The objective of an audit is to express an opinion on financial statements.
To give the opinion about the financial statements, the auditor examines the financial statements to satisfy himself about the truth and fairness of financial position and operating results of the enterprise.
There are certain inherent limitations of audit examination.
It would not be possible for the auditor to discover all errors and frauds, in the financial statements due to the limitations of his checking.
Such discovery is not the main objective of the audit. In this light, the objectives of the audit can be categorized into (i) primary objectives and (ii) subsidiary objectives.
Primary Objectives of Audit
The main objectives of the audit are known as the primary objectives of the audit. They are as follows:
- Examining the system of internal check.
- Checking arithmetical accuracy of books of accounts, verifying posting, casting, balancing etc.
- Verifying the authenticity and validity of transactions.
- Checking the proper distinction between capital and revenue nature of transactions.
- Confirming the existence and value of assets and liabilities.
Verifying whether all the statutory requirements are fulfilled or not. Proving true and fairness of operating results presented by income statement and financial position presented by the balance sheet.
Subsidiary Objectives of Audit
These are such objectives which are set up to help in attaining primary objectives. They are as follows:
Detection and prevention of errors
Errors are those mistakes which are committed due to carelessness or negligence or lack of knowledge or without having vested interest. Errors may be committed without or with any vested interest.
So, they are to be checked carefully. Errors are of’ various types. Some of them are:
- Errors of principle.
- Errors of omission.
- Errors of commission.
- Compensating errors.
Detection and prevention of frauds
Frauds are those mistakes which are committed knowingly with some vested interest in the direction of top-level management.
Management commits frauds to deceive tax, to show the effectiveness of management, to get more commission, to sell a share in the market or to maintain the market price of share etc. Detection of fraud is the main job of an auditor.
Such frauds are as follows:
- Misappropriation of cash.
- Misappropriation of goods.
- Manipulation of accounts or falsification of accounts without any misappropriation.
Under-or over-valuation of stock
Normally such frauds are committed by the top level executives of the business. So, the explanation is given to the auditor also remains false.
So, an auditor should detect such frauds using skill, knowledge, and facts.
- To provide information to income tax authority.
- T6 satisfy the provisions of the Companies Act.
- To have a moral effect.