Audit Procedures for Motor Vehicles: Procedure, Risk and Assertion

Motor vehicles are a significant asset for many businesses, and their accurate and reliable financial reporting is essential for decision-making. This article provides a comprehensive technical overview of the audit procedures for motor vehicles, including accounting under IFRS, audit risks, audit assertions, walkthrough testing, a test of control, and substantive audit procedures.

Accounting under IFRS

Under International Accounting Standard (IAS) 16, Property, Plant, and Equipment, accounting for motor vehicles is as follows:

  1. Initial recognition: Motor vehicles are recognized as assets in the balance sheet when acquired for use in the business and are measured at cost, which includes all costs directly attributable to bringing the asset to its intended use.
  2. Depreciation: Motor vehicles are depreciated over their estimated useful life, using the straight-line method or a method that reflects the pattern of economic benefits. The residual value of the asset is estimated, and the depreciation charge is calculated by subtracting the residual value from the cost of the asset and dividing the result by the useful life.
  3. Impairment: IAS 16 requires that an impairment review be performed whenever there is an indication that the carrying amount of an asset may exceed its recoverable amount. If the carrying amount of a motor vehicle exceeds its recoverable amount, an impairment loss is recognized, and the asset’s carrying amount is reduced to its recoverable amount.
  4. Disposal: When a motor vehicle is disposed of, the difference between the net disposal proceeds and the asset’s carrying amount is recognized as a gain or loss in the income statement.
  5. Presentation: Motor vehicles are presented as non-current assets in the balance sheet, separate from other properties, plants, and equipment. Depreciation and impairment losses are recognized as expenses in the income statement.
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Audit Risks

Audit risks associated with motor vehicles include the following:

  • Misclassification of motor vehicles as PPE or as a different asset class
  • Overvaluation of the cost of motor vehicles
  • The mismeasurement of depreciation and amortization
  • Failure to recognize or properly account for impairments
  • Inaccurate or incomplete disclosures regarding motor vehicles
  • Misstatement of related liabilities, such as leases or financing arrangements
  • Misstatement of tax implications related to motor vehicles
  • Improper classification of transactions related to motor vehicles
  • Misstatement of the condition or quality of the motor vehicles
  • Misstatement of the extent of use or utilization of motor vehicles

Audit Assertions

The audit assertions for motor vehicles are:

  • Existence: The motor vehicles exist and are under the control of the entity.
  • Rights and obligations: The entity has the right to use the motor vehicles and is obligated to pay for the motor vehicles.
  • Valuation and allocation: The cost of the motor vehicles is correctly measured and allocated.
  • Completeness: All motor vehicles owned by the entity have been recorded.
  • Classification: The motor vehicles have been appropriately classified as PPE.
  • Accuracy and presentation: The carrying amount of the motor vehicles is accurate and properly presented in the financial statements.
  • Disclosures: Adequate disclosures have been made regarding the motor vehicles in the financial statements.

Walkthrough Testing

Walkthrough testing is a type of audit procedure that involves the auditor following a transaction from the beginning to the end. This is done to gain an understanding of the flow of transactions, as well as to identify any potential control weaknesses or areas of risk.

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The objective of walkthrough testing is to gain an understanding of the internal control structure and identify any areas where control weaknesses may exist.

In the context of motor vehicle transactions, walkthrough testing may involve reviewing the purchase order process, delivery receipts, and payment approvals.

The auditor may also observe the physical inspection of the motor vehicles, as well as the process of assigning a license plate and registering the vehicle with the state.

Test of Controls

Test of controls is another type of audit procedure that is used to assess the effectiveness of the internal control structure. The objective of test of controls is to determine whether the control activities are operating effectively and to provide assurance that the internal control structure is working as intended.

In the context of motor vehicle transactions, a test of controls may involve testing the segregation of duties for motor vehicle transactions, the approval processes for purchases and disposals, and the accuracy of the motor vehicle records.

The auditor may also perform a physical inspection of the motor vehicles to ensure that they match the recorded information in the financial statements.

Substantive Audit Procedures

Substantive audit procedures are designed to provide evidence to support the auditor’s conclusions on the accuracy of the financial statements. Substantive audit procedures are more extensive than walkthrough testing and test of controls and are used to determine the validity of the information contained in the financial statements.

In the context of motor vehicle transactions, substantive audit procedures may include the following:

  1. Confirmation of the motor vehicle registration with the state.
  2. Review of the depreciation calculations for the motor vehicles.
  3. Comparison of the motor vehicle records with the physical inspection of the vehicles.
  4. Review of the maintenance records for the motor vehicles.
  5. Testing of the accuracy of the license plate and registration fees charged.
  6. Review of the insurance coverage for the motor vehicles.
  7. Comparison of the motor vehicle transactions with the vendor invoices and purchase orders.
  8. Testing of the sales transactions for the disposal of motor vehicles.
  9. Testing of the accuracy of the sales tax charged on motor vehicle transactions.
  10. Review of the supporting documentation for the motor vehicle transactions, including delivery receipts, bills of sale, and purchase orders.
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In conclusion, auditing motor vehicle transactions requires a combination of walkthrough testing, test of controls, and substantive audit procedures. The auditor must be diligent in verifying the accuracy of the motor vehicle transactions, as well as ensuring that the motor vehicle assets are properly recorded and accounted for.

By performing these audit procedures, the auditor can provide assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatements and are a fair representation of the company’s financial position.

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