The ICAI has issued Revised “SA 299: Joint Audit of Financial Statements”, applicable w.e.f. 1 April, 2018 in the case of audit of large entities which appoints more than one auditor (i.e. joint auditors), as under:
The objectives of this Standard are:
(a) To lay down broad principles for the joint auditors in conducting the joint audit;
(b) To provide a uniform approach to the process of joint audit;
(c) To identify the distinct areas of work and coverage thereof by each joint auditor; and
(d) To identify individual responsibility and joint responsibility of the joint auditors in relation to audit.
It may be noted that the practice of appointing more than one auditor to conduct the audit of large entities has been in vogue for a longtime, sometimes voluntarily by the shareholders or sometimes due to the requirements of laws or regulations. Such auditors, known as joint auditors, conduct the audit jointly and report on the financial statements of the entity.
This Standard lays down the principles for effective conduct of joint audit to achieve the overall objectives of the auditor as laid down in SA 200 “Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the conduct of an audit in accordance with Standards on Auditing”. This Standard deals with the special considerations in carrying out audit by joint auditors. Accordingly, in addition to the requirements enunciated in this Standard, the joint auditors also need to comply with all the relevant requirements of other applicable Standards on Auditing.
This Standard does not deal with the relationship between a principal auditor who is appointed to report on the financial statements of an entity and another auditor who is appointed to report on the financial statements of one or more component (divisions, branches, subsidiary, joint venture, associates, other entity) included in the financial statements of the entity.