Auditors should document audit evidence that contradicts or is inconsistent with audit conclusions regarding significant findings or issues and also explain how they addressed the contradiction in forming the conclusion.Auditors should assemble audit documentation within 60 days from the audit report date.While this is a liberal paraphrase of the specifics in the standard, it is the guiding principle for the preparation of all audit documentation.Basic Objective of the Auditor The basic objective of the auditor is to prepare documentation that provides a good record of evidence that is the basis for the auditor’s report, as well evidence that the audit was planned and performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and any applicable legal and regulatory requirements.Audit documentation may be in the form of paper, electronic files, or other media. The Board's standard on audit documentation is one of the fundamental building blocks on which both the integrity of audits and the Board's oversight will rest.The Board believes that the quality and integrity of an audit depends, in large part, on the existence of a complete and understandable record of the work the auditor performed, the conclusions the auditor reached, and the evidence the auditor obtained that supports those conclusions.
Audit documentation supports the basis for the conclusions in the auditor's report.
Documentation should be sufficiently detailed to give experienced auditors who were not previously involved in the audit a clear understanding of the work performed, the evidence obtained and the conclusions reached.
Oral explanations are not sufficient to document auditors’ work or conclusions, but auditors may use them to clarify or explain information in the documentation.
Much of the new SAS continues the requirements found in SAS 96, but there are several key changes, particularly in the dating of the auditor's report, definition of the new documentation completion date, and procedures performed up to the documentation completion date and thereafter.
This article provides an analysis of the new SAS and a comparison with SAS 96.