Almost everyone who has recently passed the Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the CPA exam comments that a successful approach to CPA exam review for AUD is memorization of the key elements. This calls for some tips about what and how to memorize.
The study tactics for AUD are best simplified by recommending that you think like an auditor. Anyone with some experience on audit projects has an advantage. However, for the majority of budding accountants that lack auditing backgrounds, tackling CPA study material entails a focus on memorizing audit steps and procedures.
Start by committing to memory the audit opinion. Successful completion of AUD requires that you master the principal ingredients of an audit report. Specific sentences appear in distinctive places following audits. Some students find that memorization of an entire audit report contained in CPA exam courses is the easiest way to remember the essential features. This is especially valuable for the unqualified opinion report. The AUD exam even contains questions that ask which particular paragraphs within an audit report contain certain sentences.
The audit option forms the basis for the entire AUD exam because it presents the conclusion summarizing the audit process. CPA exam questions on AUD focus upon the reasons certain statements exist in audit opinions. This fact provides you with some direction in your studies.
Memorizing an entire audit report is not difficult when you consider your learning style. Visual learners can absorb the report by continuous reading. If you’re an auditory learner, repetitively read the report aloud when studying. Kinesthetic learners can memorize the audit report from frequent writing of the content by hand.
Learning about qualified audit opinions entails more memorization. The objective is developing familiarity with the wording in qualified opinions based upon specific problems uncovered in an audit.
Plenty of questions on AUD address internal controls. Much of this is common sense. But, that is guided by understanding of the audit process. Internal control weakness also impacts the audit opinion. Drilling with practice questions is typically sufficient for concepts about internal controls to cement firmly in your memory.
An aspect of the AUD exam that has occasionally confounded the unprepared is the subjective nature of many questions. This is not a test with calculations resulting in a single accurate answer. AUD questions may have several answers that appear fairly correct. Test takers must remember to select the most correct answer. That is a manner of thinking that you can conquer while studying. One technique to utilize is wariness of answers that contain words like “never”, “always”, or “all.”
The primary recommendation concerning CPE exam material for AUD is understanding what is accomplished by an audit. Visualizing functions performed during an audit helps you remember the presentation of results. Consequently, a good way to start studying is making inquiries of an existing auditor or reviewing a summary of the overall audit process.
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