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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Investigation work: business side examinations: plan of book examination

The following matters should normally be covered in a full book examination

  • the precise nature, scope and methods of the business concern
  • listing the records kept particularly any not produced to the auditor
  • considering the working papers of the Accountant in conjunction with the records particularly noting post trial balance and journal adjustments
  • examining the primary records of the business in as much detail as the case justifies
  • checking particular items by reference to any other information which might be available or obtainable
  • verifying particular items relating to entries in the director’s private bank etc. accounts.

The records maintained by any particular business will vary considerably, consequently the Investigator may be guided by the SI Accountant when considering this point.

Special attention should be given to records kept by proprietors personally and to entries in their handwriting in records usually kept by employees. It is also desirable to find out on what occasions proprietors or directors have direct access to business receipts, particularly those relating to cash income or expenses.

Particular attention should be given to closing entries and balances carried forward from year to year unchanged.