When reporting on operating effectiveness over the period, the assurance practitioner shall test those controls that the assurance practitioner has determined are necessary to achieve the control objectives identified, and assesstheir operating effectiveness throughout the period.Consequently, the assurance practitioner’s evaluation of the design of controls often influences the nature, timing and extent of tests of operating effectiveness. Evidence obtained in prior engagements about the satisfactory operation of material controls in prior periods does not provide a basis for a reduction in testingof those controls, even if it is supplemented with evidence obtained during the current period.
The nature, timing and extent of tests of operating effectiveness, shall ordinarily be limited to discussion with entity personnel,observation of the system in operation and walk-through for an appropriate number of instances of material controlsin operation to identify anydeviations from the specified design. Alternatively, the results of exception reporting, monitoring or other management controls may be examined to provide evidence about the operation of the control rather than directly testing it.
The nature, timing and extent of tests of operating effectiveness, shall ordinarily include, in addition to discussion with entity personnel and observation of the system in operation for deviations from the specified design, re-performance of control procedures, or other examination and follow up of theapplication of controls, on a test basis to provide sufficient appropriateevidence on which to base an opinion.The results of exception reporting, monitoring or other management controls may be examined to reduce the extent of direct testing of the operation of the control but shall not eliminate it entirely
The assurance practitioner shall apply professional judgement in determining the specific nature, timing and extent of procedures to be conducted,which will depend on the assessed risks of material deviations in the operating effectiveness of controls. If the assurancepractitioner determines that additional assurance procedures are required to dispel or confirm a suspicion that a material deviation in the operating effectiveness of controls exists, the performance of such additional procedures shall not convert the engagement to a reasonable assurance engagement as they relate to the reduction of risk to an acceptable level with respect to that matter alone.
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The assurance practitioner shall apply professional judgement in determining the specific nature, timing and extent of procedures to be conducted, which will depend on the assessed risks of material deviations in the operating effectiveness of controls.
When determining the extent of tests of controls, the assurance practitioner shall consider matters including the characteristics of the population to be tested, which includes the nature of controls, the frequency of their application (for example, monthly, daily, a number of times per day), and the expected rate of deviation. Some controlsoperate continuously, while others operate only at particular times, sothe tests of operating effectiveness shall be performed over a period of time that is adequate to determine that the control procedures are operating effectively.