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Accounting report


You are senior auditor with the firm Tick, Hope & Co, Chartered Accountants. Your firm has been approached by X Pty Limited (X), a business involved in interior decorating, to take on its audit. The audit fee is substantial to your firm and you have been asked to complete the pre-engagement review before the engagement is undertaken. Your review has uncovered the following information:

•X was the company which conducted a major redecorating project for your firm. The job was completed last month at a fee of $4 million, $2.6 million of which is still outstanding.
•The managing partner holds a 16% interest in the contributed equity of X. He is not involved in any audits and will have no involvement in the audit of X.
•Discussions with the management of X have revealed that a condition of your acceptance of the audit will be the appointment of the audit partner to the board of directors. X’s management believes it gives the audit partner a better understanding of the business and therefore puts him /her in a better position to give consulting advice when required.
You have been in contact with the previous auditors of X and asked if there are any professional reasons why your firm should not accept appointment as auditor. They have given you the following reply:

Mr CA Candidate

Tick, Hope & Co

1st Floor, 1 Smith Street


Dear Sir

Re Audit of X Pty Limited

Further to your request for information on the audit of X Pty Limited we wish to supply the following information:

1.Breaches of the Corporation Act 2001
During the audit of the financial report one of our staff members became aware that the company had breached certain key provisions of the Corporations Act 2001. Whilst these provisions were not related to the preparation of the financial report or any other financial matters we felt it necessary to report these breaches to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. The client became difficult as a result of this and this was the main reason for the change of auditors.

1.Outstanding Fees
The client still owes this firm substantial fees in respect of the audit of its financial report. The client has approached us and told us that whilst it is able to pay the fee, it does not intend to do so as it feels our actions in respect of the Corporations Act 2001 breaches amount to a breach of contract. We are currently litigating this matter.

1.Accounting Standards
We found the company’s attitude to compliance with accounting standards unacceptable. However, we did not find it necessary to qualify the financial report in respect of any identified breaches given the immaterial nature of the amounts in question.


S Smith, Partner- Previous Auditors


Adapted from Roebuck, P & Martinov-Bennie, N 2010, Case studies in auditing and assurance, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, NSW, pp. 152-153.
Adapted from Source: This case was adapted by the authors from 1994 Advanced Audit module material in CA program of the ICAA and modified for current ASA, accounting professional and ethical standards and the Corporation Act 2001


1.Outline the importance of independence to the conduct of an audit.
2.What requirements in the Corporation Act 2001 and requirements in APES110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants are aimed at achieving independence within the audit relationship? Critically evaluate these requirements for audit engagement and auditor independence using a minimum of 4 journal articles.
3.Identify and evaluate the issues which should be considered when deciding to accept or reject the audit engagement (including the auditor independence issues raised).


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