Emphasis will be placed on how to go about verifying these items as they appear in the balance sheet.
At the end of this unit, you should be able to:
- state the objectives of cash audit
- outline the audit programme for cash
- enumerate the general method of verifying debtors
- state group inventory relative to financial reporting
- list audit programmes for inventory.
Cash is one of the most liquid assets and as such, it is susceptible to defalcation. This is why the audit procedures applied to cash should be more extensive.
3.1.1 Objectives of Cash Audit
The auditor’s objectives in an audit of cash are as follows:
- to determine that the amount shown in the final accounts constitutes cash in hand, cash at banks, and cash in transit;
- to determine the reasonableness of the cash reported;
- to determine that any restricted cash is properly classified and disclosed.
In auditing cash, the auditor must study and evaluate internal control to determine if cash is presented in a fair and logical manner. Also, he conducts both compliance and substantive tests to see if the controls are adequate, and confirms the amounts on deposit directly with the banks, counts cash, prepares bank reconciliation statements and so on. If the result of the auditor’s study and evaluation shows weak internal control, he will extend the scope of his audit work. The auditor discovers the company through verification.
3.1.2 Audit Programme for Cash
Audit programme for cash takes the following procedures.
- List each location where cash is held, showing for each, the date and time of the comment and the name of staff responsible first;
- Take a surprise possession of the cash book/safe for cash count in the presence of the cashier. Possession and counting should be done simultaneously;
- Cash count result should be entered into the worksheet and the cash returned to the cashier;
- All documents relating to cash can be retained by the auditor until verifications are made;
- Note the number of the last cheque leaf used, and test to determine that all unused cheques are accounted for and under adequate control;
- Perform verification of cash transactions in some expense accounts;
- Send out confirmation requests to verify amounts in deposit at the audit date;
- Trace recorded cash receipts to the bank statement;
- Test cash receipt and cash disbursement cut-off;
- Reconcile bank accounts as of audit date. Reconciliation statements prepared by the client should be examined to determine if there are any unusual items. Note that all uncleared cheques have been cleared after date. Also note lodgements credited after date, but actually paid in before date;
- Investigate all non-sufficient fund cheques and all outstanding cheques
- Compare cancelled cheques with cash disbursement journal; (xiii) Prove footings of cash disbursement and cash receipts journals and trace the posting to the ledger;
- Investigate and trace all bank transfers;
- Prepare worksheet for deposits for the period;
- Determine the corrections of cash balance as per the balance sheet date.
Debtors form a large item among the assets of most firms and their verification is essential. The general method of verifying debtors include the following.
- Determine the system of internal control over sales and debtors. The system for debtors should ensure that: (i) only bona fide sales bring debtors into being; (ii) all such sales are made to approved customers, and are recorded; (iii) once recorded, the debts are only eliminated by receipt of cash; (iv) debts are collected promptly; (v) balances are regularly reviewed and aged, a proper system for follow up exists, and, if necessary, adequate provision for bad and doubtful debts is made;
- Test the effectiveness of the system;
- Obtain a schedule of debtors;
- Test balances on ledger accounts to the schedule and vice versa;
- Test casts of the schedule;
- Examine make-up of balances. They should be composed of specific items;
- Ensure each account is settled from time to time;
- Examine and check control accounts;
- Enquire into credit balances;
- Consider the valuation of debtors. This is really a consideration of adequacy of the provision for bad and doubtful debts. It should be noted that: (i) debts which are considered irrecoverable should be written-off to the profit and loss account; (ii) provisions for doubtful debts should be set up against debts which are considered doubtful; (iii) the practice of debtors circularisation should be employed (Ref.
3.3.2 of Module 2, Unit 3 for explanation).
3.3 Stock Another name for stock (of goods) is inventory, and it is often composed of a large amount of a company’s assets. According to the Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) published by the Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB), stocks can be defined as “items of value held for use or sale by an enterprise and usually compose of raw materials and supplies used in production, work-in-progress and finished goods”. In financial reporting, inventory can be grouped into the following. (i) Retail inventory – this is usually small in quantity of a substantial number of different items which can be found in pharmacy stores, supermarkets/department stores, etc;
(ii) Wholesale inventory – usually very large with different items;
3.3.1 Auditor’s Responsibility
The auditor’s responsibilities regarding inventory are as follows.
(i) Ensure that the amount presented in the balance sheet is not overstated. In doing this, the auditor must be present at the time of stocktaking (inventory count), to observe and check the accuracy of the counting;
(ii) Ensure that all inventories to be included are added and those to be excluded are removed;
(iii) Ensure that there is proper validation of physical existence and the valuation of inventory. Failure to get assurance may lead to false balance sheet presentation of the inventory amount; (iv) Make appropriate classification and accurate determination of quantity and cost of stocks that are necessary for proper determination of the results of the operation of an enterprise and for the presentation of current assets in its balance sheet.
3.3.2 Auditor and Inventory
From the foregoing, you can deduce that an auditor should be present when inventory count is conducted. His observations, tests and inquiries would enable him to form an opinion as to inventory quantities and conditions prevailing on that date.
An auditor should perform tests of the accounting records, and should be able to use statistical sampling method to satisfy himself that the amount presented in the financial statements is fairly recorded.
3.3.3 Audit Programme for Inventory
The audit programmes for inventory are as follows.
(i) Review and test internal control over inventory. Test of compliance is used to perform this test;
(ii) Review physical inventory plans;
(iii) Examine some purchase orders;
(iv) Perform test on cost accounting system;
(v) Make inquiry on goods held on consignment;
(vi) Conduct inventory observations and physical count of all goods in the store;
(vii) Test clerical accuracy of inventory sheets and other cost records;
(ix) Review standard cost variances;
(x) Test the gross profit;
(xi) Review the analysis of cost of goods;
(xii) Review balance sheet disclosures;
(xiii) Determine the reasonableness of amount of inventory in the balance sheet.
1. What are the objectives of cash audit?
2. Highlight the audit programme for inventory.
You are now aware of the auditor’s responsibility in respect of verification of current assets. Review of internal controls for cash, debtors and stock helps in their verification as presented in the balance sheet. Auditors should be conversant with the general and specific procedures for auditing current assets.
ANSWER TO SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
- Objectives of cash audit are as follows:
- to determine that the amount shown in the final accounts constitutes cash in hand, cash at banks, and cash in transit. ii) to determine the reasonableness of the cash reported.
- to determine that any restricted cash is properly classified and disclosed.