View Full Version : Standard on Auditing-520 (SA-520)- “Analytical Procedures”
Auditing and Assurance Standard (AAS) 14, “Analytical Procedures”
The following is the text of Auditing and Assurance Standard (AAS) 14*, “Analytical Procedures”, issued by the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. This Standard should be read in conjunction with the “Preface to the Statements on Standard Auditing Practices”, issued by the Institute.
Introduction of Standard on Auditing 520
1. The purpose of this Auditing and Assurance Standard (AAS) is to establish standards on the application of analytical procedures during an audit.
2. The auditor should apply analytical procedures at the planning and overall review stages of the audit. Analytical procedures may also be applied at other stages.
3. “Analytical procedures” means the analysis of significant ratios and trends, including the resulting
investigation of fluctuations and relationships that are inconsistent with other relevant information or
which deviate from predicted amounts.
Nature and Purpose of Analytical Procedures
4. Analytical procedures include the consideration of comparisons of the entity's financial information with, for example:
♦ Comparable information for prior periods.
♦ Anticipated results of the entity, such as budgets or forecasts.
♦ Predictive estimates prepared by the auditor, such as an estimation of depreciation charge for the
♦ Similar industry information, such as a comparison of the entity's ratio of sales to trade debtors with industry averages, or with other entities of comparable size in the same industry.
5. Analytical procedures also include consideration of relationships:
♦ Among elements of financial information that would be expected to conform to a predictable pattern based on the entity's experience, such as gross margin percentages.
♦ Between financial information and relevant non-financial information, such as payroll costs to
number of employees.
6. Various methods may be used in performing the above procedures. These range from simple
comparisons to complex analyses using advanced statistical techniques. Analytical procedures may be applied to consolidated financial statements, financial statements of components (such as subsidiaries, divisions or segments) and individual elements of financial information. The auditor's choice of procedures, methods and level of application is a matter of professional judgement.
7. Analytical procedures are used for the following purposes:
(a) to assist the auditor in planning the nature, timing and extent of other audit procedures;
(b) as substantive procedures when their use can be more effective or efficient than tests of details
in reducing detection risk for specific financial statement assertions; and
(c) as an overall review of the financial statements in the final review stage of the audit.
Analytical Procedures in Planning the Audit
8. The auditor should apply analytical procedures at the planning stage to assist in understanding the business and in identifying areas of potential risk. Application of analytical procedures may indicate aspects of the business of which the auditor was unaware and will assist in determining the nature, timing and extent of other audit procedures.
9. Analytical procedures in planning the audit use both financial and non-financial information, for
example, the relationship between sales and square footage of selling space or volume of goods sold.
Analytical Procedures as Substantive Procedures
10. The auditor's reliance on substantive procedures to reduce detection risk relating to specific
financial statement assertions may be derived from tests of details, from analytical procedures, or from a combination of both. The decision about which procedures to use to achieve a particular audit
objective is based on the auditor's judgement about the expected effectiveness and efficiency of the
available procedures in reducing detection risk for specific financial statement assertions.
11. The auditor will ordinarily inquire of management as to the availability and reliability of information needed to apply analytical procedures and the results of any such procedures performed
by the entity. It may be efficient to use analytical data prepared by the entity, provided the auditor is satisfied that such data is properly prepared.
12. When intending to perform analytical procedures as substantive procedures, the auditor will need
to consider a number of factors such as the:
♦ Objectives of the analytical procedures and the extent to which their results can be relied upon
♦ Nature of the entity and the degree to which information can be disaggregated, for example,
analytical procedures may be more effective when applied to financial information on individual
sections of an operation or to financial statements of components of a diversified entity, than when
applied to the financial statements of the entity as a whole.
♦ Availability of information, both financial, such as budgets or forecasts, and non-financial, such as
the number of units produced or sold.
♦ Reliability of the information available, for example, whether budgets are prepared with sufficient
♦ Relevance of the information available, for example, whether budgets have been established as
results to be expected rather than as goals to be achieved.
♦ Source of the information available, for example, sources independent of the entity are ordinarily
more reliable than internal sources.
♦ Comparability of the information available, for example, broad industry data may need to be
supplemented to be comparable to that of an entity that produces and sells specialised products.
♦ Knowledge gained during previous audits, together with the auditor's understanding of the effectiveness of the accounting and internal control systems and the types of problems that in prior
periods have given rise to accounting adjustments.
Analytical Procedures in the Overall Review at the End of the Audit
13. The auditor should apply analytical procedures at or near the end of the audit when forming an overall conclusion as to whether the financial statements as a whole are consistent with the auditor's knowledge of the business. The conclusions drawn from the results of such procedures are intended to corroborate conclusions formed during the audit of individual components or elements of the financial statements and assist in arriving at the overall conclusion as to the reasonableness of the financial statements. However, in some cases, as a result of application of analytical procedures, the auditor may identify areas where further procedures need to be applied before the auditor can form an overall conclusion about the financial statements.
Extent of Reliance on Analytical Procedures
14. The application of analytical procedures is based on the expectation that relationships among
data exist and continue in the absence of known conditions to the contrary. The presence of these
relationships provides audit evidence as to the completeness, accuracy and validity of the data
produced by the accounting system. However, reliance on the results of analytical procedures will
depend on the auditor's assessment of the risk that the analytical procedures may identify relationships as expected when, in fact, a material misstatement exists.
15. The extent of reliance that the auditor places on the results of analytical procedures depends on
the following factors:
(a) materiality of the items involved, for example, when inventory balances are material, the auditor
does not rely only on analytical procedures in forming conclusions. However, the auditor may rely solely on analytical procedures for certain income and expense items when they are not individually material;
(b) other audit procedures directed toward the same audit objectives, for example, other procedures
performed by the auditor in reviewing the collectibility of accounts receivable, such as the review
of subsequent cash receipts, might confirm or dispel questions raised from the application of analytical procedures to an ageing schedule of customers' accounts;
(c) accuracy with which the expected results of analytical procedures can be predicted. For example, the auditor will ordinarily expect greater consistency in comparing gross profit margins from one period to another than in comparing discretionary expenses, such as research or advertising; and
(d) assessments of inherent and control risks, for example, if internal control over sales order processing is weak and, therefore, control risk is high, more reliance on tests of details of transactions and balances than on analytical procedures in drawing conclusions on receivables
may be required.
16. The auditor will need to consider testing the controls, if any, over the preparation of information
used in applying analytical procedures. When such controls are effective, the auditor will have greater confidence in the reliability of the information and, therefore, in the results of analytical procedures. The controls over non-financial information can often be tested in conjunction with tests of accountingrelated controls. For example, an entity in establishing controls over the processing of sales invoices may include controls over the recording of unit sales. In these circumstances, the auditor could test the controls over the recording of unit sales in conjunction with tests of the controls over the processing of sales invoices.
Investigating Unusual Items
17. When analytical procedures identify significant fluctuations or relationships that are inconsistent with other relevant information or that deviate from predicted amounts, the auditor should investigate and obtain adequate explanations and appropriate corroborative evidence.
18. The investigation of unusual fluctuations and relationships ordinarily begins with inquiries of
management, followed by:
(a) corroboration of management's responses, for example, by comparing them with the auditor's
knowledge of the business and other evidence obtained during the course of the audit; and
(b) consideration of the need to apply other audit procedures based on the results of such inquiries,
if management is unable to provide an explanation or if the explanation is not considered adequate.
This Auditing and Assurance Standard becomes operative for all audits relating to accounting periods beginning on or after April 1, 1997.