7 lousy reasons for putting documentation in your audit work papers.

There is a lot of stuff accumulated during the audit that doesn’t belong in the workpapers. Toss it.

Charles Hall provides a list of reasons things are sometimes included in the audit file that don’t belong there: Seven Reasons for Unneeded Work Papers.

Of course the list starts with SALY. Look at the last item:

7. We missed a fraud ten years ago, so we always include these work papers.

This is more of the same-as-last-year attitude. Fraud procedures (and all procedures for that matter) should reflect the current year audit risk assessment and planning.

To summarize Mr. Hall’s current and follow-on post, the bottom line is:

  • Your audit file should contain only items that support your report.
  • Your audit file should include all items needed to support your report.

Check out his last paragraph – it gives you a really good reason not to keep things in the audit file that don’t support the opinion. Action item: dump the complete g/l.

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