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Northern Territory Auditor‑General's Office

Auditing for Parliament

 

 
Audit Opinions

There are two overarching categories of audit opinion, an unmodified audit opinion (sometimes referred to as a “clean” opinion) and a modified audit opinion.


Unmodified Audit Opinion

Unmodified opinions provide a reasonable level of assurance from the auditor that the financial statements present a true and fair reflection of an entity’s results for the period reported.

Notwithstanding an audit opinion may positively attest to the truth and fairness of the financial statements, additional paragraphs may be included in the audit opinion in relation to a matter the auditor believes requires emphasis.

An “Emphasis of Matter” paragraph means a paragraph included in the auditor’s report that refers to a matter appropriately presented or disclosed in the financial report that, in the auditor’s judgement, is of such importance that it is fundamental to users’ understanding of the financial report. The inclusion of an emphasis of matter paragraph in the audit opinion is intended to draw the reader’s attention to the relevant disclosure in the financial report.

An “Other Matter” paragraph means a paragraph included in the auditor’s report that refers to a matter other than those presented or disclosed in the financial report that, in the auditor’s judgement, is relevant to users’ understanding of the audit, the auditor’s responsibilities and/or the auditor’s report.
 


 
Modified Audit Opinion

Australian Auditing Standard ASA705 Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor's Report, paragraph 2, establishes three types of modified opinions, namely, a qualified opinion, an adverse opinion, and a disclaimer of opinion. The decision regarding which type of modified opinion is appropriate depends upon:
  1. The nature of the matter giving rise to the modification, that is, whether the financial report is materially misstated or, in the case of an inability to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence, may be materially misstated; and
  2. The auditor’s judgement about the pervasiveness of the effects or possible effects of the matter on the financial report.
 


 
Qualified Audit Opinion

An auditor shall express a qualified opinion when:
  1. The auditor, having obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence, concludes that misstatements, individually or in the aggregate, are material, but not pervasive, to the financial report; or
  2. The auditor is unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence on which to base the opinion, but the auditor concludes that the possible effects on the financial report of undetected misstatements, if any, could be material but not pervasive. [ASA705, paragraph 7]
 


 
Adverse Opinion

An adverse opinion is expressed when the auditor, having obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence, concludes that misstatements, individually or in the aggregate, are both material and pervasive to the financial report. [ASA705, paragraph 8]
 


 
Disclaimer of Opinion

An auditor shall disclaim an opinion when the auditor is unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence on which to base the opinion, and the auditor concludes that the possible effects on the financial report of undetected misstatements, if any, could be both material and pervasive. [ASA705, paragraph 9]

The auditor shall disclaim an opinion when, in extremely rare circumstances involving multiple uncertainties, the auditor concludes that, notwithstanding having obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence regarding each of the individual uncertainties, it is not possible to form an opinion on the financial report due to the potential interaction of the uncertainties and their possible cumulative effect on the financial report. [ASA705, paragraph 10]
 
 


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