Audit and Assurance Essentials for ProfessionalAccountancy Exams + Website
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More About This Title Audit and Assurance Essentials for ProfessionalAccountancy Exams + Website


An accessible beginner’s guide to the fundamentals of audit and assurance 

Audit and assurance is a basic and vital aspect of the financial world and a key element of all professional accountancy programs. Whereas professional training on the topic frequently immerses students in too much detail while glossing the basics, this book begins with the fundamentals and expands to cover the details in a more measured way. With practical examples and end-of-chapter examples, External Audit and Assurance Essentials breaks down a difficult and challenging field of professional accounting.


Katharine Bagshaw, London, UK has 20 years of experience as a technical specialist in ISAs and wrote some of the first UK training materials on ISAs in the mid 1990s. She trained with and has worked for firms that are now Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC.
Katharine taught auditing to ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA and CIPFA students for over 15 years in the UK, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Far East and she served as ACCA’s auditing examiner for three years.
Since 2000, Katharine has worked for ICAEW’s Audit and Assurance Faculty with responsibility for ICAEW’s extensive ISA Implementation program. She is currently Secretary to its ISA Implementation group and to ICAEW’s PCAOB Panel. She is also Technical Adviser to a UK representative on IFAC’s SMP Committee and has written numerous articles for the professional press. She is the author of several specialist auditing publications on ISAs.


Introduction 1

1 Auditors, Audits and Other Types of Assurance and Passing the Exam First Time 3

1.1 The Need for Audit and Other Types of Assurance 4

1.2 Passing the Exam First Time 13

2 Taking on Professional Work and Maintaining Standards 23

2.1 Introduction to Professional Standards 24

2.2 Fundamental Principles, Threats and Safeguards 26

2.3 Changes in a Professional Appointment 32

2.4 Obtaining Professional Work 34

2.5 Professional Ethics: Fees 39

2.6 Professional Ethics: Confl icts of Interest and Hospitality 43

2.7 Professional Ethics: Independence and Objectivity 45

2.8 Appointing and Removing Auditors 57

2.9 Agreeing Engagement Terms 61

3 Housekeeping: Planning, Materiality and Documentation 67

3.1 Planning 68

3.2 Materiality 73

3.3 Audit Documentation 77

4 The Core of the Audit 87

4.1 Risk Assessments 87

4.2 Audit Evidence 113

4.3 Responding to Risk 128

4.4 Audit Tools 152

4.5 More Audit Tools: Using the Work of Others 196

4.6 Related Parties, Initial Engagements, Opening Balances and Comparative Information 228

5 Corporate Governance, Professional Liability, Regulation and Other Current Issues 237

5.1 Corporate Governance 237

5.2 Professional Liability, Regulation and Other Current Issues 250

6 Audit Reporting 265

6.1 Audit Finalisation 265

6.2 Modified and Unmodified Audit Opinions 275

6.3 Emphasis of Matter and Other Matter Paragraphs, Going Concern 288

6.4 Communications with Management and those Charged with Governance 299

6.5 Other Information 306

7 Fraud, Money Laundering, Forensic Accounting, Financial Instruments 311

7.1 Fraud: Auditors’ Responsibilities 312

7.2 Laws and Regulations: Auditors’ Responsibilities 322

7.3 Money Laundering 325

7.4 Forensic Accounting 331

7.5 Financial Instruments 335

8 The Wider Framework: Assurance, Other Engagements, Audit Quality and Quality Control 343

8.1 International Standards 345

8.2 Overall Objectives of Audits, the Framework For Assurance Engagements, ISAE 3000 353

8.3 Audit Quality and Quality Control 371

9 Smaller Entity Audits, Reviews, Compilations, Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements, Not-For-Profit Engagements 383

9.1 Smaller Entity Audits 384

9.2 Overview of Reviews, Agreed-Upon Procedures and Compilation Engagements 387

9.3 Review Engagements 389

9.4 Compilation Engagements 398

9.5 Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements 402

9.6 Not-For-Profit Engagements 406

10 Other Assurance Engagements 415

10.1 Introduction to Other Assurance Engagements 416

10.2 Assurance or Agreed-Upon Procedures: Key Performance Indicators 418

10.3 Social and Environmental Reporting and ISAE 3410 Assurance Engagements of Greenhouse Gas Statements 421

10.4 Prospective Financial Information 428

10.5 ISAE 3420 Reporting on the Compilation of Pro-Forma Financial Information in Prospectuses 433

IAASB Standards and Related Guidance Covered in This Publication 437

Answers 439

Abbreviations 487

Index 489