Audit Threats

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Threats may be created by a broad range of relationships and circumstances. When a relationship or circumstances creates a threat, such a threat could compromise, or could be perceived to compromise, a professional accountant’s compliance with the fundamental principles. A circumstance or relationship may create more than one threat, and a threat may affect compliance with more than fundamental principle. Threats fall into one or more of the following categories:

(a) Self-interest threat – the threat that a financial or other interest will inappropriately influence the professional accountant judgment or behavior;
(b) Self-review threat – the threat that a professional accountant will not appropriately evaluate the results of a previous judgment made or service performed by the professional accountant, or by another individual within the professional accountant’s firm or employing organization, on which the accountant will rely when forming a judgment as part of providing a current service;

(c) Advocacy threat – the threat that a professional accountant will promote a client’s or employer’s position to the point that the professional accountant’s objectivity is compromised;
(d) Familiarity threat – the threat that due to a long or close relationship with a client or employer, a professional accountant will be too sympathetic to their interests or too accepting of their work; and (e) Intimidation threat – the threat that a professional accountant will be deter from acting objectively because of actual or perceived pressures, including attempts to exercise undue influence over the professional accountant. Parts B and C respectively explain how these categories of threats may be created for professional accountants in public practice and professional accountants in business, respectively. Professional accountants in public practice may also find Part C relevant to their particular circumstances.
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