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A comprehensive audit case (adapted CICA question) You are a partner in the firm of London and Paris LLP.

I. A comprehensive audit case (adapted  CICA  question)

You are a partner in the firm of London and Paris LLP. You are required to

conduct an independent review of audits completed by the firm, as part of its

quality control program.

Now, you are reviewing the audit working papers and a draft of the audited

financial statements of Wallis Electronics Inc. for the fiscal year ended

September 30, 2008, along with the suggested auditor's report (an unqualified

opinion) prepared by the engagement partner. The company designs and

manufactures components for radios, televisions, and another consumer

electronics. The company is wholly owned by the family of the founder of the

business, Frank Wallis, who passed away several years ago. The company sells

its components to several large manufacturers of consumer electronic products,

but its major customer is a South Korean conglomerate that normally accounts

for about 50% of Wallis's annual sales.

Wallis Electronics Inc. has been your firm's audit client for 2 years. The audit

fieldwork, which took about 6 weeks, was performed by a senior auditor assisted

by a junior auditor, and the working papers were reviewed by the engagement

partner. The audited financial statements show total assets at year-end of

$25,000,000, revenues of $30,000,000, and income before taxes at $1,000,000.

Based on your independent review of the working papers (including various

memoranda  and review notes prepared by the staff and engagement partner)

and the proposed financial statements and audit opinion, you have noted the

following issues that arose during the audit, along with the manner in which they

were resolved:

1. When analyzing the client-prepared financial statements before the audit

started, the senior auditor noted that profitability this year was much lower than

normal, and worse than that of other companies in the same industry. Both the

company's gross profit ratio and its net income ratio were abnormally low. The

senior auditor discussed the situation with the chief accountant at Wallis, who

explained that the company has been having been struggling with some of its

new manufacturing processes that were put in place during the year on the

advice of an outside consulting firm. As a result, a considerable amount of

products produced and sold during the year was returned by customers as being

defective. The chief accountant said that he did not think that these problems

were fully resolved, and that for a typical month's sales of $2,500,000, roughly an

additional $500,000 of rework costs were incurred and added to cost of goods

sold. While the chief accountant could not easily determine the total amount of

rework costs incurred and added to cost of goods sold during the year ended

September 30, 2008, he estimated that it was about $4,500,000. The senior

auditor documented the conversation in the working papers and wrote: "No

further action needed," to which the engagement partner added "I concur — it is

just a cost of doing business, and the problem shall go away next year."

2. In testing the client's finished goods inventories, the junior auditor observed a

large number of old and dust-covered parts on hand. According to the perpetual

inventory records, these parts were manufactured 2 years ago for the South

Korean company  with which Wallis does a lot of business, but the order was

cancelled by the customer. The recorded inventory cost of these units is about

$150,000. The junior auditor asked the production manager about the parts, who

explained that the company decided to hold the parts in inventory until they could

find another buyer for the goods. The senior auditor reviewed the junior auditor's

work and wrote: "No adjustment needed — amount immaterial," to which the

engagement  partner later added "I agree."

3. Since the death of the founder of the company, the family members who own

and operate the firm have had difficulties with the business, including many

disagreements on how it should be managed. As a result, the engagement

partner of London and Paris has often acted as a trusted advisor to the

CEO and other top managers in the company, and has frequently been asked to

resolve disputes among them. During the summer of 2008, the CEO opened a

special bank account in the company's name to make certain payments to

consultants, lawyers, and other professionals the CEO believes could help him

manage the company. However, he did not reveal the existence of the account to

the other family members. Rather, he asked the  engagement partner to serve as

a co-signer of checks drawn on that account and to maintain the cash

disbursement detail records. The engagement partner agreed and wrote a

memorandum   for the files explaining his actions. During the year ended

September 30, 2008, the engagement partner co-signed only 2 checks for

payments for consulting services provided to the company. One check was for

$50,000 and the other for $25,000, and the payments were supported by

invoices provided by the two consulting firms, Biden Inc. and Perspective Inc.

4. Due to the time pressure to complete the audit by November 15, 2008, the

senior auditor decided to rely upon the work performed by the company's 2

internal auditors in his search for unrecorded accounts payable at September 30,

2008. Because the company  deals with a large number of vendors, the internal

auditors had requested statements of account from all of the company's major

suppliers as of September 30, 2008. Of the suppliers, 80% responded, and the

internal auditors then reconciled these vendors' statements to the recorded

accounts payable. The senior auditor determined that the 2 internal auditors were

both professionally qualified accountants and that they reported directly to

Wallis's chief financial officer. The senior auditor reviewed the internal auditors'

working papers and was satisfied with the nature and extent of their testing and

the quality of work performed. He therefore wrote a memorandum for the working

papers, explaining his reliance on the internal auditors and describing the steps

taken to ensure the work was satisfactory. The engagement partner reviewed

the working paper and wrote: "Great job! You saved us hours of work. I'm sure

the client will be happy that we didn't just repeat the stuff that they had already


5. The company's financial statements include one footnote below, which was

written by the engagement partner and approved by the client's top

management: "Wallis Electronics Ltd. sells products to 25 major customers in

North America and in other countries. While the "majority of revenue is

denominated in U.S. dollars, certain sales are denominated in foreign currencies

whose exchange  rates against USD fluctuate a lot. Consistent with generally

accepted accounting principles, all foreign currency denominated receivables at

September  30, 2008 have been translated into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate

on that date."

After thinking about these various issues, you decide to write a memo to the

engagement partner, with a copy to the managing partner of the firm, expressing

your views on these matters and what needs to be done before you are prepared

to "sign off" on the engagement.


Now please write the memo that you will send to the engagement partner (with a

copy to the firm's managing partner). 

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