See the “ZZZZ Best Company, Inc.” case for this question. 1) Ernst & Whinney never issued an audit opinion on financial statements of ZZZZ Best but did issue a review report on the company’s quarterly statements for the three months ended July 31, 1986. How does a review differ from an audit, particularly in terms of the level of assurance implied by the auditor’s report? 2) See the “ZZZZ Best Company, Inc.” case for this question. Professional auditing standards identify the principal “management assertions” that underlie a set of financial statements. The occurrence assertion was particularly critical for ZZZZ Best’s insurance restoration contracts. ZZZZ Best’s auditors obtained third-party confirmations to support the contracts, reviewed available documentation, performed analytical procedures to evaluate the reasonableness of the revenues recorded on the contracts, and visited selected restoration sites. Comment on the limitations of the evidence that these procedures provide with regard to the management assertion of occurrence. 3) See the “ZZZZ Best Company, Inc.” case for this question. In testimony before Congress, George Greenspan reported that one means he used to audit the insurance restoration contracts was to verify that his client actually received payment on those jobs. How can such apparently reliable evidence lead an auditor to an improper conclusion? 4) See the “ZZZZ Best Company, Inc.” case for this question. What is the purpose of predecessor–successor auditor communications? Which party, the predecessor or successor auditor, has the responsibility for initiating these communications? Briefly summarize the information that a successor auditor should obtain from the predecessor auditor. 5) See the “ZZZZ Best Company, Inc.” case for this question. Did the confidentiality agreement that Minkow required Ernst & Whinney to sign improperly limit the scope of the ZZZZ Best audit? Why or why not? Discuss general circumstances under which confidentiality concerns on the part of a client may properly affect audit planning decisions. At what point do client-imposed audit scope limitations affect the type of audit opinion issued? 6) See the “ZZZZ Best Company, Inc.” case for this question. What procedures, if any, do professional standards require auditors to perform when reviewing—prior to the completion of the audit—a client’s post-year-end earnings press release?
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