Reviewing the Audit Working Papers of a Predecessor Auditor
A recently appointed auditor (successor auditor) of an entity which requires an audit in accordance with the Act has a statutory responsibility to report on the financial report of the entity in the year of appointment pursuant to the provisions of the Act(or other relevant legislation). The financial report on which the successor auditor reports is affected by the account balances carried forward from the previous reporting period on which the predecessor auditor issued an audit report. Consequently, the successor auditor will need to form a view about whether the opening balances for the year are fairly stated in accordance with Auditing Standard ASA 510 Initial Engagements–Opening Balances. It is for this purpose access to the predecessor auditor’s audit working papers may be obtained. The auditor’s client consent prior to granting access is considered essential in these circumstances and Example Letter C in Appendix 1sets out the matters that are ordinarily addressed.
Where the predecessor auditor agrees to provide the successor auditor access to the auditor’s audit working papers, such access ordinarily involves an exchange of letters between the two auditors. Example Letter E in Appendix 1sets out the matters ordinarily addressed, though amendments may be required to reflect circumstances specific to the engagement.