Auditors develop overall audit plans to ensure that they obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence. The timing and extent of audit procedures auditors use is a matter of professional judgment, which depends upon a number of factors. Decisions about the mix of audit procedures and the timing of procedures significantly impact the date on which the audit report is issued. Visit the company Web sites for Google Inc. (www.google.com), Cisco Systems, Inc. (www.cisco.com), and McDonald’s Corporation (www.aboutmcdonalds.com).
Search under “Investor Relations” for the most recent annual report and locate the independent auditor’s report.
a. Identify the year-end for each company. Did any company have a year-end other than December 31st? Will the company’s year-end have any impact on the audit procedures used and their timing?
b. Indicate the number of days between each company’s year-end and the date of the audit report. What factors may impact the number of days to issue the audit report?
c. Based on the number of days between each company’s year-end and the date of the audit report, and your knowledge of each company’s operations, on which audit do you think the auditors placed the greatest reliance on substantive tests of details of balances? Explain.