[IMGCAP(1)]The use of third-party practice aids and audit programs has become widespread as an economical and effective means of keeping audit materials up to date and comprehensive. However, some auditors have become too checklist oriented, driven in part by these standardized audit materials. Use of these types of materials creates risks that auditors may get lost in the completion of the checklist and lose sight of what they should be doing, which is assessing and responding to audit risk.

The completion of an audit program or checklist is not an end in itself; it is only a tool. What is important is what the auditor learns along the way. Use of third-party practice aids does not reduce the amount of professional judgments required to perform an audit and is not a substitute for adequate supervision and review. Auditors should use these practice aids with care and never use them unless they have read and completely understand the instructions for their intended use.

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