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Auditors responsibility Governance of an Audit Client


You a member of the audit team at Miller Yates Howarth (MYH), an accounting firm with offices throughout the major regional centres of NSW and Queensland. Although a medium sized firm by national standards, MYH is the second largest regional accounting firm in Australia. Most of MYH’s audit clients are in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and property industries. All those industries are currently under pressure, either from a downturn in commodity prices or fierce competition from overseas competitors. MYH have now been appointed auditors of a community bank. Two audit directors have previous experience auditing in the banking sector and need to raise the awareness of staff with respect to the governance issues that have recently impacted the banking sector.


You have been asked to:

  • read audit standard ASA315 focusing on audit responsibility with respect to client governance,
  • read the web page on the ASIC report on the Commonwealth bank which details the governance issues raised by ASIC ( ), and
  • prepare a report that:
  • summarises and justifies the auditor’s responsibility to review the governance of an audit client, and
  • includes a table for use in the audit which explains the impact of each of the ASIC identified Commonwealth Bank governance issues on audit risk. The table should further explain why each of the ASIC recommendations would reduce audit risk. The template below should be used.
Issue Impact on raising Recommendation Reduction in audit risk
audit risk because of the

Question 2 (3%)

David Little is a senor working at MYH and is part of a 3-person team working on a client’s material loan application that needs to be finished and delivered to the partner on Monday morning. The team are working all weekend to get it finished. There is a strong incentive for the team members, as a well prepared and successful application will ensure that this major client is retained within the firm and raise the standing of the team members in the firm. On Sunday morning, one of the team, John, calls in sick. The rest of the team work harder and get the job done. When David get home exhausted on Sunday night, his flatmate says, “I saw John and his girlfriend at that new restaurant in town today, I thought he was working in your team.”What should David do? David doesn't think that it is fair if John gets the same kudos as the rest of the team when he did not put in the same amount of effort but he is David's friend. David and John play on the same touch football team and often spend time with each other after work and at weekends. Should David tell the partner or are there other options?


Outline the ethical issues and your decision using the American Accounting Association decision model. Use the following template to guide your answer:

American Accounting Association Model Decision making process
1. Determine the facts The facts are ...
2. Define the ethical issues
3. Identify the major principles, rules and values
4. Specify the alternatives
5. Compare values and alternatives
6. Assess the consequences
7. Make your decision

Question 3 (3%)


Explain the role that incorporation of auditors and a statutory cap on auditors’ liability have on the limitation of auditors’ liability.


This assessment task will work towards assessing the following learning outcomes:

  • be able to explain and critically evaluate influences on audit and assurance services including: Australian and international professional standards, statutory and common laws, regulatory bodies, and public expectations within a global market.
  • be able to exercise critical and reflective judgement and appreciate the value of ethical practice.
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