Professional Scepticism In Auditing

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Professional scepticism is an important part of auditing as it necessitates the auditor exercising their qualified judgement in dealing with occurrences and circumstances of a countless number. (Auditing and Assurance Standard Board, 2012). Since the global financial crisis, there has been increasing importance placed on applying professional scepticism and many auditors have been criticised for not using scepticism in their valuation and assessments of factors like going concern issues, fair value judgements and related party transactions. (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, 2015). Additionally, the importance of professional scepticism is essential in reducing the number errors found in financial statements. These mistakes can…show more content…
One the most important factors in using professional scepticism is the auditor’s experience. The auditor experience is essential in exercising professional judgement when assessing the evidence. The importance of professional scepticism is more prevalent today than ever before. Without professional scepticism, the auditor does not challenge nor remain alert to inconsistencies and circumstances that indicate actual or potential misstatements (Auditing and Assurance Standard Board, 2012).
The unrealistic expectations of external users of financial statements to assume that an auditor remains totally impartial to client influence is a conclusion drawn from psychological research. The legal system forms the opposite view and has determined that external users should be able to rely implicitly on an auditor’s determination. Accounting standards have set expectations of auditor independence and neutrality. (Max H. Bazerman, 1997) The entire concept of professional scepticism and its application is the true and fair representation of financial statements to the users of these
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However, the corporate collapse of HIH Insurance in Australia has raised more questions than answers regarding the integrity of the accounting and auditing profession. The audit expectation gap is the difference between the actual performance of an auditor and what society thinks. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in 1992, the expectation gap is defined as the difference between what the public and financial users think audit responsibility is and what the auditors think their role is(?). The importance of professional scepticism is essential in enhancing the societal view on auditors. An auditor supplies the independence and objectivity to a financial report complementing the high expectations of third party users
The professional judgement required is influenced by some professional traits such as the auditor’s experience and capability of the auditors training. In additional to the professional traits influencing the auditor’s judgement, the auditors is also influenced by behavioural and ethical traits. Auditors have a responsibly to ensure that ethical standards are upheld, ensuring the social exceptions of auditors
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