AI 21: Management Representations: Auditing Interpretations of AS 2805

The auditor should be aware of and consider auditing interpretations applicable to his or her audit. If the auditor does not apply the auditing guidance included in an applicable auditing interpretation, the auditor should be prepared to explain how he or she complied with the provisions of the auditing standard addressed by such auditing guidance.

View AS 2805, Management Representations

1. Management Representations on Violations and Possible Violations of Laws and Regulations

.01        Question—AS 2805, Management Representations, lists matters for which the auditor ordinarily obtains written representations from management. One of those matters is: Violations or possible violations of laws or regulations whose effects should be considered for disclosure in financial statements or as a basis for recording a loss contingency.

.02        Guidance on evaluating the need to disclose litigation, claims, and assessments that may result from possible violations is provided by FASB Statement No. 5, Accounting for Contingencies [AC section C59]. AS 2405, Illegal Acts by Clients, provides guidance on evaluating the materiality of illegal acts. Does the representation regarding "possible violations" include matters beyond those described in FASB Statement No. 5 [AC section C59] and AS 2405?

.03        Interpretation—No. AS 2805 did not change the relevant criteria for evaluating the need for disclosure of violations and possible violations of laws or regulations. In requesting the representation on possible violations, the auditor is not asking for management's speculation on all possibilities of legal challenges to its actions.

.04        The representation concerns matters that have come to management's attention and that are significant enough that they should be considered in determining whether financial statement disclosures are necessary. It recognizes that these are matters of judgment and that the need for disclosure is not always readily apparent.