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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2017

Francesco Bellandi

Part V analyzes the details of how to assess materiality. It first tackles qualitative versus quantitative criteria and the role of professional judgment. It then analyzes…

Abstract

Part V analyzes the details of how to assess materiality. It first tackles qualitative versus quantitative criteria and the role of professional judgment. It then analyzes the selection of quantitative threshold, to expand to the choice of benchmarks. It contrasts the whole financial statements with subaggregates, line items, and components.

Specific sections contrast IASB, FASB, SEC, and other guidance on materiality applied to comparative information, interim reporting, and segment reporting.

The section on estimates mingles complex guidance coming from accounting, auditing, and internal control over financial reporting to explain how the management can improve its assessment of materiality concerning estimates.

After explaining the techniques to move from individual to cumulative misstatements, the part tackles verification ex post, and finally summarizes the intricacies of whether immaterial misstatements are permissible and their consequences.

Details

Materiality in Financial Reporting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-736-4

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Advances in Accounting Education Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-868-1

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

António Martins and Cristina Sa

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the causes that justify the application of presumptions in corporate income taxation. The authors focus on motives showing a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the causes that justify the application of presumptions in corporate income taxation. The authors focus on motives showing a connection to errors or fraud in the recognition of operations by the financial accounting system. The research question can be framed as follows: How to define the frontier between reliable accounting records and unreliable information, the latter rendering presumptions as an admissible way of taxing income?

Design/methodology/approach

The research design of this paper rests on two analytical steps based on the legal research method. The first step enquires, at the accounting level, how to define and quantify errors that render accounting statements inappropriate to assess firms’ performance and compute taxable income. The second step explores the practical application of presumptive tax concepts by Portuguese courts, to offer some criteria that can function as guidelines to firms and tax auditors.

Findings

The judgment about the boundaries of accounting errors that allow the use of presumption-based taxation is often decided by litigation. Portuguese jurisprudence provides strong evidence that presumptions should only be applied if, even by correcting of errors and inaccuracies, corporate real income cannot be obtained. The level of contamination must be obvious, and tax audits must present a strong and documented claim that presumptions are a last-resort mechanism to compute an appropriate tax base. The Supreme Tax Court has been applying a consistent approach characterized by: presumptive taxation is a last-resort mechanism; tax audits must prove that a generalized contamination of accounting data is observed; it is not possible to correct accounting errors, given their extension and depth, and the taxpayer did not submit contradictory solid evidence.

Practical implications

Applying, in practice, legal criteria to decide that accounting manipulation is so extensive that taxation must be based on presumptions is fraught with subjectivism. However, we offer an analysis where some guidelines to this complex issue are presented in a logical way. Principles-based taxation can, nonetheless, be applied with a significant degree of fairness and consistency.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by offering an analysis of the criteria used by Portuguese tax courts when deciding that accounting data can be disregarded and presumptions used as a tax computation tool. Given that the rule, in many countries, is to base taxable income on accounting records (albeit with adjustments established in Corporate Income Tax Codes), presumptions are a notable exception to this well-established rule. As such, taxpayers have a significant interest in knowing how courts rule on tax authorities’ use of presumptions. In this light, the paper has also potential value to professionals in the accounting and tax fields. They are often confronted with tax audits that apply presumptions. Therefore, knowing jurisprudential trends in the judgment of such, usually complex, cases is an important issue.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 60 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Gerry H. Grant, Karen C. Miller and Fatima Alali

The purpose of this paper is to examine information technology (IT) control deficiencies and their affect on financial reporting.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine information technology (IT) control deficiencies and their affect on financial reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines 278 companies reporting IT control deficiencies in the first three years of the SOX 404 requirements (2004‐2006). Using quantitative analysis, the study evaluates the impact of IT deficiencies on financial reporting and determines significant differences between companies that report IT deficiencies and companies that do not report IT deficiencies.

Findings

Four accounting errors: revenue recognition issues; receivables, investments and cash issues; inventory, vendor and cost of sales issues; and financial statement, footnote, US GAAP, and segment disclosures issues stand out as common financial reporting problems in companies reporting weak IT controls. This study also suggests that companies with IT control deficiencies report more internal control (IC) deficiencies, are smaller, pay higher audit fees, and are typically audited by smaller accounting firms.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited in scope since only SOX accelerated filers are included in the analysis. As of this study, smaller, non‐accelerated filers are not required to report IC control weaknesses under SOX.

Originality/value

As of this research, no analysis exists to support or refute the relationship of IT controls and accounting errors. This study re‐affirms the widespread impact that deficient IT controls can have on the overall IC structure of the business. Our study reveals some of the important issues associated with IT in the financial reporting process. The role of IT in financial reporting systems is destined to escalate. Studies, like ours, can help managers and auditors identify IT problems that affect financial reporting and take remedial steps to correct these weaknesses.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Shee Boon Law and Roger Willett

To provide further evidence on the effectiveness of analytical procedures (APs) used in auditing. Computer simulation experiments are used to examine the error detection…

Abstract

To provide further evidence on the effectiveness of analytical procedures (APs) used in auditing. Computer simulation experiments are used to examine the error detection ability of a set of APs. Two different types of errors are examined and compared on the basis of the Type I and Type II errors they produce. The results of the experiments support earlier performance assessments of APs based upon simulated data. Higher noise levels reduce performance but a more detailed modeling of the process generating the data appears to produce a compensatory increase in performance. Contrary to earlier findings, some annual APs performed better than their related monthly counterparts. Case study and experimental results are better reconciled than in previous studies. The findings are based upon simulated data and deal with two types of error only. The experiments model the data generating process underlying accounting numbers but are simplifications of the real situation. Future research based upon the same approach but using more sophisticated experimental models and dealing with a wider class of errors would be useful. The findings echo earlier recommendations that APs should not be relied upon as lone, substantive testing devices for error and fraud. The simulation experiments use Statistical Activity Cost Theory to generate accounting numbers from specified, underlying stochastic processes. This allows errors to be related to transactions, i.e. the level at which they typically occur, whereas in prior experimental work errors have only been related to accounts.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2020

Stewart Li, Richard Fisher and Michael Falta

Auditors are required to perform analytical procedures during the planning and concluding phases of the audit. Such procedures typically use data aggregated at a high…

Abstract

Purpose

Auditors are required to perform analytical procedures during the planning and concluding phases of the audit. Such procedures typically use data aggregated at a high level. The authors investigate whether artificial neural networks, a more sophisticated technique for analytical review than typically used by auditors, may be effective when using high level data.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from companies operating in the dairy industry were used to train an artificial neural network. Data with and without material seeded errors were used to test alternative techniques.

Findings

Results suggest that the artificial neural network approach was not significantly more effective (taking into account both Type I and II errors) than traditional ratio and regression analysis, and none of the three approaches provided more overall effectiveness than a purely random procedure. However, the artificial neural network approach did yield considerably fewer Type II errors than the other methods, which suggests artificial neural networks could be a candidate to improve the performance of analytical procedures in circumstances where Type II error rates are the primary concern of the auditor.

Originality/value

The authors extend the work of Coakley and Brown (1983) by investigating the application of artificial neural networks as an analytical procedure using aggregated data. Furthermore, the authors examine multiple companies from one industry and supplement financial information with both exogenous industry and macro-economic data.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1980

John R. Etor

The internal auditor estimates the amount of error in routine accounting records by sampling and other procedures. These investigations cost money, and there is a risk…

Abstract

The internal auditor estimates the amount of error in routine accounting records by sampling and other procedures. These investigations cost money, and there is a risk that his conclusions may be wrong. This article shows how Bayesian theory can be used in planning and controlling the routine audit, and in interpreting audit findings. It suggests rules for choosing economic sample sizes in discovery sampling, and deciding whether to submit an unfavourable report on an accounting system when unexpected errors are found. It also discusses the use which the practitioner should make of any prior knowledge of a system which he may possess, and the impact of such knowledge on the frequency of audits. This study is seen as part of the current search for a general theory of audit decision making, and suggestions are made for further empirical and theoretical work in that field.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Minyoung Noh, Hyunyoung Park and Moonkyung Cho

This paper aims to examine the effect of audit quality of consolidated financial statements on the accuracy of analysts’ earnings forecasts from the viewpoint of users of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effect of audit quality of consolidated financial statements on the accuracy of analysts’ earnings forecasts from the viewpoint of users of financial statements.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper investigates the effect of dependence on the work of other auditors on error in analysts’ earnings forecasts based on samples from 2011 to 2012 (the period since implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards in Korea). In addition, this paper examines the effects of use of Big 4 auditors, use of auditors with industry expertise and the proportion of overseas subsidiaries in relation to all subsidiaries on the association between dependence on the work of other auditors and error in analysts’ earnings forecasts.

Findings

This paper finds a positive relation between dependence on the work of other auditors and error in analysts’ earnings forecasts, suggesting that more dependence on the work of other auditors decreases the quality of the audit of consolidated financial statements; thus, to the extent that low-quality audits decrease reporting reliability, analysts’ forecasts are less likely to be accurate. This paper also finds that the positive relationship between dependence on the work of other auditors and error in analysts’ earnings forecasts is weakened when the principal auditor is a Big 4 auditor or one with industry expertise, because such auditors provide higher-quality audit services. However, the positive relationship between dependence on the work of other auditors and error in analysts’ earnings forecasts is further strengthened in cases where the proportion of overseas subsidiaries to all subsidiaries is higher. These results suggest that the complexity of the consolidation process increases as the proportion of overseas subsidiaries increases.

Originality/value

The findings are useful in analyzing the effects of adoption of the New ISA, implemented in 2014, which does not allow the division of audit responsibilities between principal auditors and other auditors. This paper also provides insights for regulators and practitioners to improve the auditor appointment system in the future.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2019

Mojtaba Safipour Afshar, Omid Pourheidari, Bakr Al-Gamrh and Asghar Afshar Jahanshahi

The purpose of this paper is to study whether diverting auditors to erroneous accounts leads to higher effectiveness and detection of errors. Also, this paper investigates…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study whether diverting auditors to erroneous accounts leads to higher effectiveness and detection of errors. Also, this paper investigates the effect of the need for cognitive closure of auditors on audit effectiveness and detection of errors in the presence of audit management.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a financial statement containing a diverting statement and several errors for measuring audit management and used a survey to measure auditors’ need for closure. Research sample consisted of 79 independent auditors having above three years of audit experience. The set of financial statement and questionnaire (measuring the need for closure of auditors) was given to auditors and they had enough time to fill them.

Findings

Results show that diverting auditors to accounts containing error does not lead to higher effectiveness and detection of errors. Also, auditors need for closure character does not affect their effectiveness and detection of errors in the financial statements.

Practical implications

Diverting auditors to erroneous accounts leads to higher detection of earning management. With this regard, the results increase the awareness of auditors that diverting auditors away from important errors to easy-to-detect erroneous accounts leads to their belief of achieving the audit objectives by detecting phony errors and misstatements. In other words, the results alert auditors of managers’ techniques of audit management.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on audit management and need for cognitive closure of auditors in Iran’s audit environment and introduces these concepts to this environment. The paper will be of value to Association of Iranian Certified Public accountants to include stricter measure in appraisal of audit firms’ quality and educate its participants about audit management and mediating effect of the need for closure of auditors on the detection of errors and misstatements in financial statements.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

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Abstract

Details

Corporate Fraud Exposed
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-418-8

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