Can auditor obtain audit evidence without applying audit procedures?

Primarily┬ábut not necessarily auditor gathers audit evidence by applying audit procedures on entity’s accounting system or through other sources of information. Auditor gathers evidence that is not only sufficient in quantity but also of appropriate quality. This in turns help auditor to reduce audit risk to such level that is appropriate to express opinion with positive expression. Audit evidence is simply an information used by the auditor to reach conclusions and based on such conclusions auditor forms opinion.

However, audit evidence does not necessarily have to be collected through application of procedure designed by auditor.

In following situations audit evidence will be extracted or obtained without any procedure applied specifically:

  • Information provided by outgoing auditor
  • Information from previous audit engagement with the same entity
  • Results inferred with the experience of auditor from similar types of audit engagements
  • Information provided by quality control framework of the firm
  • Information attracting auditor’s attention not during engagement work such newspapers etc

Above are few situations where auditor may use information as audit evidence if it is relevant to the audit. However, collecting information without procedure does not mean that auditor will accept any information as evidence. Therefore, auditor may still have to apply audit procedure to check the relevance and reliability of information before taken as audit evidence even if no procedure was applied to collect such information.

Therefore, its almost impossible to say that audit evidence is gathered without applying audit procedure. Because, receipt of information does not mean receipt of audit evidence in order to induct information as evidence auditor might still have to perform procedures. But on rare occasions we may find it possible for example in case information provided by quality control department of firm.