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Partners the lead partner on an engagement is

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PartnersThe lead partner on an engagement is responsible for assuring that the audit isperformed in accordance with applicable professional standards. Accordingly, this individual isultimately responsible for adequate planning, supervision, and execution of the audit. Partnersare also responsible for maintaining primary contacts with clients. These contacts includediscussing with clients the objectives and scope of the audit work, resolving controversies thatmay arise as to how items are to be presented in the financial statements, and attending theclient’s stockholders’ meetings to answer any questions regarding the financial statements orthe auditors’ report. Other responsibilities of the partner include recruiting new staff members,
51supervising the professional staff, reviewing audit working papers, and signing the audit reports.The partnership level in a public accounting firm is comparable to that of topmanagement in an industrial organization. Executives at this level are concerned with the long-run well-being of the organization and of the community it serves. They should and docontribute important amounts of time to civic, professional, and educational activities in thecommunity.ManagersIn large public accounting firms, managers or supervisors perform many of the dutiesthat would be discharged by partners in smaller firms. A manager may be responsible forsupervising two or more concurrent audit engagements. This supervisory work includesreviewing the audit working papers and discussing with the audit staff and with the client anyaccounting or auditingproblems that may arise during the engagement. The manager isresponsible for determining the audit procedures applicable to specific audits and formaintaining uniform standards of fieldwork. Often, managers have the administrative duties ofcompiling and collecting the firm’s billings to clients.Familiarity with tax laws, as well as a broad and current knowledge of accounting theoryand practice, is an essential qualification for a successful manager. Like the partner, the auditmanager may specialize in specific industries or other areas of the firm’s practice.Senior AuditorsThe responsibility assumed by the senior “in-charge” auditor varies based on the size ofthe engagement. On a smaller engagement, the senior auditor may assume responsibility forplanning and conducting the audit and drafting the audit report, subject to review and approvalby the manager and partner. On larger engagements a senior auditor may assumeresponsibility for supervising some aspect of the audit. In conducting the audit, the senior willdelegate most audit tasks to assistants based on an appraisal of each assistant’s ability toperform particular phases of the work. One of the major responsibilities of the senior is on-the-job staff training. In assigning work to staff accountants, the senior should make clear the endobjectives of the particular audit operation. By assigning assistants a wide variety of audit tasksand by providing constructive criticism of the assistants’ work, the senior should try to makeeach audit a significant learning experience for the staff accountants.

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