The Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform CPA Exam tests for skills and knowledge that a newly licensed CPA must demonstrate while performing the following duties:
- Audits of issuer and nonissuer entities (including employee benefit plans, governmental entities, not-for-profit entities, and entities receiving federal grants)
- The preparation, compilation and review engagements for nonissuer entities and the reviews of interim financial information for issuer entities
- Attestation engagements for issuer and nonissuer entities (including but not limited to reviews, examinations, and agreed-upon procedures engagements)
The engagements tested under the AUD section of the Exam are performed in accordance with the professional standards promulgated by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), AICPA, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
THE KEY TO PASSING AUDIT
Successful completion of the AUDIT section requires candidates’ understanding of proper auditing procedures, gathering evidence, fundamental principles, and internal controls. The AUDIT multiple-choice questions are the most difficult of all four exam sections.
The difficulty arises for three reasons.
⇒ Except for the computation of analytical procedure ratios and statistical sampling, candidates do not use a formula or algorithm. They rely on words to answer the question.
Nothing can be done to address the difficulties caused by this. A lot of the AUDIT questions are not numerical in nature. Try recognizing this fact and change your study habits accordingly.
⇒ The questions will ask candidates to identify the best answer. However, many of the AUDIT questions have not just one but more than one correct answer. Browsing through the answer responses, looking for the best solution can be challenging.
Candidates must work to find the best possible answer. The answer that suits best is the one that provides auditors with the most assurance about a particular problem at hand. It’s the one that makes the best case for the situation. Auditors just know the reason is good, only because they have audited and understood the concepts. Try to spend considerable time practicing all of the content areas to be comfortable with knowing which is the best answer.
⇒ A number of questions require candidates to know the definitions of many words and phrases and application of these concepts, definitions, and phrases, to real-world situations.
Most candidates sitting for the CPA exam worry about never having worked as an auditor for a public accounting firm or having any first-hand auditing experience. Current auditors will have a head start, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with determined, disciplined studying. How can you compensate for this deficiency? Practice, practice, and practice some more. Practice as many MCQs as you can. Make sure you don’t go back to your old college textbook because AUDIT content can change over time. Don’t choose the first answer you see. Selecting the best answer takes time.
Reading each and every response in the AUD Exam may be extremely exhausting but it is the only way you are sure that you have carefully considered all the answer possibilities. In other words, it matters a lot that you read all four answer explanations, looking for the best answer, as often there is more than one correct answer. The AICPA examiners want you to choose the best, correct answer. It’s one of the primary keys to being successful in the AUDIT exam.
The next key to success is to deal with the AUDIT simulations. Most of the AUDIT simulation tabs provide choices for answers and you will not be asked to create an answer from scratch. Read the company profile information properly and study the given selected financial information, before selecting a choice. Based on the specific information given, your answer will vary. Start by opening each work tab to note what it is that the examiners want you to do and then read the content of the infor- mation tabs. This technique will surely save you time. Also, don’t forget that the Resources tab may contain information that will help you solve the work tab questions.
The above article explores the keys to passing the AUD section of the CPA Exam. If you have any queries, feel free to comment in the section below. Happy Learning!
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