AG ISA (NZ) 200

The Auditor-General’s Statement on Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance with International Standards on Auditing (New Zealand)

At a glance

The standard expands on the underlying standard ISA (NZ) 200 (XRB website) in that you need to identify and report on any matters of interest to the Auditor-General regardless of materiality. Matters of interest include issues relating to effectiveness and efficiency, compliance with laws and regulations, waste, and lack of probity or financial prudence.


Scope of this Statement

  1. This Auditor-General’s Auditing Statement:
    1. establishes the Auditor-General’s objectives and requirements in relation to ISA (NZ) 200 Overall objectives of the independent auditor and the conduct of an audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (New Zealand) (ISA (NZ) 200);1 and
    2. provides guidance to reflect the public sector perspective.


  1. Compliance with this Statement is mandatory for Appointed Auditors who carry out annual audits on behalf of the Auditor-General. This Statement requires compliance with ISA (NZ) 200 and the additional requirements included in this Statement.
  2. This Statement applies to audits of financial statements and/or performance information commencing on or after 1 April 2023.


  1. The objectives of the Appointed Auditor in terms of this statement are to comply with the Auditor-General’s auditing standards which incorporate the Professional and Ethical Standards and the International Standards on Auditing (New Zealand) issued by the New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.


  1. For the purpose of this Auditor-General’s Auditing Statement, the defined term listed below has the following meaning:
Appointed Auditor
means the person or persons appointed by the Auditor-General to carry out the annual audit or other engagement on behalf of the Auditor-General, and who are supported by other members of the audit team. Where an Auditor-General’s Statement or Standard expressly intends that a requirement be fulfilled by the Appointed Auditor personally, the requirement will indicate that the Appointed Auditor shall personally satisfy the requirement.


Complying with auditing standards applicable to the annual audit in the public sector

  1. Appointed Auditors shall carry out the annual audit in accordance with the Auditor-General’s Auditing Standards to achieve the overall objectives (Ref: Para. A1-A3).
  2. Appointed Auditors shall assume a dual role of:
    1. expressing an opinion on an entity’s financial statements and performance information; and
    2. identifying and reporting on any other matters of interest to the Auditor-General regardless of their effect on the audit of an entity’s financial statements and performance information (Ref: Para. A4).

Application and other explanatory material

The Auditor-General’s auditing standards that apply to annual audits (Ref: Para. 6-7)

Appendix 1 – Auditing Standards that apply to annual audits

Applicable XRB Standards

Applicable Auditor-General’s Statement

Name of Statement or Standard


The Auditor-General’s Code of Ethics

Code of ethics for assurance practitioners



Quality management



Engagement quality reviews

ISA (NZ) 200

AG ISA (NZ) 200

Overall objectives of the independent auditor and the conduct of an audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (New Zealand)

ISA (NZ) 210

AG ISA (NZ) 210

The terms of audit engagements

ISA (NZ) 220


Quality control for an audit of financial statements

ISA (NZ) 230


Audit documentation

ISA (NZ) 240

AG ISA (NZ) 240

The auditor’s responsibilities relating to fraud in an annual audit

ISA (NZ) 250 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 250

Consideration of laws and regulations

ISA (NZ) 260 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 260

Communication with those charged with governance

ISA (NZ) 265


Communicating deficiencies in internal control

ISA (NZ) 300

AG ISA (NZ) 300

Planning the annual audit

ISA (NZ) 315 (Revised 2019)

AG ISA (NZ) 315

Identifying and assessing the risks of material misstatement

ISA (NZ) 320

AG ISA (NZ) 320

Materiality in planning and performing an annual audit

ISA (NZ) 330


The auditor’s responses to assessed risks

ISA (NZ) 402


Audit considerations relating to an entity using a service organisation

ISA (NZ) 450


Evaluation of misstatements identified during the annual audit

ISA (NZ) 500


Audit evidence

ISA (NZ) 501


Audit evidence – specific considerations for selected items

ISA (NZ) 505


External confirmations

ISA (NZ) 510


Initial audit engagements – opening balances

ISA (NZ) 520


Analytical procedures

ISA (NZ) 530


Audit sampling

ISA (NZ) 540


Auditing accounting estimates

ISA (NZ) 550


Related parties

ISA (NZ) 560


Subsequent events

ISA (NZ) 570 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 570

Going concern

ISA (NZ) 580

AG ISA (NZ) 580

Written representations

ISA (NZ) 600

AG ISA (NZ) 600

Special considerations – audits of group financial and performance information (including the work of component auditors)

ISA (NZ) 610 (Revised 2013)


Using the work of internal auditors

ISA (NZ) 620


Using the work of an expert

ISA (NZ) 700 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 700

Forming an opinion and reporting on financial and performance information

ISA (NZ) 701

AG ISA (NZ) 701

Communicating key audit matters in the independent auditor’s report

ISA (NZ) 705 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 705

Modifications to the opinion in the independent auditor’s report

ISA (NZ) 706 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 706

Emphasis of matter paragraphs and other matter paragraphs in the independent auditor’s report

ISA (NZ) 710


Comparative information

ISA (NZ) 720 (Revised)


The auditor’s responsibilities relating to other information

ISA (NZ) 800 (Revised)


Audits of financial statements prepared in accordance with special purpose frameworks

ISA (NZ) 805 (Revised)


Audits of single financial statements and specific elements, accounts or items of a financial statement

ISA (NZ) 810 (Revised)

AG ISA (NZ) 810

Engagements to report on summary financial and performance information

Applicable Auditor-General’s Specific Standards


Reporting to the OAG


The appropriation audit and the Controller function


The approach to issues arising from section 16(1) of the Public Audit Act 2001


Performance reports

1: The ISA (NZ) Auditing Standards are scoped so that they apply to audits of “historical financial information”. However, for the purposes of the Auditor-General’s Auditing Standards and Statements, all references to “historical financial information” should be read as the audit of “historical financial and historical performance information”.