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Posted: December 28th, 2022
Level 7 Module 2022/23
International Auditing and Assurance
Coursework Task 2 of 2
It is now 30 November 2022 and you are part of your firm’s team engaged on the audit of the financial statements of Valu Limited (Valu) for the year ended 30 September 2022.The company is a new client of your firm and the following points are pertinent to the audit.
1) Valu is a UK retailer with a chain of shops selling jewellery, gem stones and watches.
In its early years of trading, the company profited well from the buoyant conditions in the UK economy. In more recent years, it has bucked the trend of poor performance by high street retailers, by combining very effective discounted purchasing activity with some excellent marketing strategies.
2) It was founded in 2002 by Able and Cassie Valu, a married couple who are joint Chief Executive Officers and two of the four directors of Valu .They each own 35% of the company’s share capital. The remaining 30% is owned by several other individuals who aren’t employees of Valu and are unrelated to Able and Cassie. In 2019 Valu paid £1,200,000 for a minority shareholding in an overseas company called Bliss Ltd, a holiday villa and camping site operator. Up to the time of Valu purchasing its shares and through 2019 Bliss Ltd was profitable, but since then it has incurred very heavy trading losses and continues to operate in an extremely competitive market place in difficult market conditions.
3) Your firm was appointed as the company’s auditors in March 2022 following a loss of confidence by its directors in the previous auditors. This was because in the first instance, contrary to the directors’ EXPECTATIONS the previous auditors had refused the directors’ request to design and install a new computer – based inventory control system to improve internal control over the company’s inventory, and in the second, the auditors had failed to detect a fraud perpetrated against Valu by the company’s finance and operations directors, acting in collusion and they wouldn’t accept that they should have detected the fraud . The fraud resulted in over-reimbursements of business travelling expenses to the operations director during the year ended 30 September 2021. The consequent overpayments and losses by Valu amounted to £7,916, and Able and Cassie only became aware of the fraud when they were approached by a loyal employee who became suspicious about the directors’ actions when he heard them chatting about the company’s expenses reimbursement policy; and though both directors were dismissed for gross misconduct in this respect, no action was taken to recover the monies because the ( now former) operations director is Able’s sister.
Discovering that the company had been defrauded by their fellow directors (since replaced) was a shock for Able and Cassie in that they had fully EXPECTED the auditors to detect the fraud. It was also a chastening experience which made them think carefully about the way the company was being run. They’d thought the auditors had been negligent in not detecting the fraud and reflected about other possible problems at the company not picked up by the auditors which could result in further damage, issues and losses for the company .Therefore, they resolved to move forward with a new approach to the way they governed the company and part of this new approach was to find a new firm of external auditors with the directors’ EXPECTATION of working with the firm in an informal directors/ external auditor working partnership; working closely together for the greater good and future prosperity of Valu. Following a series of pitches to the company’s directors for the appointment, by three audit firms including your own, your firm was engaged as the company’s new auditors. One of the directors’ EXPECTATIONS of your firm is that it will be more vigilant than the previous auditors when carrying out its audit procedures in order to be and so be absolutely certain it will detect any fraudulent acts perpetrated against Valu by any of its directors and employees.
4) When chatting to your firm’s audit manager in March 2022, Able and Cassie commented that they fully understood that for most company audits, generally there is a need for auditors to adopt a suspicious approach when obtaining whatever audit evidence they obtain to meet objectives, and to have zero trust in directors. And, while to some extent they EXPECTED your firm would adopt this approach given the earlier incidence of fraud by Valu’s two former directors; they also had EXPECTATIONS that as they are the joint majority shareholders in Valu, your firm should place a high degree of trust in the reliability of any written and verbal representations made personally by themselves when obtaining audit evidence. Able and Cassie both confirmed that every business decision they make is for the benefit of Valu limited, and they needed and EXPECTED your firm to accept they would always be totally honest in their dealings with your firm during the audit of their company’s financial statements. In later discussions with the audit manager, the new financial director ( Winston Jones ) stressed all the directors felt that Able and Cassie’s EXPECTATIONS in this respect were justified because Able and Cassie have nothing to gain by being untruthful when communicating with external auditors; and such an approach would mean your firm could spend less time obtaining audit evidence and allow a consequent reduction in the audit fee. Similarly
– and again something which Winston discussed with your firm’s audit partner prior to the commencement of the audit – Able and Cassie have never been able to understand the need for Valu’s external auditor to have any concerns about the business risk profile of the company. He mentioned that the directors were totally aware of the need to identify and mitigate business risks, and in view of this Able has maintained a register of business risks faced by Valu. Compiled, over the last 20 years and reviewed and updated regularly following discussions with his co-directors, senior employees and external consultants; the computer-based register contains details of significant business risks including the likelihood of the linked threat of an event or activity which will adversely impact Valu, the potential effect on the company’s day – to – day operations at both overall and branch shop level and the measures in place to avoid or reduce the risk. Given this situation, the directors have confirmed their EXPECTATION that your firm will not need to get involved in the identification and the potential effect of business risks faced by Valu, because the company doesn’t need any advice in this area – they just want your firm to focus on auditing the company’s financial statements and ignore business risk issues generally. With this in mind Able commented that he didn’t EXPECT your firm to need access to the register of business risks. That said, Able and Cassie EXPECT your firm’s audit partner to attend the company’s board of directors’ meetings and be part of Valu’s executive decision making process with regard to the company’s strategy to improve profitability and to improve and monitor the company’s system of internal control.
5) The company has ten branch shops located in large cities throughout the UK. Each of the branches employs a manager who is assisted by one full – time and one part-time (Saturday only) assistant. Staff at each branch are entitled to individual wages bonuses based on monthly sales. Approximately 45 % of the company’s sales are made to individual shoppers at the branches with about 35 % coming from its internet sales operation and approximately 20% from wholesale exports to various independent boutique design jewellery shops located in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
Conversations with Able revealed that since the UK left the European Union, exports to these countries have decreased significantly so he has been looking to other export markets, including the USA and Indonesia to try to replace the lost sales.
6) Valu purchases most of its merchandise (goods for resale) from Africa, Sri Lanka and China. As a consequence of this, the vast majority of its purchase invoices are invoiced to the company in foreign currency. The company pays the invoices in foreign currency, by bank credit transfer.
7). In May 2022, with a view to improving the company’s gross profit margins – by selling in – house crafted jewellery, the company issued extra share capital to all existing shareholder such that all owned the same proportion of the company’s shares before and after the issue; and Able and Cassie also made a long-term loan of £80,000 to Valu. They re-mortgaged their home to put their monies into the company. The additional share capital and loan financed the setting up of a jewellery workshop operation. This involved converting the upper floor accommodation at two of the branch shops into workshops, and employing four jewellery makers at each to make nine- carat gold rings, gemstone necklaces and bracelets from imported raw material components. The workshops were opened on 1 July 2022, with each of the eight jewellery makers attracting a gross salary cost of £40,000 per annum for Valu from that date. Both workshops have expensive fittings and security features and are kitted out with brand new expensive high technology cutting, colouring and fixing equipment – some items of which are high value, very small, transportable and easily damaged. Additionally, contracts were signed with three separate independent jewellery making companies – each with their own workshop premises – to produce hand-crafted jewellery for Valu. The contracts include a clause that raw materials paid for by Valu will be delivered to the dealers for safekeeping, held as inventory on behalf of Valu and used in the production of merchandise but at all times the inventory remains the property of Valu, with Valu retaining all legal rights of ownership. Cassie has estimated that in terms of value, at any one time approximately fifteen per cent of Valu’s total inventory is held in the independent jewellers’ and company workshops.
8) Able and Cassie, all branch managers and five head office staff employees are each provided with a company car. Cassie mentioned in a meeting with the audit manager that all branch staff had received an annual increase on their basic pay of 3% as compared to the previous year.
9) Winston Jones is the son of Cassie’s best friend. With the support of two full – time and one part-time accounts assistant, he prepares the company’s monthly and annual financial statements using a highly complex computer-based accounting system which was installed in February 2022 and ran live with effect from 1 March 2022, fully replacing the old outdated system from that date. Winston previously worked as an audit assistant at your firm. He is a friendly individual age 29 years, who left school with 3 Advance Level certificates including one in Accountancy. However, he lacks drive and ambition as evidenced by his very limited progress with his professional accountancy exams (ACCA), after ten years of trying. Disillusioned by this, and attracted by the prospect of being provided with a company car, in January 2022 Winston commenced employment with Valu as its Financial Director. Cassie and Able consider Winston to be a charming and delightful young man and certainly someone who will always work in the best interest of Valu. Your firm was sorry to see him leave because he was a reasonably effective employee despite possessing a rather lazy approach to keeping up-to-date with developments in accounting standards.
10) During a conversation with Cedric Candod who is a member of your firm’s audit team, one of Valu’s accounts assistants remarked:
“The idea that your audit team use assertions when auditing our company’s financial statements is silly. You’re just auditing the figures disclosed in the financial statements to make sure there’s no mistakes of any kind in them, aren’t you? Plain and simple – you’re not bothered about anything else disclosed in the financial statements, it’s the figures you focus on and any mistakes in them isn’t it – yes any mistakes by error or omission in the figures irrespective of nature and size ? To say you’re using
‘assertions’ confuses people with jargon and makes an audit sound more difficult than it really is – the only time auditors are interested in assertions is when they make them in their auditor’s report about the honesty of the directors and the company’s performance. That’s the purpose of the auditor’s report isn’t it – to make assertions about these two points and give confidence to a company’s shareholders that the directors of the company have carried out all of their responsibilities – whatever they are – efficiently? “.
11) In March 2022, Valu commenced a refurbishment (improvement), repairs and decoration programme of its branch shops, using a national firm of shopfitters to carry out the work. The objective of the programme is to remodel each shop both internally and externally to attract more customers and generally improve the “customers’ shopping experience”. To date, works on four of the company’s shops has been completed and three others are in the midst of being remodelled. Expenditure incurred on the programme is considered to be material in the context of the company’s financial statements.
12) In August 2022, when discussing the forthcoming audit with your firm’s audit partner, Able commented:
“we appreciate your firm’s employees will be working hard to complete the audit and, as you’ve mentioned, on occasion some of the audit team will be working 12-hour days to complete their audit procedures in good time ahead of the date by which we’ve agreed you’ll issue your auditor’s report . So, as a token of the directors’ appreciation of this, we intend giving every member of the audit team a Valu Jewellery Voucher, with a value of £140, which can be used to purchase any jewellery from our online offering before 30 April 2023. We hope you and your audit team will accept these gifts in the working together spirit in which they’re offered “
13) In July 2022, a shopper was badly injured when visiting a branch shop being refurbished, because a recently erected internal wall collapsed and fell onto her. As a consequence of her injuries it is likely that she will have to endure a prolonged unpaid absence from her place of work. So, she has lodged a claim for compensation against Valu in the sum of £90,000 for negligence on its part in not ensuring adequate safety measures were in place to protect her as a customer at the shop. The company’s legal adviser, Mel Moranko is Able’s cousin and a partner specialising in company acquisitions and mergers at a medium sized firm of solicitors. Mel supports Valu’s view that the company was not negligent, but has informed Valu’s directors that a without prejudice/ no blame compensation offer of £35,000 to settle the claim is probably the best way to bring the matter to swift expeditious closure and so avoid potentially higher further litigation costs in defending against the claim. She has entered into detailed correspondence with the claimant’s firm of solicitors in this regard, and has provided Valu with copies of all correspondence between the two firms. The claimant’s solicitors are adamant that Valu was negligent and are threatening to commence court proceedings imminently against the company unless their client’s claim is paid. However, in line with the directors’ opinion and consistent with Mel’s advice, the company has not made any provision for the claim in its year-end financial statements. Winston, has told your firm that it’s the director’s decision entirely as to whether a provision should be made for the claim in Valu’s financial statements. He stated there is no accounting standard ruling that a provision should be made and the directors consider that actually making a provision in respect of the incident for any amount of damages is tantamount to accepting liability for the customer’s losses caused by her injuries, and will weaken the company’s defence if the claim reaches court. Able, Cassie and Winston believe they are acting in all shareholders’ interests in not including any provision and they’re confident the owners of the remaining 30% of Valu’s shares would fully understand and agree with them about this – even if the claim proceeds to court and the company loses the case.
14) The draft financial statements of Valu for the year ended 30 September 2022 report a retained profit for the year of £378,000 and profit before tax of £611,000, with all jewellery workshop revenue and capital costs being amalgamated with branch shop revenue and capital costs. The planning materiality threshold for the audit has been set at 5 % of Profit before Tax.
1. CRITICALLY explain with justifying rationale as to whether or not the EXPECTATIONS of Valu Limited’s directors are reasonable; in the context of external auditors’ responsibilities and duties generally with regard to :
a) The actions of the previous auditors in refusing to design and install a new computer– based inventory control system for Valu Limited and in not detecting the directors’ fraud; your firm’s vigilance to ensure fraud detection, and its audit approach when obtaining evidence.
b) The directors working closely in an informal working partnership with your firm for the greater good and prosperity of Valu Limited, your firm placing a high degree of trust in the verbal and written representations of the directors, ignoring business risks faced by the company and attendance by your firm’s audit partner at Valu Limited’s board of directors’ meetings.
2. State with your reasoning how your firm’s audit partner should have responded to the directors’ offer to provide every member of your firm’s audit team with a Valu Jewellery Voucher worth £140.
3. Comment CRITICALLY with justifying rationale, as to the validity of the remarks made by the accounts assistant to Cedric Candod, about the interest in and use of assertions by the audit team, the auditor’s interest in mistakes in the financial statements, the purpose of the auditor’s report and the confidence it gives a company’s shareholders about its directors.
4. For this requirement you must ANSWER ONLY (i) or(ii)
(i) Identify any audit concerns arising from the fact that a new computerbased accounting system has been implemented by Valu Ltd, with effect from 1 March 2022 and state the effect that this should have on your firm’s’ approach to auditing the company’s financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2022.
((ii) Identify and justify in full, any concerns your firm should have in connection with the absence from the financial statements of a provision for a liability in respect of the compensation claim by customer injured at a branch shop. You must explain how this should affect your firm’s approach to this part of the audit, identifying audit procedures your team should carry out taking into account the view held by Valu Limited’s directors.
5. Identify FIVE situations from which a business risks arises for Valu Limited which your firm would need to consider when assessing the inherent risks attached to the financial statements of Valu Limited for the year ended 30 September 2022. For each risk situation identified state the business risk, and explain the linked inherent risk – being the audit concern(s) with regard to its effect on the company’s financial statements.
6. Carry out an analytical review of the Summary Financial Statement of Valu Limited (in the appendix below) for the year ended 30 September 2022 and identify any FIVE specific areas which would cause particular audit concern about material mis- statement. For each area identified explain the nature of the concern and support your comments with relevant calculations as appropriate.
(Total 100 marks)*
(Note you should not mention the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in your responses to the above requirements).
*The maximum total mark achievable for this assignment is restricted to 100 % , and your mark will count towards the total mark awarded for the International Audit and Assurance Module . The maximum available mark shown against each requirement
(1,2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ) above will be awarded only to outstanding answers – demonstrating exceptional focus and understanding of the pertinent issues
At question 4, learning material we have covered in class and recommended reading should enable you to respond knowledgeably at (i) although further research may be of benefit. At ( ii ), in addition to the learning material and recommended reading you may also need to refer to the accounting standard covering provisions to improve your knowledge about this specific area. Note, if you have a bachelor’s degree in accounting the learning material in it should have covered accounting for provisions. Finally, just to confirm that the problems and judgement decisions at (i ) and ( ii ) are different but equally challenging and both need careful thought when planning a response .
You MUST show the total word count for each requirement at the end of your answer to each requirement and show the overall total word count at the end of your submission. You must also show the Turntin originality % on the front cover of your submission.
Word count guide indicator (Excluding figures/ workings/ calculations)
Requirement 1 1,400 words
Requirement 2 160 words
Requirement 3 620 words
Requirement 4 290 words
Requirement 5 500 words
Requirement 6 430 words
TOTAL 3,400 words (absolute maximum – no extra allowed)
You will need to exercise good writing skills throughout your submission to meet the word count requirement. The requirement is set to achieve balance between allowing a display of knowledge across a range of topics and restricting word count in line with fair assessment regulations.
You may choose to write a different number (less / more) than the indicated number of words for any requirement and use any words saved to answer another requirement.
Say you decide to write only 320 words to answer requirement 6. Words saved total is 110 (430- 320)
You then decide to use 60 of the saved words above to answer requirement 1 and 50 to answer requirement 4
So, the total number of words available to answer requirement 1 is 1460 (1400 + 60) and the total number of words to available to answer requirement 4 is 340 (290 +50)
Note, the nature of the above scenario and requirements mean that there may be a need for occasional overlap (repetition of the same knowledge) in your answers to some of the requirements. To avoid wasting words, if this need to overlap does occur you should simply make brief reference to the same point raised in the earlier response ( i.e.do not explain again ). Any words used to reference in this way do not count towards the word limit. Note too, marks will be awarded once only where knowledge is repeated in your submission.
referenced in accordance with guidelines on academic referencing use APA 7
Summary Financial Statements
£’000 30-09-22 30-09-21 30-09-20 30-09-19 30-09-18
( Draft ) (Audited ) (Audited) (Audited) (Audited)
Sales 5,857 5,276 5,097 4,878 4,781
Cost of Goods Sold 2,289 2,491 2,288 2,291 2,162
Branch Shop / Wages and Salaries 1.032 921 896 861 820
Depreciation Branch Shop Assets 185 71 69 60 116
Other Branch Shop Costs 196
63 60 57 58
Gross Profit 2, 155 1,730 1,784 1,609 1,625
Head Office Salaries 744 736 704 677 646
Directors’ Remuneration 485 430 410 350 385
Depreciation 56 59 54 60 58
Loss (Profit ) on Disposal of Assets 76 14 7 (42) (16)
Other Head Office Expenses 123 114 121 168 132
Profit before interest 671 377 488 396 420
Interest paid 60 28 33 36 40
Profit before tax 611 349 455 360 380
Taxation 183 105 137 108 114
Profit after tax 428 244 318 252 266
Dividends 50 60 60 60 60
Retained profit for period 378 184 258 192 206
STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION 30-9-22 30-9-21 30-9-20 30-9-19 30-9-18
£000 (Draft) (Audited ) (Audited (Audited (Audited)
Non- Current Assets : Tangible 2,306 1,425 1,266 829 1,285
Investments – Shares in overseas company 1, 200 1,200 1,200 1,200 –
Current assets : Inventory 1,049 701 626 718 746
Trade Receivables 445 214 178 247 62
Other Receivables 21 7 32 16 10
Bank and Cash 18 21 242 72 528
Total Current Assets 1,533 943 1,078 1,053 1,346
Creditors payable within 12 months :
Bank Loan – Secured 90 100 100 100 100
Bank Overdraft – Secured 346 `128 – – –
Trade Payables 621 477 426 274 231
Other Payables (incl. taxation) 343 262 201 149 163
Total Current Liabilities 1,400 967 727 523 494
Net current assets/(liabilities) 133 (24) 351 530 852
Long-term Bank Loans – Secured
Long-term Directors’ Loan – Unsecured 610 80 530 730 930
Provisions for Liabilities & Charges – – 200 – –
Total assets, less liabilities 2,949 2,071 1,887 1,629 1,437
Issued Ordinary Share Capital – Ordinary £1 shares 1,100 600 600 600 600
Revenue Reserves – Retained Profits 1,849 1,471 1,287 1,029 837
Total equity 2,949 2,071 1,887 1,629 1,437
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