries of appropriate client personnel, examining documents, records, and reports maintained by Smackey, observing control-related activities such as the one done for the inventory procedures for returned Best Boy Gourmet dog food, and re-perform the client procedures. Stage 3: Substantive tests of Transactions - The Smackey audit team needs to perform substantive tests on the balances of the accounts receivables and inventory accounts. Moreover, substantive tests can be done through performing substantive tests of transactions, analytical procedures and test of details of balances.
By running tests of transactions, which is similar to test of internal controls the auditor will take an invoice but this time verifying the monetary amount of the transaction. Stage 4: Audit Completion - At this stage, the audit team compiles a report to Smackey’s management as regards matters that came to the team’s attention during the audit, evaluates and reviews the audit evidence obtained in the audit, and considers the audit opinion to be issued based on the evidence obtained
Q4:Describe Keller CPAs’ responsibilities related to communications regarding internal control matters. What internal controls issues do you identify?
Solution: According to auditing standards and professional conduct the auditor is required that the auditor relay information, in writing, to management and those charged with governance, significant deficiencies and material weaknesses identified in an audit. The following internal control issues were found as regards the audit for Smackey Dog Food, Inc. and thus have to be communicated to appropriate people within Smackey: 1. Granting of commissions to sales people based on estimated sales.
This internal control issue presents risks as regards the company’s financial resources as sales people might be paid for sales not made, and there is no refund process for commissions paid for this type of sale. 2. Segregation of duties as regards the handling of inventory. With only one person assigned with the preparation and approving all inventory records, the changes of material misstatements are high. 3. Lack of control procedures and guidelines in handling returned dog foods which presented opportunities wherein employees take home returned items.
Lack of control procedures and guidelines in handling and recording accounts receivable. This is much more important now since a major client which represents 31 % of total sales is experience financial difficulty. Moreover, the urgency of these procedures and guidelines is in light of the magnitude of receivables (29 % of total assets).
Q5:You decide that you will address Smackey Dog Food, Inc. ’s accounts receivables through confirmations. Discuss the various types of confirmations and what forms you will implement and why.
Solution: When auditing there are two types of accounts receivable confirmation, which are positive and negative confirmations. Positive Confirmation - Is a request by the debtor to confirm whether the balance as stated on the request is correct or incorrect. Two types of positive confirmation are blank confirmation form and invoice confirmation. Blank Confirmation Form - Does not state the amount of the confirmation but requests to either fill the balance in or furnish more information. Invoice Confirmation - This is where instead of an entire account balance being confirmed a single transaction is confirmed.
Negative Confirmation - This is when there is a disagreement on the stated balance In relation to Smackey dog foods I would implement an Invoice confirmation based on the info given it seems to be a good place to start confirming balances would to be directly linked to the invoices. Taking into mind the amount of returns and how they would directly affect the invoice that was paid but then returned also means that any money that was made on that invoice has also been returned.
Q6:What are the major factors affecting sample size for confirming accounts receivable?
Factors affecting the sample size for confirming accounts receivable are as follows: Tolerable accounts receivable and financial statement misstatement; Inherent risk, which is dependent on the size of total accounts receivable, the number of accounts, prior-year results, and expected misstatements; Control risk; Achieved detection risk based on other substantive tests; and Type of confirmation. Generally a positive confirmation requires a smaller number of sample sizes.
Q7:A major issue in verifying the ending balance in property, plant and equipment is the possibility of legal encumbrances.
Discuss what specific concern do you have. Describe the procedures your firm will perform to obtain evidence about existing legal encumbrances. Solution: Here are the procedures that Keller CPAs will need to perform to obtain evidence about existing legal encumbrances include:
Inquiry with property, plant and equipment custodians
Review of minutes of meetings
Review of items noted during property, plant and equipment inventory observations
Confirmation of the client’s liabilities
Reading and reviewing lease agreements
Reading and reviewing property, plant and equipment purchase contracts and agreements
The above procedures aim to assess whether encumbrances and liens to the property, plant and equipment have been identified and whether property currently pledged as collateral on a loan has not been sold or damaged.
Q8:The client wants to know if you will be present at the year-end inventory. What is your decision and why? What role or actions will you take at the inventory if you decide to attend the inventory. Why?
Solution: I think it is very important for the audit team to be at the year-end inventory.
The reason for this being is that way the audit team can see how Smackey Dog food performs an inventory check. Secondly, they can take part in the inventory themselves by observation, as well as physical checking and counting of the inventory. After deciding to attend I would ask for a copy of the inventory check list and also ask for the ability to check the inventory along with the rest of the team. By gaining a hands on check this will allow the auditors to see if the controls over inventory are working and that the inventory check lists is correct and states all the inventory that Smackey Dog foods has.
Q9:Considering the general six functions that make up the inventory and warehousing cycle for Smackey Dog Foods, Inc. , identify the related documents and/or records that would be used. From your analysis of the internal controls related to the inventory and warehousing cycle of Smackey Dog Foods, Inc. , what internal control weaknesses exist?
Solution: The six general functions that make up the client’s inventory and warehousing cycle are:
Processing of purchase orders - purchase requisitions, quotations from suppliers, and purchase orders
Receipt of purchased materials - receiving report
Storage of materials or inventory - materials requisition form
Processing raw materials - job cost sheet, process cost sheets
Storage of finished goods - sales invoice, sales order form.
Shipping finished goods - shipping form and invoices.
The internal control weaknesses that exist based on the six functions that make up the warehousing cycle as stated earlier the lack of procedure set for handling the large amount of returned dog food. There is also nothing stating that they record the transaction when the dog food is returned so that could also mean they never took the profit off the books.
The other weakness is separation of duties in the warehouse Kim alone has control over inventory, production and shipping. That is too much for one person to handle especially when her attention has been taken by one specific line of food that the company produces. Smackey needs to bring in people to a great extent to help Kim and reduce her workload. By doing this it will also lower the risk that inventory, production or shipping could become misstated.
Q10:Discuss if Keller CPAs or its auditors are breaching any Professional Rules of Conduct and why or why not?
Solution: Several things occurred that make me believe yes the Keller CPAs are breaching some of the rules of conduct. One issue that sticks out immediately is Pete and Allen’s relationship. Pete and Allen have actually discussed the audit over a few beers which should not have occurred. This creates a conflict of interest and independence. Another problem that Keller CPAs are faced with is the lack of knowledge of the industry topped with taking on the audit in a crunched time frame to complete it in.
By doing this the possibly of the audit team gaining enough knowledge of the industry to perform an audit up to standards in the small time frame is going to be a task in itself. If the audit team had a larger time frame this would be ok but in such a small time frame they won’t be able to spend that much time learning the industry and this could lead to not being able to perform an audit following all audit standards.
Q11:Discuss the CPA firm’s legal liability concerns for this audit if they make a material unintentional or intentional mistake. Include any other legal liability concerns regarding possible Professional Rule violations.
Solution: The CPA firm could face some serious legal consequences if they make an unintentional or intentional mistake. The main liabilities that I see between the audit team and the Smackey Dog Food audit itself is liability to clients, and liability to third parties. Liability to clients – In this case this would be where if the auditors missed any fraud occurring and therefore the client can turn around and sue the Keller audit team. In terms of Smackey Dog Food directly, one area of possible fraud is in the inventory department and the returned inventory area.
With the lack of separate of duties and the fact that two employees essentially run the whole inventory department it might not even be intentional fraud it maybe just a misstatement and lack of controls over inventory that caused it. But the auditor needs to discover this to avoid any legal action. Liability to third parties – This occurs if the Keller auditor team fails to find any material misstatements on the financial statements and then the bank would loans Smackey funds, but shortly after Smackey goes bankrupt. This would open up the auditor to be able to be sued by the bank for not catching the misstatements on the financials.