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Remote auditing – professional scepticism, fraud and error

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) resulted in the rapid adoption of remote working, including remote auditing techniques. This extract from the Audit and Assurance Faculty Know-How guide 'Remote auditing in practice' focuses on professional scepticism, fraud and error.

Pressure on auditors not to 'make the situation worse' for struggling companies may come at the same time as audit risk is heightened and the control environment is stressed. This is likely to be compounded by the need for auditors to ask particularly difficult questions of management, and to perform the audit differently.  

Professional scepticism dictates that auditors should substantiate claims by management, not simply accept what they are told at face value, nor only look for evidence which corroborates judgements made by management. The risk of fraud and error in financial reporting may be heightened.