‘Auditors need greater third party access’

A new paper put out by the
Audit Quality Forum
has argued that auditors be given access to ‘sufficient audit evidence to form
an independent opinion’ after warning of the adverse impact third parties can
have on financial statements.

The Audit Quality Forum in its Fundamentals series Third Parties
paper observed that third parties may hold information which is material to
the truth and fairness of financial statements, but which does not reach the
Board, ‘let alone the auditors’.

It asked whether more can or should be done by way of requirements on
preparers, auditors or third parties, in a local or international context, to
improve the impact of third-party information and advice on audit quality.

Chair of the AQF Working Group, Stephen Lewis, said: ‘The Board may not
personally prepare financial statements, or personally maintain relationships
with third party trading partners, or brief third party advisers, but they are
responsible through their governance of the company for ensuring that these are
done appropriately.’

Further reading:

Call to prosecute over audit information

Withholding audit info should be criminal offence

Good audit committee chairman are hard to find

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