Plant and Machinery

In the absence of a Plant Register containing detailed particulars of various articles of machinery and equipment, showing separately original cost, addition to and sales from it from time to time. It is not normally practicable for the auditor to verify the existence of such assets. The auditors should therefore insist on a Plant Register being maintained where the value and variety of machinery and plant are substantial in comparison with the total assets of the business. Where such a register is kept, it is customary to prepare at the end of each year a statement from the Plant Register showing opening balance, sale and addition thereto during the year in respect of various items of machinery and plant. Its total is then reconciled with the balance in the General Ledger. The cost of addition, if any, is verified with the invoice of machinery supplied together with evidence in respect of other incidental expenses chargeable to the account, including installation expenses. If any of the addition represents the cost of machinery manufactured the concern with its own material and its own labour, the basis on which the expenditure has been allocated should be verified. In addition, a certificate is obtained from the engineer responsible for the manufacture of the plant confirming the total cost of manufacture.

In case any item or machinery has been scrapped, destroyed or sold the auditor should ascertain that the profit or loss arising thereon has been correctly determined which has either been disclosed in the Profit and Loss Account or credited to the Capital Reserve. In appropriate circumstances, a certificate should be obtained from a senior official that this has been done. Though it is the duty of the management to ensure that fixed assets are in existence, the auditor also should, periodically, physically examine various items of plant and machinery and other fixed assets, say, once in every three or five years, depending upon the size of the concern. Certain companies, for convenience of inspection attach to each unit of plant and machinery a metallic disc bearing the number at which it is shown in the Plant Register. When an asset has been revalued, depreciation should be provided on the revised value and not on the historical value.

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