According to SA 230 “The auditor shall prepare audit documentation on a timely basis.” Now the question arises whether preparing documentation during the audit is more effective or we can document the matters once the audit is over. According to SA230 –“Documentation prepared after the audit work has been performed is likely to be less accurate than documentation prepared at the time such work is performed. Hence we can conclude that working papers shall be prepared during the audit process itself.
According to SA 230 The auditor shall prepare audit documentation that is sufficient to enable an experienced auditor, having no previous connection with the audit, to understand
(a) The nature, timing, and extent of the audit procedures performed to comply with the SAs and applicable legal and regulatory requirements; In documenting the nature, timing and extent of audit procedures performed, the auditor shall record:
• The identifying characteristics of the specific items or matters tested:- For example Cash Sales , to what extent checked, what was the sample size, what supportive documents were verified etc.
• Who performed the audit work and the date such work was completed; and
• Who reviewed the audit work performed and the date and extent of such review.
(b) The results of the audit procedures performed, and the audit evidence obtained; and
(c) Significant matters arising during the audit, the conclusions reached thereon, and significant professional judgments made in reaching those conclusions.
Some other important matters an auditor should document are as follows
(a) Discussions of significant matters with management, those charged with governance, and others, including the nature of the significant matters discussed and when and with whom the discussions took place.
(b) If the auditor identified information that is inconsistent with the auditor’s final conclusion regarding a significant matter, the auditor shall document how the auditor addressed the inconsistency.
(c) If, in exceptional circumstances, the auditor judges it necessary to depart from a relevant requirement in a SA, the auditor shall document how the alternative audit procedures performed achieve the aim of that requirement, and the reasons for the departure.
(d) If, in exceptional circumstances, the auditor performs new or additional audit procedures or draws new conclusions after the date of the auditor’s report, the auditor shall document the same.