The following auditing standard is not the current version and does not reflect any amendments effective on or after December 31, 2016. The current version of the auditing standards can be found  here.

AU Section 210

Training and Proficiency of the Independent Auditor

Source: SAS No. 1, section 210; SAS No. 5.
Issue date, unless otherwise indicated: November, 1972.


The first general standard is:

The audit is to be performed by a person or persons having adequate technical training and proficiency as an auditor.


This standard recognizes that however capable a person may be in other fields, including business and finance, he cannot meet the requirements of the auditing standards without proper education and experience in the field of auditing.


[The following paragraph is effective for audits of fiscal years beginning on or after December 15, 2010. See PCAOB Release No. 2010-004. For audits of fiscal years beginning before December 15, 2010, click here.]

In the performance of the audit which leads to an opinion, the independent auditor holds himself out as one who is proficient in accounting and auditing. The attainment of that proficiency begins with the auditor's formal education and extends into his subsequent experience. The independent auditor must undergo training adequate to meet the requirements of a professional. This training must be adequate in technical scope and should include a commensurate measure of general education. The junior assistant, just entering upon an auditing career, must obtain his professional experience with the proper supervision and review of his work by a more experienced superior. The nature and extent of supervision and review must necessarily reflect wide variances in practice. The engagement partner must exercise seasoned judgment in the varying degrees of his supervision and review of the work done and judgments exercised by his subordinates, who in turn must meet the responsibilities attaching to the varying gradations and functions of their work.


The independent auditor's formal education and professional experience complement one another; each auditor exercising authority upon an engagement should weigh these attributes in determining the extent of his supervision of subordinates and review of their work. It should be recognized that the training of a professional man includes a continual awareness of developments taking place in business and in his profession. He must study, understand, and apply new pronouncements on accounting principles and auditing procedures as they are developed by authoritative bodies within the accounting profession.


In the course of his day-to-day practice, the independent auditor encounters a wide range of judgment on the part of management, varying from true objective judgment to the occasional extreme of deliberate misstatement. He is retained to audit and report upon the financial statements of a business because, through his training and experience, he has become skilled in accounting and auditing and has acquired the ability to consider objectively and to exercise independent judgment with respect to the information recorded in books of account or otherwise disclosed by his audit. [As amended July, 1975 by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 5.]

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