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[The following paragraph was effective for audits of periods beginning on or after January 1, 1990. It was amended by PCAOB Auditing Standard No. 2, effective for audits of fiscal years ending on or after November 15, 2004, for accelerated filers, and on or after July 15, 2005, for all other issuers. See PCAOB Release No. 2004-008.

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AU 319.02

In all audits, the auditor should obtain an understanding of internal control sufficient to plan the audit by performing procedures to understand the design of controls relevant to an audit of financial statements and determining whether they have been placed in operation. In obtaining this understanding, the auditor considers how an entity’s use of information technology (IT) fn 2 and manual procedures may affect controls relevant to the audit. The auditor then assesses control risk for the assertions embodied in the account balance, transaction class, and disclosure components of the financial statements.

fn 2 Information technology (IT) encompasses automated means of originating, processing, storing, and communicating information, and includes recording devices, communication systems, computer systems (including hardware and software components and data), and other electronic devices. An entity's use of IT may be extensive; however, the auditor is primarily interested in the entity's use of IT to initiate, record, process, and report transactions or other financial data.

Copyright © 2002, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Inc.