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What the 10 New Auditing Standards Mean for Forensic Accountants

NCJ Number
Forensic Examiner Volume: 16 Issue: 4 Dated: Winter 2007 Pages: 32-37
Jan Colbert Ph.D., C.P.A.
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses the implications for forensic accountants of the 10 new standards for external auditors recently issued by the American Institute of CPAs (certified public accountants).
One of the standards addresses audit documentation, and another pertains to professional requirements. The remaining eight standards are conceptually related and are known as the Risk Assessment Standards. The eight Risk Assessment Standards are intended to improve the assessment of risks performed on every audit engagement. An understanding of the client as well as the operational environment, including its internal control, is to be assessed by external auditors. The guidance in the standard that addresses audit documentation expands and clarifies the items that must be reported by the auditor in the workpapers. Also, the time frame related to various documentation requirements is discussed. Although these 10 new Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs) are intended for external auditors, the requirements impact the work of forensic accountants as well. Forensic accountants should understand how the new mandates impact and expand the work performed by external auditors in their examination of financial statements. The enhanced work performed by the external audit team may contain clues that forensic accountants can use in their work. For example, the audit work that results from compliance with the eight Risk Assessment Standards should be particularly useful to forensic accountants, since they consider areas that are especially prone to misstatements and the results of the procedures already performed by the external audit team. An understanding of the procedures completed assists the forensic accountant both in interpreting the auditor’s findings and in planning forensic work that delves deeper into the financial aspects of the entity under investigation.