Do audit checklists have the ability to think? Is passing peer review the full measure of quality? Might we create a pretty audit file but miss a massive fraud?
Many of you have told me that our profession relies too heavily upon checklists, that we no longer think as we should.
So why do CPAs place so much reliance on audit forms? My guess is we do so for the following reasons:
- Efficiency (we believe that checklists are the plan; they need no tweaking)
- Compliance (we believe forms will ensure compliance with professional standards)
- Less need to supervise new staff (the checklists will tell them what to do)
- It’s a part of a firm’s quality control system (which is a good thing)
While forms are helpful, they can’t replace the auditor’s experience and ability to reason.Continue reading