An auditor is an independently qualified person who is appointed to give shareholders an independent, professional and informed opinion on the financial statements prepared by the directors. An audit can also be of benefit to third parties wishing to engage in business with the company as it helps to assess the reliability of the information provided.
Provide An Audit Report
The main responsibility of an auditor is to report to the members. The report must state whether, in the opinion of the auditor, the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the company’s affairs and whether they have been prepared in accordance with relevant provisions of the Companies Acts and other relevant legislation and accounting standards.
The auditors’ report must be made available to every member and be read at the AGM.
If the auditor cannot give a positive opinion, they may give:
A qualified opinion – this states that the financial statements give a true and fair view of the company’s state of affairs except for certain stated circumstances;
A disclaimer of opinion – this states that the auditor is unable to form an opinion as they were unable to gather a sufficient amount of competent evidence; and
An adverse opinion – this states that the financial statements do not give a true and fair view.
Report Failure To Maintain Proper Books Of Account
If an auditor discovers that a company has not kept proper books of account, they must notify the company of this opinion. If the directors do not take the necessary steps to correct this situation within seven days, auditors must notify the Companies Registration Office of their opinion.
Duty To Report Indictable Offences
If auditors discover information during an audit that leads them to believe that the company or anyone associated with it has committed an indictable offence under the Companies Acts, they must report this to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (“ODCE”) and help the ODCE with their investigation of the report.
Duty To Exercise Professional Integrity
Auditors must carry out an audit with professional integrity. If they do not comply with their duty to exercise reasonable skill and care, they may be liable for damages to the company or to its members in particular. The independent auditor also has a responsibility to his profession to comply with the standards accepted by his fellow practitioners.
The auditor’s responsibility is to express an opinion on whether management has fairly presented the information in the financial statements. To do so, the auditor collects evidence to obtain reasonable assurance that the accounts are free of material misstatement.
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