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Home > Accounting & Auditing > Auditing Update
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Knowledge Level
Copyright 2015

Publication Date
March, 2015
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Auditing Update
Introduction Organization Learning Objectives Author Bios
Title: Auditing Update
Prerequisite: None
Advance Preparation: None
Knowledge Level: Basic
Subject Matter Area: Auditing
Date of Publication: March 2015
Copyright © 2015 by Thomson Reuters/Tax & Accounting All rights reserved.
Recommended CPE Credits:  
     Textbook w/Video Online:
     Textbook Only & Online: 6
Expiration Date: One year from date of receipt to complete program and submit quizzer to obtain credit
Passing Grade for Quizzer: 70 percent or higher

This year's Auditing Update begins with a review of several Auditing Standards Board topics, including both SAS 128 regarding the using the work of internal auditors, and SAS 129 on letters for underwriters and other parties. AU-C Section 570 regarding the auditor's consideration of going concern is then examined. Next, the focus shifts to sections 70, 80, and 90 of SSARS 21, before discussing several PCAOB Practice Alerts and Auditing Standard 18. The program closes with a look at the cumulative effect on independence when providing nonattest services.

Use of Materials

The user should begin by watching the streamed video segment, if any, or listening to the streamed audio segment, if any, for the chapter before reading the text. The user may wish to make notes of the most important concepts and any terms that are new. Next, the user should review the learning objectives at the beginning of the chapter and read the chapter. The user should work through each of the examples. After the user has studied each chapter, s/he should click on the link at the left to complete the interactive study questions. If the user answers a study question incorrectly, s/he should review the section of the text that is indicated at the end of the explanation to the study question to assure comprehension of the material. The user should review the learning objectives once more to consider achievement of the objectives. After the user has finished watching the streamed video, if any, or listening to the streamed audio, if any, and reading the text and working through the study questions, s/he may wish to review her/his notes and any sections of the text or video/audio, if any, that were difficult. When the user is ready, s/he should click on the link to the left to complete the quizzer. The user's CPE certificate will be provided immediately upon successful completion of the quizzer.

This program is divided into five (5) chapters.

Chapter 1 examines SAS Nos. 128 and 129, and AU-C Section 570.

Chapter 2 discusses sections 70, 80, and 90 of SSARS 21.

Chapter 3 discusses PCAOB Auditing Standard 18, as well as Practice Alerts 12 and 13.

Chapter 4 examines the cumulative effect on independence when providing nonattest services.

Chapter 5 contains a glossary that defines frequently used key terms.

Helpful Guidance

Throughout this publication, the user will find explanations and discussions regarding some of the issues that often face practitioners. In order to enhance the user's comprehension of the material and highlight important practical considerations, this publication includes the following designations:

A Bisk CPEasy alert is intended to warn the practitioner of a particular situation that may require action or other consideration by the client or the practitioner on behalf of the client.

A Bisk CPEasy plan offers a strategy/discussion point when a practitioner is faced with a particular issue or situation.

A Bisk CPEasy point presents analysis or commentary that attempts to explain or clarify authoritative guidance.

A Bisk CPEasy tip provides practical advice that may be used to help improve client service or service to the practitioner's organization.

Upon successful completion of this program, the user should be able to:

  • Identify the parties to which SAS 128 applies

  • Determine what the external auditor will need to evaluate when deciding whether the work of the internal audit function can be used in obtaining audit evidence

  • Recognize which activities would be appropriate for internal auditors to perform

  • Determine when the external auditor should obtain written acknowledgment from management or those charged with governance regarding the internal auditors providing direct assistance

  • Recognize the auditor's responsibilities for comfort letters

  • Determine who Section 70 of SSARS 21 applies to and what is required under this section of guidance

  • Recognize what an engagement to prepare financial statements requires the accountant to do

  • Identify when an engagement letter is necessary

  • Determine what the accountant is required to do in a compilation engagement and what should be included in the documentation

  • Identify which new procedures PCAOB AS 18 requires and the particular risks this guidance identifies

  • Recognize the most common method used to report fraudulent financial statement information

  • Determine what PCAOB Staff Practice Alert No. 12 indicates that auditors often fail to perform during audit procedures and what expectations the auditor should develop regarding a company's financial statements

  • Identify what the PCAOB standards require the auditor to do when deficiencies in controls over revenue on which the auditor plans to rely are detected

  • Determine what PCAOB standards require consideration of when determining the number of items to test for a substantive test of details

  • Identify the relationship between sample sizes for statistical and nonstatistical sampling methods and the levels of necessary assurance

  • Determine when the FASB issued ASU 2014-15 and what this standards requires of an auditor

  • Identify the requirements an auditor will need to use when evaluating whether the financial statements contain the required disclosures for a going concern issue

  • Recognize when the Professional Ethics Executive Committee of the AICPA approved a revision to Ethics Interpretation 101-3

  • Identify services that would and would not be considered attest engagements

  • Recognize what routine activities do and do not involve

  • Determine what the risk-based approach in the Conceptual Framework for Independence requires

  • Identify the most common threats associated with the performance of nonattest services and how threats to independence relate to nonattest services

  • Determine how the performance of nonattest services that are significant to the subject matter of the audit may increase the significance of threats to independence

  • Recognize how safeguards eliminate or reduce threats to independence

J. Russell Madray, CPA, CIA, CMA, CFM, is president of The Madray Group, Inc., which helps businesses, accounting firms, and other organizations understand and implement technical accounting and auditing issues. The Madray Group, Inc. specializes in providing technical reviews, inspection services, and technical assistance to small and medium size accounting firms throughout the U.S. As an author, Mr. Madray is responsible for several of the profession's best-selling books. He also authors many of the AICPA's publications and is a frequent contributor to the Journal of Accountancy. In addition, he speaks to hundreds of groups each year on accounting and auditing topics and has made presentations in more than 40 states and several foreign countries. Mr. Madray has more than 20 years of professional experience, including 15 years in public practice. He is a past member of the AICPA's Accounting and Review Services Committee and a past member of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Association of CPAs. In 1996, he formed The Madray Group to support and facilitate the range of services offered by CPAs to their clients and to assist CPA firms in meeting the changing needs of their profession. (Author)

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