The Significance and Objectives of Source Documents in Audit Investigation

The Significance and Objectives of Source Documents in Audit Investigation

The Significance and Objectives of Source Documents in Audit Investigation


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Chapter one on The Significance and Objectives of Source Documents in Audit Investigation



Every business entity, be it profitable or non profitable, have goals and objectives for which they were established example, most liability companies are established for profit optimization and charitable or non-profit organizations, example, government parastatates reestablished to subsidize costs to the governed. However, its pertinent to note here that whether upon profitable or non profitable basis, its relevant that accounting records must be maintained Accounting is broadly defined as a process of recording analyzing and interpreting at business transactions in such a systematic and concise manners as to give full and detailed explanation to related parties who are interested in the financial statement. In every business organizations, it’s the duty of the chief accountant to keep records of all business transactions of the organization.  However if thus records must be kept, it must follow norms principles, conventions and standards et out by various professional accounting bodies.  In Nigeria, the Nigeria accounting standard board (NASB) is in charge of this duty.

Subject to the foregoing, section 357 of the company and allied matters decree,. Makes it mandatory for every limited liability company to appoint an Auditor to examine its accounts. This now brings us to the question, who is an auditor? With reference to Walter N. Bigg, he sees an auditor as a person appointed by the directors (Shareholder authorize the directors to appoint) of a company to examine its books of account and stake whether it gives a true and fair view of the financial position of the entity and also see that there is compliance with statute and that accounting standard are strictly adhered to.  In the light of the above, the auditor should be a professional and used in the accounting field, with high integrity profile and must be a member of a recognized professional body and must be licensed to practice.  In Nigeria today, the institute of chartered accountants Nigeria takes care of this.

If the auditor as a professional is aware of the fact that his work is relied upon by related third parties, he owes it a duty to the reasonable care and skill in the discharge of his duty so as not to expose  himself to liabilities associated with negligence out of misfeasance proceedings. In the light of the above, for the auditor to accept assurances or to give in opinion, he must certify himself beyond all reasonable doubt that the presentation made to hi gives a true and fair view of the financial position of the entity as at the date of his audit. In these regards, he has access to all the company books and has unreserved rights as to question any maladministration, and gather all such information that would assist him in his work.  However, for the auditor to formally accept assurances, has basis of acceptance must be dependent on the availability of reliable source of documents and explanations produced by the entity in question.

At diverse levels of investigation Associate source documents checks and test are applied and evidences shown must be very authentic and satisfying. For example where bank balances are investigated, for the auditor to accept the stated figures, the certifying evidences should be, bank statements, check stamps, cash books, authorization vouchers, etc and all such reconciliation that would enable him accept the presented bank balances as shown on the account.  It is pertinent to note that the presentation and figures without satisfactory evidence, or source document is like a student graduating without a certificate and thus bring us to one of the objectives of this text. The investigation process involves making independent confirmation, example circulation of debtors, creditors and other related third parties to the entity in question.  Generally the process  of audit investigation is limited by so many factors which includes: cost consideration, time factors, unavailability of data.  Distance and prevailing socio-economic and political climate, in as much as thus factors are political climate, in as much as thus factors are highlighted an noted, the auditor must not fail to certify himself beyond all reasonably doubts.  This should be done by disclosing all lapses and discrepancies and must not fail to give qualifications when need be.  In all circumstances, he, the audit should try to avoid damages  associated with negligence as number of cases related to auditors liability has been recorded some of the case includes:  CAPRO industries Vickman (1989) see SCDH.  Group VMC farlance (1972) see JEP Fasteners Vmarts Bloom and Co (1981) also see security pacific business credit V peat MARWICK MAL & CO (1992).


This study is designed to examine the activities, responsibilities and legal framework under which the auditor in public practive operates. This is with the appraisal of a relatively small firm of charterd accountants in Nigeria today, Orji Chukwu and co.  with Head Office at 57 Chime Avenue New haven Enugu and other offices in Enugu state and Lagos.  Orji chukwu and Co is a relatively small firm of chartered accountants, founded in Nigeira in the year 1987 as a partnership between Orji Orji Chukwu L and Onyemelukwe C.  The firm today has offices in about three states of the federation and efforts are made to erect more offices in other stated.  In its early years, its main objectives, was centered on Financial management consultancy and audit and investigations, but today it has grown broth in size and scope it services rendered.  It is interesting to now that the following range of services are now available at Orji Chukwu and co-chartered accountants.
a.      Tax consultancy
b.      Information technique Enlargement
c.      Business advisory services.  


In each state, the firm is headed by
a.     Resident partner (a qualified accountant) and two assistants also qualified person
b.     4 senior audit staffs
c.     3 junior audit staff
d.     Corpers
e.     Industry trainees
f.      Office assistants. In the whole, the firm has about 32 staffs and efforts are onto recruit more employees to enable the firm meet with increasingly clientship.


As has been mentioned earlier, there is a legal dimension to the auditors job.  The duties of the auditors are outlines in section 360 (I) of the company and Allied Decree 1990).  Any contravention of the requirement of this section of the decree attracts a penalty.  Again the report of the auditor as an important document, not only, to the shareholders of a company, but also to related third parties.  Cases have been recorded, where auditors have been convicted by courts of law for negligence resulting from misfeasance proceedings.  Consequently, it is very important that an auditor should exercise due professional care in the discharge of his duties to minimize his exposure. The problems now faced by the auditors in public practice, is how they can attain this standard required of them, and also the needs of other parties who may be interested in the financial statements they are auditing. This study aims at striking out the various source documents. Tests, and checks to be applied during the investigation on process.  So as to guarantee the completeness of the audit investigation  and the financial report three-on.  


The objectives is to form an opinion as to whether
1.    The share capital has been properly classified and described in the account
2.    The reserved have been properly described and only applied for the purposes permitted by the company’s articles, or companies Act.
3.    Movements on reserves are correctly stated in accordance with the appropriate resolutions
4.    Dividends paid and payable are correctly states in accordance with he appropriate resolutions
5.    Directors remuneration is correctly disclosed in the accounts, and is in accordance with the articles, Board and members resolutions, or any service agreements, that is, (PPIB).
6.    The information required by companies act has been correctly recorded in the statutory books kept by the company for that purpose
7.    Resolutions are in accordance with the articles and the accounts reflect the decisions.  


a.    Make a summary of authorized and issue share capital
b.    Summarize the share holding
c.    Directors shareholding
d.    List of directors, secretaries and principal officers
e.    Annual returns summarized
f.     Extract from minutes, that is, directors meeting, AGM and other meetings
g.    Movement on reserves and profit and loss account
h.    Dividends proposed and paid, gross tax deducted
i.     Directors emoluments
j.     Preliminary expenses list.  


a.    Prepare a schedule showing opening and closing position and movement in share capital
b.    Vouch movement with minutes
c.    Bring up to date, the history of share capital in the paramount life
d.    Ensure that he authorized capital accord with he memorandum and articles of association or amendments where to (see registrars, registration of increase).


a.    Prepare statements of dividends paid and proposed showing payment lates
b.    Agree to appropriate board, AGM, resolution
c.    Ensue it is within statutory income guidelines limit
d.    Non compliance or (b) or (c) should be noted as points on account
e.    Check calculations, ensure that propsoed dividends are shown in accounts
f.     Verily that withholding tax has been accounted for to appropriate revenue authorities.
g.    Check total dividend paid in cash-book and posting to nominal ledger


a.    Examine register of directors and prepare list of directors and their share and debenture holdings, showing the corresponding holding for previous year
b.    Confirm new appointment and re-election of directors with board and members resolutions
c.    Verify that director’s qualifying shares are held in accordance with articles of association of the company
d.    Verify that the number of directors complied with the articles.
e.    Verify that section of CAMD related to age limit of directors are complied with
f.     Verify that returns of all changes in the appointment of directors and secretary have been made to the registrar of companies.


a.    Prepare a schedule reconciling opening and closing position of issuing share and debentures
i.     Preliminary expenses
ii.    Commission paid in respects of shares, or debentures
iii.   Discount issue of shares of debentures
b.    Vouch with invoices etc.  see that commission paid are in accordance with the terms of issue and section 54 of the companies Act 1968. Vouch entries in cahs book and normal ledger




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