The ethical standards of auditing are the independence, competence, conscientiousness, and objectivity of the auditor. In carrying out their professional duties, the auditor should be guided by the standards established by professional audit associations. It is also necessary to observe the following ethical principles: independence, honesty, objectivity, professional competence and integrity, confidentiality, and professional skepticism (Duska, et al., 2018). At the same time, the independence of the auditor implies the freedom of the auditor from influence, pressure, control, both from the audited entity and from any third parties. This independence means the absence of any financial or property interest of the auditor in the audited firm.
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Thus, in the case under consideration, Thorne should not accept the proposed audit fee arrangement, otherwise, it will be a manifestation of special interest. The auditor should plan and perform the audit with a degree of professional skepticism, being aware that circumstances that give rise to a sound distortion of the financial statements may exist. Exhibiting professional skepticism means that the auditor critically evaluates the weight of the audit evidence obtained and carefully examines any of it. The evidence may include those materials that contradict any documents or statements of management or casts doubt on the reliability of such documents or statements. For example, if the auditor determines that management is under pressure to meet certain profit expectations, there is risk management will overstate sales by inappropriately recognizing revenue from sales on terms that effectively exclude revenue recognition.
In performing inquiries and other audit procedures, the auditor should not assume that management is dishonest, but, at the same time, should not assume that management and those charged with governance are unquestionably honest. Thus, management’s statements do not replace the need to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to draw reasonable conclusions on which to base the auditor’s opinion. The auditor’s duty should not be limited only to meeting the interests of clients ordering and paying for their services. An independent audit contributes to the organization of normal relationships between economic entities, maintains the reliability of financial information, and raises the level of trust between market entities, thereby contributing to the formation of civilized relations.
Duska, R. F., Duska, B. S., & Kury, R. (2018). Accounting ethics (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons.