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Such representations from management are part of the evidential matter the independent auditor obtains, but they are not a substitute for the application of those auditing procedures necessary to afford a reasonable basis for an opinion regarding the financial statements under audit.
Written representations from management ordinarily confirm representations explicitly or implicitly given to the auditor, indicate and document the continuing appropriateness of such representations, and reduce the possibility of misunderstanding concerning the matters that are the subject of the representations. For audits of fiscal years beginning before December 15, 2014, click here.] The auditor obtains written representations from management to complement other auditing procedures.
In some circumstances, evidential matter that can be obtained by the application of auditing procedures other than inquiry is limited; therefore, the auditor obtains written representations to provide additional evidential matter.
For example, if an entity plans to discontinue a line of business and the auditor is not able to obtain sufficient information through other auditing procedures to corroborate the plan or intent, the auditor obtains a written representation to provide evidence of management's intent.
If a representation made by management is contradicted by other audit evidence, the auditor should investigate the circumstances and consider the reliability of the representation made.
Based on the circumstances, the auditor should consider whether his or her reliance on management's representations relating to other aspects of the financial statements is appropriate and justified. For audits of fiscal years beginning before December 15, 2012, click here.] For example, if comparative financial statements are reported on, the written representations obtained at the completion of the most recent audit should address all periods being reported on.
For example, he or she may want to obtain written representations about the completeness of the minutes of the meetings of stockholders, directors, and committees of directors from the person responsible for keeping such minutes.
Materiality may be different for different representations.
A discussion of materiality may be included explicitly in the representation letter, in either qualitative or quantitative terms. For audits of fiscal years ending before November 15, 2007, click here.] The written representations should be addressed to the auditor.
Appendix A: Examples of Information and Sources of Information That May be Gathered During the Audit That Could Indicate That Related Parties or Relationships or Transactions with Related Parties Previously Undisclosed to the Auditor Might Exist The following auditing standard is not the current version and does not reflect any amendments effective on or after December 31, 2016.
The current version of the auditing standards can be found here.