The subject of the following master thesis is planning an audit of derivative financial instruments focusing on companies active on markets for energy and commodity derivatives. The audit plan is performed in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing, ISA, and the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS. A general fear of misinterpretation and a lack of competency in diverse auditing and accounting departments have made an enigma of what auditing of derivative financial instruments might comprehend. Derivatives are an important financial tool for energy companies when adapting to their risk profile in order to reduce risks related to participating in the markets. The complexity of the structuring of the derivative financial instruments and fluctuating prices of variables on which the market value of the derivative depends are key ingredients in making auditing of derivatives a pressing issue. In the following master thesis, a practical approach to relevant theory and legislation has been implemented in order to perform a practical audit planning of a fictional business active on markets for energy and commodity derivatives. The audit plan of the fictional business is performed focusing on the companies’ use of energy and commodity derivatives exemplified in a case study in which elements of practical audit considerations have been implemented. The examination of applicable theory and legislation when performing the audit plan of derivative financial instruments in the case study has shown a complex and highly regulated audit area, which emphasizes the necessity for auditors to familiarize the specialized regulations and to perform special considerations in order to reduce the audit risk related, including considerations regarding the use of specialists in the planning and conduction of the audit. The auditors’ considerations can comprise subjects as the company’s use of it, implementation and effectiveness of internal controls, completion of transactions, assessment of fair value and presentation in the financial statements. In addition to the analysis and discussion of the practical and theoretical challenges related to the audit of derivate financial instruments, the case study provides a generic audit plan and audit instructions. The generic audit plan can serve as an inspiration in the planning of other audits of derivate financial instruments if a subjective risk approach is applied.
|Cand.merc.aud Regnskab og Revision, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling