Question 1: a)As per Section 140, of APES 110, the principle of confidentiality puts an obligation on the members including all the members to restrain from disclosing outside the company or firm employing confidential information or data which have been acquired as a result of any professional or business relationship and using any type of confidential information for the personal advantage or the benefit of any third party (George, et. al., 2014). However, there has been a professional obligation or duty to disclose when not prohibited by law: A) In order to comply with the quality review or check of a member body or professional body. In the concerned case working papers are the property of Cost accounting firm and for the purpose of peer review there is no need to advise the clients before disclosing the working appears in front of Penshurst Accountants. b) As per Section 210.11, Professional appointment, safeguards have to be applied in order to reduce threats and bringing them to an acceptable level. For the same purpose when replying requests for the submitted tenders it must be stated to contact the existing accountant so that necessary inquiries can be made to find out any reasons for which appointment shall not be made (Trung, 2015). In the concerned case, Jan Dungog has asked local public accountant not to contact the existing current employer and thereby breaching the ethical requirement of professional appointment. c) As per APEs 10, a chartered accountant engaged in business should not engage himself in providing other professional services to its clients unless and until permitted by law or governing council. The professional accountant should not provide any other services other than providing an audit opinion on the financial statements (Brown, 2015). In the concerned case, Wendell Sailor has provided other services prior to providing a final audit opinion while he is continuing the business of insurance and superannuation. Therefore he must be guilty of the professional misconduct. d) As per Section 290.108, Financial Interest, if other partners of the engagement team holds any direct or indirect financial interest in the audit party in which audit has to be conducted the self-interest threat will arise which cannot be reduced to an acceptable they shall immediately leave that financial interest (George, et. al., 2014). Here, in this case, Judith Durham holds an indirect financial interest in NPO and therefore either she should immediately leave the position of Board or will be found guilty of professional misconduct. e) As per Section 140, the professional accountant is required to maintain confidentiality all the time for his clients in order to comply with the professional and ethical requirements of the Act. It has been stated that audit working papers contain some confidential information about the client and the same should be disclosed before the third party only after proper consent has been taken in writing by the accountant (Trung, 2015). In this case, Ernie Dengate has taken the permission from the client for releasing only the tax working papers but released all the working papers of the audit and therefore this would result in the breach of confidentiality on behalf of Ernie Dengate. f) As per Section 290.182, performing types of tax services for the client creates self-review and advocacy threats for the auditor and the significance of those threats will depend on various factors. The same has been prohibited by law. In this case Fred Nerk, a public accountant is providing taxation as well management advisory services to tee client from whom it is also performing the audit work and therefore he will be found guilty of professional misconduct (Brown, 2015). g) As per APES 110,the accounting firm should keep and maintain all the time proper accounting and auditing records so that a proper evaluation and check can be made all the time for appropriate review work. The non-availability of adequate computer facilities would require the alternative option to be adopted which can suite the confidentiality purpose of the accounting firm. In the concerned case of Allgood Chartered accounting firm the computer facilities are inadequate at Branch Company and therefore some accounting records are, maintained at a principal company which cannot be regarded as a breach of conduct. The firm will not be held guilty for this purpose. h) As per APES 110, the member either in practice or in employment should not engage himself in any activity which can bring disrepute to the profession of accountancy. The activities will involve any misconduct which will lead to civil or professional misconduct. In the case of James Jameson, he got involved in a civil misconduct for behaving disorderly in the public and has been convicted and sentenced for 3 months jail and his license suspended for 1 year and therefore he will be liable for professional misconduct. Question 2: a)In accordance with International Standards on auditing while getting external confirmations for obtaining the sufficient appropriate audit evidence about the accuracy and reliability of the accounts produced by the company, the auditor should take all the reasonable steps in order to ensure that financial reports as produced are true and fair and the balances of the customers match with the accounting balances (Brown, 2017). In this case, the auditor was unable to obtain confirmations from the clients however he has applied other alternative audit procedures to get confirmation of these balances which will be sufficient enough for expressing an unqualified opinion. The opinion expressed should be unqualified. b)As per ISA, an auditor should express a qualified opinion when the following condition as enumerated that there has been a limitation on the scope of audit imposed for the audit exists and in the opinion of the auditor it will affect materially the financial statements of the enterprise. The limitation can be imposed in any manner either by narrowing the scope of auditor not providing full excess to the Cost accounting records (Brown, 2017). In the concerned case, the client restricted the auditor for carrying out the procedures for verifying the PP&E which constitutes to be material for the company and in that situation, a qualified opinion will be expressed. c)As per the relevant laws when an inherent uncertainty exists in an audit the audit report should contain an ‘emphasis on matter’ paragraph and the auditor should ensure that sufficient disclosure of the uncertainty and the reliability of all the amounts affected by it are adequately disclosed and presented in that paragraph. In this case, a contingent liability has a chance of becoming an actual liability and it will materially affect the financial report and therefore the same requires to be reported in EOM paragraph of the audit report. However, the opinion would be unqualified. d)In the case when the auditor is unable to identify and obtain the sufficient appropriate audit evidence in order to assure himself about the accuracy of the accounts and insufficient evidence is available in order to base the opinion on the misstatements in the financial statements, the auditor will express a disclaimer of opinion. In the following case, it can be observed that there were no audit tests or evidence available to check the sales transactions and also the internal control was missing and therefore the auditor, in this case, will express a disclaimer of opinion. e) As per International Standards on auditing, a qualified opinion will be expressed in a situation where auditor is unable to obtain the sufficient and appropriate audit evidence on which the opinion has to be based but also concludes that the effects of the misstatements that will arise due to this on the financial statements of company will be material but not pervasive in nature (Van & Tarr, 2014). The same is in this case where no information has been provided about the opening balances of the current year but the auditor is satisfied that no material misstatements will arise that will be pervasive in nature and therefore in this case qualified opinion will be expressed. f) Adverse opinion – It appears on the initial phase of the audit that the mandatory provisions to be followed have not been compiled by the company and the financial standards will not be in accordance with the Australian Accounting standards and therefore adverse opinion will be expressed in this case (Brown, 2017). g)A qualified opinion will be given in the case where misstatements individually or in aggregate are material but not pervasive for the financial statements of a company and the same will not affect the whole financial statements of a company. In the concerned case the adoption of the LIFO method will only effect the inventory valuation but will not have a pervasive effect on the financial statements of the company and therefore, in this case, a qualified opinion will be expressed. h) As per standards on auditing where an uncertainty exists for the assumption regarding going concern of the company then it must be established that whether there are conditions exists that pose threat to current going concern assumption of the company (Van & Tarr, 2014).
In this case, there are no material misstatements existing but there is an uncertainty regarding going concern assumption of the company and therefore an unqualified opinion will be expressed along with an emphasis on matter paragraph which will state the reasons for that uncertainty. References: 1. Brown, R., 2015. Professionalism: Self-regulation: The privilege of professionalism. Professional Planner, (74), p.31.
2. Brown, R., 2015. The profession: Being independent: You either really are, or you are not. Professional Planner, (76),
3. Brown, R., 2017. The profession: The high road to relevance. Professional Planner, (97), p.32.
4. George, G., Jones, A., and Harvey, J., 2014. Analysis of the language used within codes of ethical conduct. Journal of Academic and Business Ethics, 8, p.1.
5. Han Fan, Y., Woodbine, G. and Cheng, W., 2013. A study of Australian and Chinese accountants’ attitudes towards independence issues and the impact on ethical judgments. Asian Review of Accounting, 21(3), pp.205-222.
6. Trung, N.K., 2015. Ethics Education In The University. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research, 4(8), pp.5-10.
7. Van Akkeren, J. and Tarr, J.A., 2014. Regulation, compliance and the Australian forensic accounting profession. Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting, 6(3), pp.1-26.
8. Van Akkeren, J., Buckby, S. and Tarr, J.A., 2016. Forensic Cost accounting: Professional regulation of a multi-disciplinary field. Australian Business Law Review, 44, pp.204-2015.