Outline and explain four ways in which the objectives of an audit of financial statements have changed over the years

(i) Separate Entities
Over the years, the company, as a legal entity has come into existence. This is distinct from the owners (shareholders) of the entity (company) hence the objective in recent years has been to protect the interests of these shareholders. It entails reviewing the work of directors (managers).
(ii) Approach Shifting
The emphasis in approaching an audit has shifted from detailed checking of individual items towards an overall review of the systems in operation followed by an examination of the records and financial statements prepared thereof.
(iii) Computerisation
With emergence of technology, companies have embraced the use of computers. For an auditor, the primary objective is the same though he now has to understand the functioning of a computer, understand the client‘s computer information system, for him to carry out a good audit.
(iv) Auditor‘s legal position
With change in legal system, the auditor has been forced to assess his risk before taking upon himself any engagement, to reduce any liability as a result of loss suffered by third parties. This has made it an objective for an auditor to carry out a risk assessment with respect to a client‘s business.

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