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The Fraud Audit: Responding to the Risk of Fraud in Core Business Systems by Leonard W. Vona

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Chapter 4

Brainstorming: The Implementation of Professional Standards

Audit industry standards have made professional skepticism the cornerstone in detecting fraud. The concept of the questioning mind is reiterated throughout the professional literature. Maintaining the appropriate mind-set is critical to the application of audit procedures. Being skeptical facilitates the asking of the right questions, thereby helping the auditor to analyze audit evidence in such a way as to detect red flags that may not have been originally intended by the audit procedure. As highlighted in Chapter 1, the “A” in the ATM approach pertains to awareness. Therefore, it can be said that professional skepticism is the awareness factor, because it combines an auditor's experience and ability to see red flags of fraud.

A brainstorming session is part of the planning process to assist in identifying the relevant fraud risks to the audit scope. The brainstorming session allows sharing between senior members of the audit team and the entry-level auditors, thereby establishing a cohesiveness of skepticism between all involved in an audit. This mutual understanding is important because the standards bestow the auditor with the ultimate responsibility of setting the proper tone regarding both the maintenance of the questioning mind-set throughout the audit and the critical evaluation of the audit evidence.

What Is Brainstorming?

The purpose of brainstorming is to open a dialog among the audit team members ...

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