The International Standards of Auditing (ISA) are a set of standards that guide auditors on how they should proceed when performing their role as external auditors of financial statements. The ISA standards have been adopted by many countries and used by professional bodies. The ISA standards are split into five parts: audit planning, fieldwork, reporting and assurance, ethics, and independence. In this article, we will focus on the first part by exploring common deficiencies in the planning phase during an audit. Some of the deficiencies have the gravity to cause disciplinary action against an auditor or firm who has committed them.

Use of a manipulative or misleading technique

Manipulative or misleading techniques are not acceptable. For example, the auditor is unable to obtain sufficient audit evidence to support the financial statement assertion being tested. In this case, the auditor may use a statistical sampling method instead of performing an on-site inspection of all inventory items (the direct method) because it would be too costly and time-consuming. However, a statistical sampling method requires that an assumption be made about the population from which samples are drawn that reflects the characteristics of that population as closely as possible.

This assumption must be reasonable given available information about the population and its members; if it is not reasonable, then using this approach could lead to incorrect results due to sampling bias. To avoid this problem when auditors use statistical sampling methods during their audits, they should consider obtaining additional information about their populations before making assumptions about them; if necessary, they should also perform other types of tests for bias among those populations rather than relying solely upon statistical tests alone.

Failure to obtain sufficient competent evidential matter

Auditors should obtain sufficient competent evidential matter to support their opinion on the financial statements. The auditor should not rely on management’s assertions without obtaining sufficient competent evidence to support the assertions. If there are any material uncertainties about whether management’s assertions will be realized, auditors must disclose such uncertainties in notes and other appropriate disclosures in the financial statements.

When considering the nature and volume of the work being carried out, auditors must be aware of:

  • The nature and volume of the audit evidence required.
  • The nature and volume of the audit evidence available.

Audit evidence is only as good as its reliability; therefore, it is essential to obtain sufficient competent evidential matter to support conclusions reached during an audit.

Failure to apply ISA standards appropriately.

The ISAs are not just for the audit; they are for the entire audit process and apply to the entire audit team. They also apply to your firm.

In addition to writing down your procedures, you should also write down how you will implement them in practice, including providing training and ensuring that everyone on the team understands what they need to do and why.

Inadequate audit risk assessment

Risk assessment is an essential part of your audit. You can use it to plan the audit, identify areas of potential material misstatement, and evaluate whether fraud may be present. Before auditing a company’s financial statements, you should always conduct a risk assessment. The audit process involves testing for any errors or omissions in those statements. Since there are always risks that you could find something wrong with the financials that would lead to a material misstatement (or even worse, fraud), it’s essential to know what these risks are before starting your work on an organization’s records.

A risk assessment will help guide how you approach the rest of your work during an audit by directing attention where it is needed most and keeping track of which areas have already been covered by other auditors so they can be skipped over if necessary without missing anything important.

High dependency on inquiry as a form of audit evidence

When planning your audit, it’s essential to ensure that you have a variety of audit evidence. You may end up missing some critical issues by relying too heavily on inquiry as a form of audit evidence. Inquiry doesn’t give you the same level of assurance as other forms of audit evidence like test monitoring or observation. Inquiry can be useful if used properly but should not be relied upon as an exclusive form of evidence that’s able to provide substantive information about the control environment and operating effectiveness.

This is one of the most common audit deficiencies we see, and it’s tricky because it’s so ambiguous. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be challenging to decide whether or not you have found any problems.

Failure to respond appropriately to known or likely fraud

The auditor should respond appropriately to known or likely fraud by taking reasonable steps to obtain competent evidence and make appropriate summarizations. The auditor should also take reasonable steps to obtain management’s and others’ cooperation in the audit, including:

  • Getting information on the normal operating practices
  • Reviewing available records and documents

How Auditproo Can Help Reduce Audit Deficiencies?

Auditproo helps create audit procedures that are compliant with ISA requirements.

Auditproo can help you create audit procedures that are accurate and compliant with regulations. The platform’s unique capabilities allow you to identify common deficiencies in your client’s internal controls. Based on industry best practices, it can then help you develop customized solutions to your specific needs, making it easier for you to manage compliance requirements while reducing the risk of errors or omissions in your audit control framework.

Auditproo increases productivity.

Auditproo is a cloud-based application that can help reduce time spent on administrative tasks to help auditors focus on the most critical aspects of their work. By working from anywhere, at any time, and with any device, auditors can save hours of headache and frustration by eliminating unnecessary paperwork.

Auditproo provides a secure and centralized document storage facility for auditors. It allows auditors to access documents from anywhere, share documents with other auditors, and even search for information within their audit. Auditproo is the perfect solution for ensuring that all audit teams work with up-to-date documentation throughout the entire audit process.

You can gain a number of benefits from using our paperless audit process. First, it’s faster and more efficient than traditional paper audits. These audits are also more accurate than their printed counterparts because they help reduce errors in your financial reporting processes.


The common audit deficiencies are not easy to avoid, even for experienced auditors. To ensure the best possible results, you should work closely with your team and keep a close eye on the situation at all times. Make sure you’re familiar with these common audit deficiencies and what to do about them. These are often big issues in an audit and good to know about before the auditor does their review. The more prepared you are for the issue, the more confident you can be with your audit assurance processes.

Published On: September 15th, 2022 / Categories: Audit Risk / Comments Off on Common Audit Deficiencies /

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