TECHNICAL ARTICLES ACCA AAA -  Advanced Audit and Assurance

This is a collection of articles publsihed by ACCA UK on their official website.   
The objective is  to help you develop broader insight into the subject, split by syllabus sections.

Exam technique for Advanced Audit and Assurance: part 1 – ethics
Ethical standards and their application form a major part of the Advanced Audit and Assurance syllabus and are examined regularly.
This article demonstrates how to maximise marks on these areas using effective exam technique.

Exam technique for Advanced Audit and Assurance: part 2 – risk
Risk is examined in several ways within the Advanced Audit and Assurance syllabus and understanding the difference between
these can be key to scoring good marks in the exam. This article demonstrates how to maximise marks on these areas
using effective exam technique.

Exam technique for Advanced Audit and Assurance: part 3 – accounting issues
Candidates will be required to discuss accounting issues in many contexts in the Advanced Audit and Assurance exam.
This article utilises past questions from the exam to illustrate how accounting issues could be examined and to recap the
accounting treatment on some of the areas candidates typically find difficult in this exam.

Exam technique for Advanced Audit and Assurance: part 4 – audit procedures
This article examines the key syllabus requirements in relation to procedures and considers the level of detail needed in order to
obtain credit at this level. It also looks at some examples of past questions on this syllabus area and explains the difference
between a strong answer and a weak answer to illustrate the detail and specificity that candidates should produce
in their answers to attain marks in the exam.

Exam technique for Advanced Audit and Assurance: part 5 – auditor reporting
This article focuses on auditor reporting to shareholders. It is imperative for candidates to be prepared to answer questions on
auditor reporting and will need an understanding of the format of the report, the types of opinions which may be given by the
auditor and the other modifications which could be required to an auditor’s report.

Exposure draft: Proposed revisions to the code to promote the role and mindset expected of professional accountants
The purpose of this article is to review and provide a summary of the key proposals contained within the Exposure Draft.

Group audits
This article focuses on the key areas of group audit, highlighting sections of ISA 600, Special Considerations – Audits of
Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors). Candidates should be familiar with the
standard prior to sitting the AAA exam.

Data analytics and the auditor
This article provides some insight into the matters which need to be considered by auditors when using data analytics.
AAA candidates are expected to have a broad understanding of what is meant by the term data analytics, how it may be
used in the audit and how it can improve audit efficiency.

Auditing in specialised industries
This article provides some insight into the matters that need to be considered by auditors when engaged to provide the external
audit service to a client operating in a specialised industry.

Evaluation of misstatements
The completion stage of the audit is when the auditor reviews the work performed and considers the implications for
the auditor’s report. A crucial part of this review is the evaluation of misstatements found during the audit.

Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR)
This article is intended to provide insight into recent developments to the International Ethics Standards Board’s Code of
Ethics for Professional Accountants (IESBA) in relation to the auditor’s response to non-compliance with laws and regulations.

Corporate governance and its impact on audit practice
P7 candidates are expected to be conversant with corporate governance principles, many of which they will have seen in
previous exams like F8 and P1. In P7, the focus is on the impact that corporate governance principles and practice can have
on the audit process, and this article explores some of these issues.

Auditing disclosures in financial statements
This article looks at auditing disclosures in financial statements, an issue that has been considered by the IAASB in
recent years following developments in IFRS requirements and the increased level of complexity and subjectivity involved
in the preparation of information to be disclosed in financial statements.

Performance information in the public sector
The Syllabus and Study Guide for P7 (INT), Advanced Audit and Assurance (and SGP adapted paper) includes a section
entitled ‘The audit of performance information (pre-determined objectives) in the public sector’. This article is intended to
provide insight into this syllabus area and explain some of the issues of which candidates should be aware when
studying this aspect of the syllabus.

Laws and regulations
It is important that candidates preparing for P7 have an understanding of how laws and regulations affect an audit, not only
in terms of the work the auditor is required to do, but also to appreciate the responsibilities of both management and the
auditor where laws and regulations are concerned.

Audit quality – a perpetual current issue
Audit quality is relevant to P7 in that the Syllabus and Study Guide includes a specific section, C1, which contains a
 number of learning outcomes in relation to quality control in the context of practice management.

Professional scepticism
The article explains the importance of professional scepticism as an essential part of the auditor’s mindset, and considers
the reasons why approaching an audit with an attitude of professional scepticism is becoming increasingly important.

Using the work of internal auditors
This article focuses on the provision of direct assistance by the internal auditors, which – to date – has been a very
controversial issue. Although internal auditors are the employees of the entity, which could result in threats to
independence (either in fact or perceived) if direct assistance is provided by the internal auditors, there are benefits
relating to this provision which cannot be ignored.

Auditor liability
This article focuses on the issue of auditor’s liability in the UK, and therefore contains references to the UK Companies Act 2006,
as well as UK-specific legal cases. Candidates other than those attempting the UK adapted paper are not expected to have
UK-specific knowledge. The concepts discussed in this article however are broadly relevant and will help candidates to
understand why this is an important issue within the auditing profession.

The control environment of a company
The purpose of this article is to provide candidates with a more detailed appreciation of matters pertinent to an auditor, focusing
on the need for the auditor of a large limited liability company (in the UK – a limited company) to evaluate the effectiveness of
the company’s control environment.

Completing the audit
This article explores some of the key requirements of International Standards on Auditing (ISA) that are relevant at the
completion stage, and discusses the practical implications of those requirements.

Acceptance decisions for audit and assurance engagements
This article discusses the learning outcomes of Professional Appointments from Syllabus reference C4.  

Specific aspects of auditing in a computer-based environment
This article provides guidance on various aspects of auditing in a computer-based accounting environment.

Analytical procedures
An outline of the analytical procedures relevant to the audit papers.  

Going concern
The additional guidance given for ISA 570,

 Going Concern. Audit risk
This article outlines and explains the concept of audit risk, making reference to the key auditing standards which give guidance
to auditors about risk assessment.

Auditing in a computer-based environment
The aim of this article is to help students improve their understanding of computer-assisted techniques by giving practical
illustrations of computer-based controls and the way they may feature in exam questions.

Massaging the figures
Earnings management – what it is, when it becomes fraud, and implications for auditors.

ISA 240 (redrafted), auditors and fraud
The definitions given by International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 240 (Redrafted) of fraud and error, and the historical
expectations of the audit role.

Forensic auditing
This article explores some of the key issues relevant to forensic investigations.

Auditors' reports to those charged with governance
This article discusses the important reporting 'output' produced as a result of the audit process, that of the auditor's communication
to those charged with governance.

Examining evidence
This article explains the importance of understanding audit evidence.

Audit working papers
How working papers provide evidence that an effective, efficient, and economic audit has been carried out.