The CPA Exam community & online study group to help you pass!
I have the following questions:
1) If anyone have any tips regarding picking the correct Substantive Tests or Audit Procedures for a given Assertion, or a given Auditor's Objective, please share.
2) Any tips on getting the correct Assertion given Auditor's Objectives ?
3)Any tips on choosing the correct Test of Control given an Assertion or a Auditor's Objective?
These are the main topics in one of the sections in the Auditing Section. Thank you!
Preface: I have not passed this section yet (Nov. 30th is the exam date, so it does feel funny trying to advise) however, my scores on each pretest have been consistently above bar so I felt I should add my two cents, lol…
This is a loaded answer because Audit is just that type of exam. AUD section 3 is less about straight forward definitions and more about your ability to apply definitions/concepts under given circumstances. In my humble opinion, to be effective in Section 3 performing audit procedures and evaluating evidence, one needs to really focus on approach and solid fundamentals.
I think few would contest that with regard to GAAP fundamentals its best to take FAR prior to AUD. This does not mean you cannot pass AUD without taking FAR first, just means those who do, more times than not, will have an advantage. Second point, when dealing with audit procedures there are too many different variations if viewed from the procedural side. It is much less daunting and more encouraging to center your understanding base on the assertions first (ex. Existence, Completeness & Cutoff) I would recommend really understanding the assertions inside & out because the procedural questions will almost always start or end with assertions. Third point, the best way to practice these types of questions are with simulations. Procedural questions are putting you in an audit scenario and simulations do a great job of creating as close to a mock situation as you can get. The simulations may be a bit painful in the beginning but they do a great job of adding perspective to the procedure & assertion, which is tremendous for understanding.
Every assertion falls into a category: (1)"transactions and events" (Occurrence, Completeness, Accuracy etc.), (2)"balances at the end of periods" (Existence, Rights & obligations, Completeness) (3)"presentation and disclosures in the F/S" (Completeness, Classification, Understandability) etc.. Sometimes the exam wants to overload you with very detailed procedures. It is confidence building when you can take a step back and transition into a high level question… What category would this fall into? Within that category what assertion/s would be most applicable..(you get the point)
Which brings me to the second step, which is approach. Take the fundamentals obtained and use a decision tree type methodology to reason your way to the correct answer.