BA (HONS) ACCOUNTING & FINANCE BA (HONS) PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY COURSE YEAR 3 AUDIT & ASSURANCE 1 INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT BRIEF HAND OUT DATE:5th October 2011 HAND IN DATE: INSTRUCTIONS FOR COURSEWORK You are required to research and prepare a report based on one of the following topics. Please seek the assistance of the module leader Ivor Pingue and your seminar tutors for help and guidance with your coursework. Do not leave the research too late!!
The word limit for the report is a minimum of 3,500 (+10%) words. maximum word count can be + 10% (Note: reports submitted with less than 3,500 words will be rejected and given a mark of zero !! ). Reports must indicate the word count and any report that does not include this will be rejected. All reports must be properly referenced and also be submitted with a TURNITIN report. NOTE that high similarity reports could be subject to further investigation which might lead to a charge of academic misconduct for plagiarism. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
In addition to the written report, you are to prepare a separate individual personal development statement in accordance with the attached brief. This individual submission is to be handed in for the attention of Peter Blowes. The personal development statement will contribute up to 10% of your overall mark for the unit. TOPIC 1 Given the recent banking crisis and the current volatility of the financial markets, some commentators have suggested that the current audit model is not fit for purpose and should be changed to reflect the current business practices and models particularly relating to risk and risk assessment.
REQUIRED Critically evaluate this statement and consider whether in your view, the current risk based approach to auditing should be amended and if so, what model should be adopted. (NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RESTRICT YOUR RESEARCH TO THE UK). TOPIC 2 External auditing has changed to accommodate the changes in corporate governance in the UK and other countries such as South Africa, Australia, US, India and China REQUIRED Using a country or countries of your choice, research and prepare a report to critically evaluate the above statement. TOPIC 3
With the current emphasis on carbon emissions and damage to the environment that businesses cause and an awareness of social issues, the role of auditors in providing social and environmental assurance engagements is likely to increase as we enter into the 21st Century. REQUIRED Research and explain the growth and development of social and environmental auditing in both the UK and a country of your choice. Explain whether you agree or disagree with the statement made. (NOTE: make sure that your research supports and is evidenced by any assertions that you make !! TOPIC 4 Auditors are not only engaged in performing statutory audits but can provide assurance reports to a number of entities both incorporated and unincorporated. Also, auditors can help reduce the incidence of fraud within a business. REQUIRED Write a report suggesting ways that an assurance engagement can be useful to various forms of businesses including the use of forensic auditing services. Also, do you agree that an assurance service can reduce the incidence of fraud? How and why do you arrive at your view? TOPIC 5
There have been a number of reports by the Audit Inspection Unit examining, amongst other things, audit quality and audit compliance reviews (ACR’s) REQUIRED Research the reports that have been produced in the UK that have considered audit quality and critically appraise them. In your report, you should make clear why you consider audit quality to be an important aspect of both the external and internal audit process. Your report should also consider how an audit firm can perform an effective audit compliance review (ACR). TOPIC 6
Given the behaviour of the audit firm Arthur Andersen in the Enron debacle, it could be argued that auditors are never truly independent of their clients and cannot be properly ethical in relation to their dealings with them for a variety of reasons, one of which being fees. REQUIRED Critically appraise the above statement by examining the relationship of the auditor to Enron. You should also consider how governments and the auditing professions in the US and UK have dealt with the issue of auditors independence and ethics. Have they gone far enough in providing public confidence in this area?
What suggestions would you make to improve the position? TOPIC 7 The question of competition within the audit market is a ‘hot topic’ particularly for the middle tier and lower tier audit firms who have argued for some time that there is an unfair dominance of big ‘4’ audit firms in relation to FTSE 100 companies. REQUIRED Consider whether in your view the mid and lower tier audit firms have a fair argument in terms of the dominance of the big ‘4’ audit firms in relation to the FTSE companies. What can be done to address this issue to ensure fair competition in the audit market ?
Can governments do more in this regard? (NOTE: Consider the current debate relating to this as well as the relevant reports). TOPIC 8 Examine articles within the following auditing journals: Auditing: A Journal Of Practice & Theory International Journal of Auditing Take a period of 36 months and selecting a theme that has been examined within these journals, write a report showing how it has been considered in these journals. Within your answer, state whether in your opinion, the matter has been satisfactorily resolved or whether further research and examination is required. MODULE LEADER
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