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HI6026 audit assurance and compliance Assignment Help

Topic: How is Enhanced Auditor Reporting being embraced in Australia?

Background and Context:

Since 2016, there has been a strong push to improve the quality of audit reporting. Listed entities now have to report on “key audit matters” and improve the way material information is communicated using “plain English”. As mentioned in the CPA Australia podcast “How is Enhanced Auditor Reporting being Embraced around the Globe?” (available at CPA Australia website):

“The IAASB’s new auditor reporting requirements commenced in December 2016. Standard setters in many jurisdictions, including Australia and New Zealand, have issued the new requirements with the same effective date, whilst others have committed to issue the standards but have not yet done so. The UK have had similar requirements in place since 2013 and some firms in other countries have early adopted the IAASB’s requirements. Jim Sylph, Co- chairman of the IAASB’s Auditor Reporting Implementation Working Group, and Merran Kelsall, IAASB member and AUASB Chairman spoke to CPA Australia about the uptake and impact of enhanced auditor reporting around the globe.”

Research Assessment:

Download an annual report of an ASX listed company that is in the S&P/ASX 300 list. Review all the sections within the selected company’s annual report, which relate to the Auditor’s role in providing assurance over the entity’s financial statements and control environment. Students will need to review and analyse the following key areas included in the company’s Annual Report:

  • Auditor’s Independence Declaration
  • Independent auditor’s report
  • Non-Audit services performed by the Auditor
  • Auditors’ remuneration
  • Role, functions and composition of the Audit Committee
  • Independent Auditors report to the members(shareholders)
  • Review all Key Audit Matters noted and the associated audit procedures


Based on your analysis of the auditors’ sections and other areas pertaining to the auditor, as included within the Annual Report, submit a report which summarises and evaluates the auditor’s assurance services performed for the client company.

As part of your review of the assurance services provided, consider the following:

  • Has the auditor complied with Independencerequirements?
  • If there were non-audit services provided, what was the nature of such services?
  • Provide an analysis of the Auditor’s remuneration in a table with prior year comparisons. Include percentage changes and explanations of the remuneration.
  • In relation to the key audit matters, which audit procedures were performed to provide assurance over each matter? Summarise and paraphrase each key audit matter. Correctly classify each audit procedure listed as: tests of controls, substantive tests of detail, substantive test of balances or analytical procedures.
  • Is there an Audit committee? Are there any non-executive directors on the audit committee? Is there an Audit Committee Charter? If so, summarise the main points of the charter including: the structure, function and responsibilities of the Audit
  • What type of Audit Opinion was expressed?
  • How do the Directors’ and Management’s responsibilities differ from the Auditor’s responsibilities in relation to the financialreport?
  • Were there any material subsequent events? If so, briefly outline them and paraphrase and summarise how they were
  • As an interested third party stakeholder, make an assessment of the effectiveness of the material information reported by the Auditor in your conclusion.
  • Consider whether there is any material information which could be missing, under-reported and/or not fully explained or disclosed in an effective way for the intendedusers?
  • What follow-up questions would you ask the Auditor at the company’s Annual GeneralMeeting?

Solution to HI6026 Audit Assurance And Compliance Assignment Help, HI6026 Audit Assurance And Compliance Answers

Executive summary

It has been observed in the recent times that the companies in Australia, USA, etc. are trying to implement new methods and techniques in order to enhance the quality of the audit reports. Because of the need for such an element of the audit reports a special paragraph has been issued in the independent auditor's report which is stated to be as the key audit matters. These key audit matters are the major factors which affect the organizations business because of which it is very important to get into the notice of the investors and auditors so that a proper analysis can be made on them. The establishment of the new Australian reporting requirements has helped to create reports on the basis of financial accounts of the organization which delivers transparent data and also is qualitative and quantitative in nature. Therefore, it can be stated that these reporting standards have helped a lot to the accounting and auditing industry to improve the quality of the reports which are further analyzed by the investors and shareholders for the purpose of decision making.


The top grossing companies in Australia are identified for their auditing and accounting skills which are based on the expert knowledge of taxation and auditing or accounting principles. It has been observed that the Woolworth Limited which is audited by one of the biggest companies which create audit reports called Deloitte have been earning huge revenues because of the clear analysis of all the accounts of the organization (Alvarez, 2013). The major objective of the organization is to work on the basis of ethical principles and follow a professional code of conduct so that it can stay to be the number one audit firm in the whole world. Every organization is concerned about the actions that are undertaken by the professionals so that the integrity of the firm can be maintained (Cochran, 2017). In the managerial framework of Deloitte, it has been noticed that the same code of ethics and professional conduct has been standardized for every professional working there which have helped to build a proper work environment (Dayananda, Irons, Harrison, Herbohn, & Rowland, 2008).

The good reputation of the organization clearly states that all the rules and regulations are followed by the auditors so that independent requirements are fulfilled. It has been clearly stated in the section 370C of Corporations Act, 2001 that a declaration about the acceptance of the professional code of conduct has been followed by the organization or not. In the case of Woolworths limited it has been found that the audit partner was having no problem with the professional conduct of the organization as there were no violations of any type of principles throughout the audit work which had to standardize the professionalism of the company (Easton, 2010).

Auditor’s remuneration

A considerable increase has been seen in the auditor’s remuneration in comparison to the previous year. The following table represents the auditor’s remuneration for the services he has provided. A change of 143.35% was observed in the remuneration provided for non-audit services and also a considerable increase of about 88.64%was observed in case of other auditors (Elaine, 2015). The non-audit services are also provided by the auditing firm to the organization after keeping in mind that there is no breach or compromise in the independent requirements which are stated in the APES 110 which states the code of ethics for professional accountants. It should be made sure that the auditor is not having any portion of loss or profit from the non-audit services that have been provided by the auditors to the organization (Fridson & Alvarez, 2012).

The non-audit services generally include consultancy on matters related to the taxation, accounting and assurance services which can help the firm to earn a little more revenue by making changes in managerial functioning. The remuneration provided for the services amounted to $504,000 (Girard, 2014).



2017 ($'000)

2016 ($'000)

% Change

Auditor of the parent entity : Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu Australia

Audit or review of the financial report




compliance & regulatory services




other non-audit related services




tax compliance services








Other Auditors

Audit or review of the financial report




other non-audit related services




tax compliance services








Key audit matters

The key audit matters of an organization are the major drivers or objectives upon which the business of the organization is based. These matters are generally given more concerned than any other factor so that substantial information can be obtained. Two of such matters are:



Substantive Test of details

test of controls

analytical procedures

Accounting for rebates

It has been observed that the organization have received a lot of discount and rebates on the value of the inventory and cost of sales from the other companies which have helped to reduce the overall expense. It is very hard to make an analysis of these types of discounts because of which difficulty arises and a lot of details are needed to be assessed in order to find out the

Checking each and every amount in relation to the receivables, discount received and other incentives provided; evaluation should also be made on any type of accounting treatment made on these incentives so that their source can be detected (Ittelson, 2009).

To understand the control of the company for analyzing any rebate for incentives

(Johnstone, 2014).

Analysing the small incomes and discounts that have been received on sampling procedures; testing of sale report and its comparison to the previous year’s data (Loughran,


sources from where the data have been adopted. They are of huge concern to the organization because they affect the value of inventory and also the cost of goods sold which makes them a key audit matter (McLaney & Adril,


IT system

The information technology systems that have been adopted by the organization are complex in nature and have a number of integration and execution levels. The information technology systems are stated to be the backbone of the

The discussion should be made by the management over the control of Information Technology system; evaluation of the data that have been acquired using the system

(Menifield, 2014).

Conducting tests on the information technology control; exercise additional controls in case of problems; creating review systems; analyzing the

operating effectiveness of these


organization because of which it is treated as a key audit matter (Parrino, 2013).


Audit committee charter

One of the biggest entrepreneurs in the retail sector of the Australian market was Woolworths Limited. Therefore it is very important for the organization to provide an elaborated audit report. A 5 members committee was made by the organization in order to comply with the risk and management strategies (Penman, 2012).

The audit committee charter is a governing body which helps the audit committee to perform their actions in the most efficient manner. It should contain more than three members and all of them should be independent directors of the board out of which one board member is appointed as chairperson. The members of the charter are generally not allowed to serve more than three audit committee is at the same time until the board gives them the approval to do so (Seitz & Ellison, 2009).

The general functions that have performed by the audit committee are:

  • The audit committee guides the director so that more profit can be earned by the organization which will further fulfil the needs of the shareholders (Siciliano, 2015).
  • It also helps the firm to maintain a financial report in both qualitative and quantitative forms.
  • Assessment of the internal control mechanism of the organization.
  • The relation of the auditors with respect to the various legal and regulatory requirements that are needed to be met by the organization.
  • Helping the internal audit department and also conducting meetings with an independent auditor to provide them with information that is necessary for them to execute the tasks.

The Charter also establishes all the responsibilities that are needed to be carried out by the audit committee. It is the sole duty of the management of the organization to use all the accounting standards for appropriate reporting of financial information’s so that a true and fair picture can be depicted in the accounts. The management is also required to work in a professional manner so that it can operate and exercise control over the environment of the organization. Different policies and procedures should be adopted which can be used to deal with the change in the corporate structure of the organization. The management should also try and monitor the corporate reporting structure of the organization in terms of quality, threats and any other risk that may harm the ethical personality of the organization (Simpson, 2012) . The responsibility for making several different procedures and policies for the company is also being assigned to the Charter. The active role is being played in the organization by the charter in helping to conduct the audit process and also helping other departments of the firm to prepare budgets and other cost functions (Skonieczny, 2012).

Audit opinion

One of the most important aspects of the auditing report is the opinion of the auditor over the fairness of the financial statements of the organization. Also, it should be noted that opinion is just an assurance and not a guarantee towards the success of an organization (Strathern, 2010).

It has been observed in the case of Woolworth that a proper financial report has been created in which all the aspects are true and fair in nature. The reports that were audited by the auditors consisted of cash flow statements, equity statements, statement of profit and loss, comprehensive income statement, consolidated statement of financial income and other relevant notes to accounts. The report provided by the auditor has helped to summarise the accounts of the organization and also the application of the accounting principles and standards that have been declared by the organization and its directors. The auditor has also ensured that the reports were in accordance to the Australian accounting standards and also that there were no obligations created against the Corporation Regulation Act, 2001 (White, 2015).

Management and auditor responsibilities

The basic function of the auditor is to analyze each and every aspect of the financial statements of the organization and prepare a report of it so that it can be assessed by the shareholders and investors in order to carry out the process of decision making. The basic function of the management of the organization is to prepare financial accounts in accordance with every rules and regulation with the use of true and fair means. The reports should be made in accordance with the Australian accounting standards so that the risk of material misstatement and errors can be decreased. The management should also try and test the abilities of the organization in relation to the going concern concept, corporate disclosure and the effectiveness of the business operations carried out by it.

The auditor's responsibility is not only limited to providing reasonable assurance about the actions of the management but also it needs to assess risk, make future Plans and convey an internal control mechanism to the organization. However, the major objective of the task conducted by the auditor is to find any kind of material misstatement present in the financial statements of the organization. Any kind of fraud or other should be accompanied by evidence that can conclude the opinion of the auditor. The auditing team is required to evaluate and examine the internal control efficiency, the auditing standards accepted by the organization, the professional attitude of the management and any third party relations that may cause the fairness and truthfulness of the financial statement to be hampered for completion of the corporate reporting task.

Subsequent events

These events relate to the activities that happen after the preparation of the report but before finalizing the audit reports by signing them. The materiality of the event decides whether it should be recorded in the reports or not. It has been observed in the case of Woolworths Limited that there are been subsequent events which were very important to be represented in the reports of the accounts of the organization.

The company was going to enter into an agreement stated as “share sale agreement” after 26th June 2017. This was a much-elaborated agreement which comprised more than 20 master leasehold sites, 21 master freehold development sites and more than 40 freehold trading sites that would help to recover the liabilities of the organization.

Termination of JVA was also noticed subsequently. Another event took place on 4th August 2017 when some of the company’s shares worth $250.8 million were transferred to a trust beneficiary.

True and fair view

It has been clearly stated in the industrial report that Woolworths Limited is one of the most renowned companies in the retail sector with more than 31 % of the market share and contributing 4.1 % of GDP to the Australian economy. In order to carry out the auditing process in an enhanced manner, the company of tried to introduce various new factors divided under key audit matters. These key audit matters have helped the auditors to judge the financial reports of the organization in a much-elaborated manner. All the changes that have been made in the key auditing factors are needed to be conveyed to the investors and shareholders so that they can carry out the process of decision making in the much-enhanced way. Therefore, it is very important for the organization to eliminate even the slightest risk or fraud measure that has been observed in the financial accounts of the organization. By using the key audit matters, elaborated estimation of data can be carried out which can further help to address the audit process.

Deloitte has been observed to work with the best and ethical techniques while preparing an audit report for the organization. The non-audit service that was provided by the audit committee to the organization was also very useful and also it didn't coincide with the independent status of the auditor. Hence, it can be stated that the audit process was carried out faithfully and the information presented was true and best of the knowledge.


After the clear analysis of all the financial statements of the organization and audit report, it was found that an unusual expense costing $10,617.40 million was not disclosed and also no notes were made in relation to it. Because of the high value of the expense, audit report should have contained information about it and also a note should have been made in its regard because of the nature and high percentage of expense. This can be doubted as an act of under-reporting of information and in the efficiency of an organization in the disclosure of information in relation to such expenses.

According to the laws, the auditor should be present in the General Meeting of the organization where he can be asked any type of queries intended from the uses of shareholders of the organization. The query in relation to the Note Number 6.5 of “subsequent events” can be cleared in such meetings. The capital losses that have been depicted in the report also need explanation. The reason behind the capital losses may be the capital gains that are to be generated in the future that may compensate for present losses. Hence it is very important for the auditor to provide an explanation for such an estimation of capital profits.

Overall, it can be stated that the reports have provided a true and fair picture of the organization's management and corporate governance structure. The reports were transparent in nature which fulfils the desire of the organization and its shareholders. Further explanations and discussions will only improve the quality of the reports and may remove doubts of the investors and shareholders.


Alvarez, F. (2013). Financial statement analysis. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Cochran, C. (2017). Internal auditing in plain English. Chico, California: Paton Professional.

Dayananda, D., Irons, R., Harrison, S., Herbohn, J., & Rowland, P. (2008). Capital Budgeting: Financial Appraisal of Investment Projects.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Easton, P. (2010). Financial statement analysis & valuation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Business Publishers.

Elaine, H. (2015). International financial statement analysis. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Fridson, M., & Alvarez, F. (2012). Financial Statement Analysis: A Practitioner's Guide. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Girard, S. L. (2014). Business finance basics. Pompton Plains, NJ: Career Press.

Ittelson, T. (2009). Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports. Franklin Lakes, N.J.: Career Press.

Johnstone, K. (2014). Auditing. Mason, OH: Cengage.

Loughran, M. (2010). Auditing For Dummies? Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

McLaney, E., & Adril, D. P. (2016). Accounting and Finance: An Introduction. United Kingdom: Pearson.

Menifield, C. E. (2014). The Basics of Public Budgeting and Financial Management: A Handbook for Academics and Practitioners. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.

Parrino, R. (2013). Fundamentals of Corporate Finance, 2nd Edition. Milton: John Wiley & Sons.

Penman, S. (2012). Financial statement analysis and security valuation. Boston, Mass.: McGraw-Hill.

Seitz, N., & Ellison, M. (2009). Capital Budgeting and Long-Term Financing Decisions. New York: Thomson Learning.

Siciliano, G. (2015). Finance for Nonfinancial Managers. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Simpson, M. (2012). Financial accounting. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.

Skonieczny, M. (2012). The basics of understanding financial statements. Schaumburg, Ill.: Investment Publishing.

Strathern, M. (2010). Audit cultures: anthropological studies in accountability, ethics and the academy. London: Routledge.

White, G. (2015). Solutions manual to accompany The analysis and use of financial statements. New York: Wiley.

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