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A Look At A Financial Audit

How To Do An Effective And Efficient Financial Audit

Financial AuditEvery business organization needs financial audit, and this is true across borders. The financial audit may be a statutory requirement of a particular state or simply a compliance imposed by management of a company or conglomerate. Normally, the financial audit could be performed only by professional accountants and qualified auditors, and that the auditors express opinion as to the fairness of the preparation and presentation of the financial statements. It may sound with less difficulty but nevertheless, financial audit entails a lot of things to consider.

How to Do a Financial Audit?

First and foremost, it is crucial for all auditors to understand the business or organization they are going to audit. Of course, how can an auditor examine the financial reports of a particular company without even understanding its business, operations, processes and the like? Moreover, every organization is unique, thus, every business has different processes and operations that every auditor must take into account. With this, the auditors need to come up with audit programs and approaches that are fitting and appropriate with the line of business under financial scrutiny.

There are about 4 phases in a financial audit namely, planning, strategy and risk assessment, execution of substantive procedures and finally, conclusion and reporting. The planning stage includes the determination of audit scope, understanding service requirements and establishment of team members who shall conduct the audit. It is important to note that the auditors must be independent in mind and appearance at all times, and that they should not have any financial or nonfinancial interest with the company under audit. Needless to emphasize, the auditors must be independent with the companies being audited and examined. In addition to that, the auditors need to understand the entity-level controls of a company. The controls are defined as the means or methods implemented by the management to prevent employee fraud and the equivalent. The auditors need to assess the effectiveness of the controls in place and whether they are functioning effectively as intended by the management. If the controls are deemed ineffective, then the auditors should not rely on the controls, which means that extensive substantive procedures must be carried out. These are the basic steps to be followed in the planning stage.

Under strategy and risk assessment phase, the auditors are expected to perform understanding and walkthroughs of significant processes and classes of transactions such as purchasing, cash receipts and disbursements, sales and/or revenue and many more. The purpose of the walkthrough is to assess and confirm the auditors’ understanding of the business and processes and whether the established processes and policies are being accordingly followed by the employees and process owners. The most crucial part of this phase is to use a robust audit tool to ascertain whether the procedures and transactions (purchases, sales, cash receipts and disbursements) are properly accounted for, as the recording of these transactions are critical in arriving with a fairly presented financial statements.

The execution phase is the most imperative part of the financial audit, as the auditors shall perform various examinations and checking of different accounts and balances in the financial reports/statements and normally, it is in this phase that the fairness of the financial information is assessed. The examination would entail checking supports and evidences such as inspecting bank accounts of the company, bank reconciliations, performing cash counts, sending confirmations to the company’s suppliers and customers whether payable and receivable balances are properly reflected in the financial statements. Furthermore, the auditor would perform inventory count and other testing approaches including financial analyses through the use of ratios and the like. Actually, there are a lot of things to perform under execution phase, nevertheless regardless of the approach, the execution phase is all about examining corroborating evidences that would support the transactions reflected in the financial reports of a company.

Finally, after performing the execution phase, the auditor would summarize the findings and if any, the material financial misstatements that should warrant adjustments in the company’s financial statements to achieve a fair presentation of the aforementioned report. After which, the auditor would opine on the fairness of the financial statements and consider providing suggestions for recommendations to the management on how to better perform the accounting of its transactions.

See also - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_audit


How To Use A DSLR Camera For Video Filming

DSLR’s nowadays are used not only for taking photos but for video filming because it is now capable of creating professional looking videos if done properly. It is a cheaper and a much more accessible option compared to the traditional camcorder as well. Even though DSLR’s can be used easily for taking photos, one should learn certain techniques in order to master the craft of shooting a video with it.

Here is a step by step guide on how to use your DSLR to shoot videos.

Choosing the right lens

The first thing you should do is to choose the right lens for video filming particularly for wedding video. It is a rule to invest on your lens and not on the camera body as it will age quickly. Always consider getting fast lenses because it will enable you to capture footage easily with your subject in sharp focus.

Camera Focus

Next is to make sure that your object is in focus whether it is moving towards or away from you lens. Adjusting the focus distance is not considered an easy feat which is why it is important to use a loupe. This is the eyepiece attached to your DSLR’s LCD to let you see what you’re filming. It is also advisable to use a smaller aperture if possible to capture all the details and of course, one should focus on the key point of interest and to look at exactly what you’re filming.

Using Zoom Lenses

If you are going to use zoom lenses, it is advisable to use a tripod to maintain stabilization and to give you more freedom to control zooming and focusing at the same time. Also, try to avoid zooming while you’re recording unless you really need the shaky effect in your videos.

Familiarize Yourself With The Controls

Because of the DSLR’s compact size, a lot of controls may be packed into a small product. Although in some cameras the controls are easy to find but for the ISO and color settings, you may have to go to the menu. Changing your settings on location or while shooting may be a hassle. Practice using the controls beforehand to avoid changing the settings on your camera again and again and to avoid disrupting the shoot. Take advantage of the custom mode in your camera to easily define the settings that you require.

Video Length

A lot of cameras have limitations on how long it can record a video while other cameras do not. Knowing how long your camera can go is important because it will keep you from shooting unfinished clips. It is also important to choose the right storage media for your camera. Always think about how you’re going to edit your footage after the shoot, the different format types and the hard disk space. Ensuring that you have enough space will save you from losing valuable footage.

Audio Quality

Video filming with DSLR’s don’t only require quality images or backgrounds. One has to make sure that the audio quality is good and clear for the audience to listen to. Making use of microphones such as lapels, shotgun or omnidirectional mics will help as long as you get the right one for your needs. Think about whether you’re going to experience external noise and if so, look for a mic with a wind sock. Do some research beforehand and make audio tests to perfect the audio of the footage.

There are many options available for lenses, microphones, accessories and many more. Whether it is expensive or cheap, what’s important is considering the features that you need and if it works for you. Some items may be an investment and will surely give you the ability to shoot high quality videos despite the high price. Follow this guide in filming with DSLR’s, practice the different techniques and skills and you’ll shoot quality videos in no time.