Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS)

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GAAS: An Overview

Short for Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, GAAS refers to a set of systematic guidelines used by auditors while performing audits on companies’ financial statements, thus ensuring the consistency, accuracy, and verifiability of the actions and reports produced by an auditor.

As explained by Investopedia, by depending on GAAS, auditors can reduce the possibility of missing material info. The Generally Accepted Accounting Standards are categorized into the following sections:

1. General standards include:

i. The auditor must possess sufficient technical training as well as proficiency to carry out the audit.

ii. The auditor must sustain independence (in fact and appearance) in intellectual attitude in every matter associated with the audit.

iii. The auditor should essentially exercise due professional care during audit procedures and the preparation of reports. Moreover, the auditor should assiduously perform the audit and mention the misleading info, if any, in the reports.

2. Standards of fieldwork

i. The auditor should plan adequately the work besides properly supervising any assistants.

ii. The auditor must get sufficient understanding of the company and its environment, also counting its internal control, to evaluate material misstatement risk (either due to error or fraud), and designing the nature, timing, and extent of future audit procedures.

iii. The auditor should get sufficient audit evidence by carrying out audit procedures to give a reasonable basis for an opinion related to financial reports under audit.

3. Standards of reporting

i. It is essential for the auditor to report whether the financial statements are accessible in accordance with GAAP.

ii. The auditor should essentially recognize in the auditor’s report the circumstances wherein such principles have not been observed consistently in the current period as related to the previous period.

iii. On determining the informative disclosures not being reasonably adequate, the auditor should state the same in his report.

iv. It is essential for the auditor to either express an opinion on financial statements or state that an opinion cannot be expressed in the auditor’s report.

Each of these sections is beleaguered with the requirements that must be congregated by the auditor and the subject company.  

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