Statement of responsibilities of auditors and audited bodies: Principal Local Authorities and Police Bodies

Electronic publication of the financial statements

26. Where the audited body publishes its financial statements electronically, it is responsible for ensuring that the publication presents accurately financial statements and the auditor’s report on those financial statements. This responsibility also applies to the presentation of any financial information published in respect of prior periods. Similarly, where the audited body wishes to distribute electronic copies of the financial statements, and the auditor’s report on those financial statements, to its stakeholders, it is responsible for ensuring that these are presented accurately.

27. The auditor’s report on the financial statements should not be reproduced or referred to electronically without the auditor’s prior written agreement. This enables the auditor to review the process by which the financial statements to be published electronically are derived from the financial information contained in the authenticated financial statements, check that the proposed electronic version is identical in content with the authenticated financial statements and check that the conversion of the authenticated financial statements into an electronic format has not distorted the overall presentation of the financial information.

28. The examination of the controls over the electronic publication of audited financial statements is beyond the scope of auditors’ responsibilities in relation to the financial statements and the auditor cannot be held responsible for changes made to audited information after the initial publication of the financial statements and the auditor’s report.

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