Audit evidence refers to information obtained by the auditor in arriving at the conclusion on which his audit opinion is based on.
ISA 500 requires an auditor to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence before he can be able to draw a conclusion on the financial statement. Good evidence should have the following qualities:
The professional skepticism requires that the auditor to always carry an amount of doubt on whether the financial statements are fairly state. Evidence is said to be sufficient if the required quantity dispels this doubt. For instance when verifying the debtors balances the auditor will seek the following sources of evidence:
a) Review the invoices, ICS and debtors ledger
b) Circularize the debtors to confirm directly to you on their outstanding balances
The above sources would be said to be sufficient to enable the auditor arrive at a conclusion whether the debtor balances are accurate or not.
Audit evidence should be persuasive rather than conclusive. The auditor should explore different sources of evidence to arrive at appropriate conclusion.
This refers to the degree of confidence or trust placed by the auditor on a particular source of evidence. Reliability is affected by source and nature of evidence.
The source of evidence relied upon by an auditor should be one that has integrity and likely to give accurate information. The nature refers to how the evidence has been prepared; whether written or oral.
When an auditor with some evidence is capable of achieving his objective in terms of confirming or dispelling a particular financial statement assertion then, that evidence is said to be relevant.
For instance when verifying the existence of fixed assets the auditor will perform a physical count of such assets and compare his results with what has been captured in the fixed assets register.
If they are consistent then he will have confirmed what mangers have indicated in the balance sheet is true and if inconsistent he will dispel the existence of such assets.
Audit evidence provides the basis for audit opinion.