ACCA F8 考试：ANALYTICAL PROCEDURES (Part 2)
There are four elements that comprise distinct steps that are inherent in the process to using substantial analytical procedures:
Develop an independent expectation
The development of an appropriately precise, objective expectation is the most important step in effectively using substantive analytical procedures. An expectation is a prediction of a recorded amount or ratio. The prediction can be a specific number, a percentage, a direction or an approximation, depending on the desired precision.
The auditor should have an independent expectation whenever s/he uses substantive analytical procedures (ISA 520). The auditor develops expectations by identifying plausible relationships (eg between store square footage and retail sales, market trends and client revenues) that are reasonably expected to exist based on his knowledge of the business, industry, trends, or other accounts.
Define a significant difference (or threshold)
While designing and performing substantive analytical procedures the auditor should consider the amount of difference from the expectation that can be accepted without further investigation (ISA 520). The maximum acceptable difference is commonly called the ‘threshold’.
Thresholds may be defined either as numerical values or as percentages of the items being tested. Establishing an appropriate threshold is particularly critical to the effective use of substantive analytical procedures. To prevent bias in judgment, the auditor should determine the threshold while planning the substantive analytical procedures, ie before Step 3, in which the difference between the expectation and the recorded amount are computed.
The threshold is the acceptable amount of potential misstatement and therefore should not exceed planning materiality and must be sufficiently small to enable the auditor to identify misstatements that could be material either individually or when aggregated with misstatements in other disaggregated portions of the account balance or in other account balances.
The third step is the comparison of the expected value with the recorded amounts and the identification of significant differences, if any. This should be simply a mechanical calculation.
It is important to note that the computation of differences should be done after the consideration of an expectation and threshold. In applying substantive analytical procedures, it is not appropriate to first compute differences from prior-period balances and then let the results influence the ‘expected’ difference and the acceptable threshold.
Investigate significant differences and draw conclusions
The fourth step is the investigation of significant differences and formation of conclusions (ISA 520). Differences indicate an increased likelihood of misstatements; the greater the degree of precision, the greater the likelihood that the difference is a misstatement.
Explanations should be sought for the full amount of the difference, not just the part that exceeds the threshold. There is a chance that the unexplained difference may indicate an increased risk of material misstatement. The auditor should consider whether the differences were caused by factors previously overlooked when developing the expectation in Step 1, such as unexpected changes in the business or changes in accounting treatments.
If the difference is caused by factors previously overlooked, it is important to verify the new data, to show what impact this would have on the original expectations as if this data had been considered in the first place, and to understand any accounting or auditing ramifications of the new data.