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ISA 500: Audit evidence

The auditing standard ISA 500 explains what constitutes audit evidence in audits of financial statements and looks at the auditor's responsibilities in obtaining appropriate audit evidence. Find articles, books and online resources providing quick links to the standard, guidance and recent developments.

Full standard

ISA (UK) 500: Audit evidence (Updated January 2020)
As issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in January 2020.

The International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) issued by the FRC are based on the International Standards on Auditing issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and published by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

2018 Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements
Latest edition of the handbook published by the IAASB.

FRC guidance

Feedback Statement and Impact Assessment: Withdrawal of Practice Note 16
Withdrawal of Practice Note 16 issued by the FRC and updated in February 2011.

ICAEW guidance and support

Audit and Assurance Faculty
The faculty gives members a comprehensive package of essential guidance and technical advice. It produces a monthly newsletter with the latest thinking, technical bulletins and regulatory updates, and member-only events.

The audit of financial instruments for which audit evidence is hard to obtain
This detailed article considers a problem faced by auditors in firms of all sizes: the audit of financial instruments for which audit evidence is hard to obtain. It raises a lot of questions regarding FRS 102 to which it provides partial answers, and seeks to raise awareness of the issues in the hope of generating debate. Published in March 2015.

Not the Spanish Inquisition
How do you demonstrate the required level of professional scepticism in practice? This article from Audit & Beyond highlights the importance of critically assessing audit evidence and adequately documenting it. Published in June 2014.

From weakness to strength
Firms of all sizes can improve the quality of their audits by addressing some of the weaknesses that are most commonly found during monitoring visits. Two of the areas where QAD file reviews often find room for improvement are evidence and documentation. Article published in Audit & Beyond, February 2014.

Group dynamics
Group audits require thorough planning, efficient project management and effective two-way communication between group and component auditors. This article from Audit & Beyond offers some practical guidance on getting them right first time. Published in February 2014.


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Audit and assurance essentials for professional accountancy exams
Katharine Bagshaw (Wiley, 2013)
This primer on the key concepts of professional auditing and assurance syllabuses has a section on audit evidence. It outlines the definition of audit evidence, risk assessment procedures, what counts as sufficient and appropriate evidence and the types of audit procedure.

Frequently asked questions in ISAs
Steven Collings (Wiley, 2014)
This book addresses key areas where audit firms are failing which have been flagged up by audit regulators. It includes a chapter on what constitutes audit evidence and how it is gathered, with examples. The chapter covers the procedures generating audit evidence, the factors that determine whether evidence is sufficient and appropriate and the issue of recurring audits.

Articles and books in the Library collection

Selected books

Implementing GAAS 2015-16
Ian Connon and Helen MacNeil (Wolters Kluwer, 2016)
Implementing GAAS 2015-16 (Generally Accepted Auditing Standards) provides guidance on current UK auditing standards and the supporting Practice Notes, Bulletins and other material. The annually updated title contains examples, illustrations of recent reports and discussion of problem areas, including a chapter on audit evidence with example letters and forms.

The audit process: Principles, practice and cases
Iain Gray and Stuart Manson (Cengage Learning, 2011)
An introduction to the principles and practice of auditing, with a chapter explaining the search for audit evidence. It looks at the reliability of evidence and grades of audit evidence as well as the evidential requirements at each stage of the audit process.

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