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AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER

AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER


Introduction:
ISA 210 Agreeing the Terms of Audit Engagements,
"requires that before the auditor can accept an audit
engagement s/he should:
Establish that the preconditions for an audit exist.
Confirm that there is a common understanding between
the auditor and management concerning the terms of
the engagement.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
In order to establish whether the preconditions for an
audit are present, the auditor shall:
(a) Determine whether the financial reporting framework
to be applied in the preparation of the f/ss is acceptable;
(b) Obtain the agreement of management that it
acknowledges and understands its responsibility.
(i) For the preparation of the financial statements in
accordance with the applicable financial reporting
framework.
(ii) For such internal control as management determines is
necessary to enable the preparation of f/ss that are free from
material misstatement.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
(iii) To provide the auditor with:
a. Access to all information of which management is aware
that is relevant to the preparation of the financial statements.
b. Additional information that the auditor may request from
management for the purpose of the audit; and
c. Unrestricted access to persons within the entity from whom
the auditor determines it necessary to obtain audit evidence.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
ISA 210 directs the auditor to reject the audit
engagement where:
The financial reporting framework to be applied in the
preparation of the fss is unacceptable.
The auditor has not obtained agreement from
management about their responsibility.
Management imposes limitation on scope of the
auditors work such that the auditor believes the
limitation will result in disclaimer of opinion.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Purpose of Engagement letter:
ISA 210 requires the auditor and management to agree
on the terms of the engagement and record them in an
audit engagement letter or other suitable form.
The engagement letter is sent by the auditor to the
client to:
Help avoid misunderstanding between the auditor and
management regarding what the engagement entails.
Document and confirm the auditors acceptance of the
appointment.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Timing of Engagement letter:
The engagement letter should be sent:
To all new clients before commencement of an audit.
To all existing clients who have not previously had such
a letter.
To existing client whenever there is change of
circumstances that require the terms of engagement to
be revised.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Contents of Engagement letter :
The engagement letter should contain the following:
(a) The objectives and scope of the audit of the f/ss.
(b) The responsibilities of the auditor.
(c) The responsibilities of management.
(d) Identification of the applicable financial reporting
framework for the preparation of the f/ss.
(e) Reference to the expected form and content of any
reports to be issued by the auditor and a statement that
there may be circumstances in which a report may differ
from its expected form and content.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
In addition, the engagement letter may make reference
to:
(i) Legislation, regulations, ISAs, and ethical and other
pronouncements that the auditor adheres to.
(ii) The form of any other communication of results of
the audit engagement.
(iii) An unavoidable risk that some material
misstatements may not be detected, even though the
audit is properly planned and performed in accordance
with ISAs, due to inherent limitations of an audit and
the inherent limitations of internal control.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
(iv) Arrangements regarding the planning and
performance of the audit, including the composition
of the audit team.
(v) The expectation that management will provide
written representations.
(vi) The agreement of management to make available to
the auditor draft f/ss and any accompanying
information in time to allow the auditor to complete
the audit expeditiously .
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
(vii) The agreement of management to inform the
auditor of facts that may affect the f/ss, of which
management may become aware during the period
from the date of the auditors report to the date the f/s
are issued.
(viii) The basis on which fees are computed and any
billing arrangements.
(ix) A request for management to acknowledge receipt
of the audit engagement letter and to agree to the
terms of the engagement outlined therein.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
When relevant, the following points could also be made in the
audit engagement letter:
Arrangements concerning the involvement of other
auditors and experts in some aspects of the audit.
Arrangements concerning the involvement of internal
auditors and other staff of the entity.
Arrangements to be made with the predecessor auditor, if
any, in the case of an initial audit.
Any restriction of the auditors liability when such
possibility exists.
A reference to any further agreements between the auditor
and the entity.
Any obligations to provide audit working papers to other
parties.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Recurring audits:
Engagement letter remains effective from one audit
appointment to another until it is replaced. However,
it should be reviewed annually to ensure that it
continues to reflect the clients circumstances.
ISA 210 suggests that the following factors may make
the new letter appropriate:
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Any indication that the entity misunderstands the
objective and scope of the audit.
Any revised or special terms of the audit engagement.
A recent change of senior management.
A significant change in ownership.
A significant change in nature or size of the entitys
business.
A change in legal or regulatory requirements.
A change in the financial reporting framework adopted in
the preparation of the f/ss.
A change in other reporting requirements.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
Acceptance of a change in the terms engagement;
A request from management to change the terms of
the engagement prior to completion may arise from:
(a) A change in circumstances affecting the need for
the service,
(b) A misunderstanding as to the nature of an audit as
originally requested or
(c ) A restriction on the scope of the audit
engagement, whether imposed by management or
caused by other circumstances.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
The auditor should consider such a request for change,
and the reason for it, very seriously, particularly in
terms of any restriction on the scope of the
engagement.
In the case of (a)and (b) above, these would normally
be acceptable reasons for requesting a change in
engagement. A change would not be considered
reasonable, however, if it seemed to relate to
information that is incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise
unsatisfactory.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
ISA gives an example of where an auditor should not
agree to a change of engagement- where the auditor is
unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence
regarding receivables and the client asks for the audit
engagement to be changed to a review engagement to
avoid a qualified opinion or a disclaimer of opinion.
In addition to the above, an auditor must consider any
legal or contractual implications of the change.
AUDIT ENGAGEMENT LETTER
The audit report issued after such a change has been
agreed ( and the relevant audit work carried out)
should be appropriate to the revised terms of
engagement. Such an audit report should not include
reference to the original terms, or nay procedures
performed under the original engagement.