The Different Methods Of Obtaining Audit Evidence

The auditor obtains evidence by performing compliance and substantive procedures by the following methods



·         The examining of records and documents or inspection of tangible assets

·         Reliability of these records and documents depend on the nature and effectiveness of internal control

·         Four major type of documentary evidence which provide different degree of reliability to the auditor are:

·         Documentary evidence origination from and held by third parties

·         Documentary evidence origination from third parties and held by the entity

·         Documentary evidence origination from the entity and held by third parties and

·         Documentary evidence origination from and held by the entity

·         Note that inspection of tangible assets only ensure the existence of such assets but not their ownership or value


  • Looking at a process of procedure being performed by others
  • Example like auditors’ presence at clients’ physical stockcount


Inquiry and Confirmation:

·         Seeking appropriate information from knowledgeable person inside or outside the entity.

·         Queries may range  from formal written enquiries to third parties, formal oral enquiries addressed to persons inside the entity. Response may provide the auditor with information which he did not previously possess or may provide him with corroborative evidence

·         Confirmation consists of the response to an inquiry to corroborate information in the accounting records. For example, auditor requesting for confirmation from receivables by direct communication with debtors


  • The checking of arithmetical accuracy of source documents and accounting records or performing independent calculations

Analytical Review:

  • The studying of significant ratios and trends and investigating unusual fluctuation and item


Salient point:

The timing of all the above-mentioned procedure is dependent in part upon the period of time during which the evidence is sought.







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