BUU44670: Critically analyze this statement and apply your research to the special problems of the auditors’ objectivity and independence: Audit and Assurance Assignment, TCD, Ireland

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University Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
Subject BUU44670: Audit and Assurance

Module learning outcomes assessed in this assignment:

a. Appraise the legal, regulatory and ethical framework of the auditor in selecting, performing, and reporting on assurance and non-assurance engagements.

b. Discuss and debate the issues and developments facing the auditing profession in the provision of assurance and non-assurance services.

Advanced Audit & Assurance Assignment Brief:

MSc Accounting & Finance/ PG Dip Accounting & Finance Management

PART A Essay

Whenever individuals face a trade-off between what is best for themselves and what is morally correct, their perception of moral correctness is likely to be biased in the direction of what is best for themselves. Therefore the sole reliance on a code of professional ethics to eliminate this self-serving bias and ensure desirable behavior is questionable in a professional environment.

REQUIRED:

Critically analyze this statement and apply your research to the special problems of the auditors’ objectivity and independence. Use real-world professional examples to support your analysis

PART BIndividual Reflection: 

You are required to produce a 600-word reflection on your experience in the research of the self-serving bias. Explore how you might have changed and developed from this experience and how that might impact on your future professional practice.

Module aims and objectives

On the completion of this module, the learner knows how to apply knowledge, skills and exercise appropriate judgments in the analysis, evaluation, and conclusion on the assurance and non-assurance engagement in the context of best practice and current developments in the field.

The module enables the learner to understand and apply the underlying laws, regulations, and professional standards relevant to the assurance and non-assurance engagement. The learner can appreciate and reflect on the ethical and professional requirements of the accountant and auditor in selecting clients, performing assurance and non-assurance engagements, and reporting on these engagements.

Minimum intended module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, learners can:

  • Appraise the legal, regulatory and ethical framework of the auditor in selecting, performing and reporting on assurance and non-assurance engagements.
  • Design, plan and apply International Standards on Auditing, International Standards on Quality Control and other technical pronouncements to assurance and non-assurance engagements.
  • Identify and formulate the work required to meet the objectives of assurance and non-assurance engagements within a legal, professional and ethical framework.
  • Evaluate results of audit tests and formulate appropriate reports for various stakeholder groups in agreement with terms of reference and the legal, regulatory and ethical framework.
  • Discuss and debate the issues and developments facing the auditing profession in the provision of assurance and non-assurance services.

Laws and regulations

  • Development of auditing, corporate governance and regulation
  • International and national statutory and regulatory frameworks governing the responsibilities of company directors and statutory auditors
  • Responsibilities of management and auditors in relation to an entity’s compliance with laws and regulations and auditor responsibilities in the event of non-compliance
  • International efforts to combat money laundering and impact on the auditor

Fraud and error

  • Respective responsibilities of management and auditors for fraud and error and audit considerations regarding identifying and reporting fraud

Professional Liability

  • Auditor negligence and the criteria for recognition of legal liability
  • Limiting auditor liability and the effect on auditor opinions, and the implications for the auditor and the profession

Professional and Ethical considerations

  • Fundamental principles of behaviour and conceptual framework approach
  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants; threats compliance and safeguards

Practice Management

Quality Control

  • Purpose of quality control of audit and other assurance and non-assurance engagements and the Quality Control framework for auditing

Advertising, publicity, obtaining professional work and fees

Tendering

  • Considerations and evaluation criteria for submission of tenders
  • ‘Lowballing’ – impact on auditor independence

Professional Appointments

  • Considerations and procedures for acceptance and continuation with new/ existing clients for assurance and non-assurance engagements
  • Agreeing on the scope and terms of an engagement and the Engagement Letter

Audit of Historical Financial Information

Planning, materiality, and assessing the risk of material misstatement

  • Understanding the entity and its environment and identify and evaluate business risk, audit risk, risk of material misstatement in a given assignment, and responses thereto
  • Define materiality and performance materiality and demonstrate the application of materiality in financial reporting and auditing
  • The scope of the internal audit function, outsourcing and internal audit assignments
  • Apply audit techniques to not-for-profit organisations

Evidence

  • Identify and describe audit procedures to obtain sufficient and appropriate audit evidence from identified sources in given situations and consider the implications of contradictory evidence
  • Related parties and related party transactions and impact on audit procedures
  • Reliance on third parties; Experts, Component auditors and Service organisations

Evaluation and review

  • Misstatement/material inconsistencies identified – courses of action by auditor
  • Auditor responsibility for comparative figures, other information in the financial statements, subsequent events, and going concerned
  • Adequacy of disclosures regarding the going concern status of an entity and the implications for the auditor’s report

Group audits

  • Accepting appointment as principal auditor to a group
  • Accounting and auditing problems in consolidations and responses thereto
  • Organization, planning, management, and administration of group audits
  • Implications of qualified audit reports for one or more group members
  • Transnational audits and the implications of applicable financial reporting and auditing standards, listing and corporate governance requirements

Reporting

  • Audit reports: Determining the form and content of unmodified and modified audit reports; formulating and justifying an audit opinion in a given situation
  • Reports to Management & Those Charged with Governance; content, timing, and  quality

Other Assignments

Audit-related services

  • Audit and audit-related services, and comparative levels of assurance provided by professional accountants
  • Form and content of reports for limited and non-assurance engagements

Current issues and developments

  • Professional, ethical, corporate governance, social, environmental, and integrated reporting developments
  • Current developments in business practices, audit practices, auditing standards, emerging technologies, and their potential impact on the conduct and quality of audit and other limited and non-assurance engagements

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