The Audit Section of the CPA Exam can be quite difficult for candidates who have never had previous exposure to it.
Many review courses will advise you to memorize the information, and while this strategy can work, I speak from experience when I say that you’d be better suited to take the time to learn the material. I say this because the main issue with Audit is the exam’s ability to trick you into selecting the incorrect answer. For example, every word in the answer choice you select may be correct except one, and that word may be “probable” instead of “possible.” Such subtle differences will result in the incorrect answer; therefore, you really want to be able to nail down the easy topics within the Audit section in order to leverage the more difficult topics.
There are two topics in particular that come to mind that I didn’t find much difficulty with: Audit Sampling and the Auditors Professional Responsibilities and Ethics.
These two topics can be quick and easy points on the exam if you know the key information related to each section.
In regards to Audit Sampling, there are two main subsections, one being Attribute Sampling and the other being Variable Sampling. Attribute Sampling is completed when testing the controls of the company. The auditor will use the sample to determine whether or not the deviation rate is in line with his/her tolerable rate of deficiency. While Attribute Testing is used while testing the controls of the company, Variable Sampling is completed when testing the details of specific transactions. With Variable Sampling, you’ll be looking to confirm that Dollar Amount is accurate. Both sampling techniques are frequently tested and knowing the basics to each sampling technique is one way to collect easy points on the exam.
The Auditors Professional Responsibilities and Ethics mainly relate to the integrity and objectivity of the professional service the Auditor is performing. The Auditor also has to relieve himself of all conflicts of interests and remain independent during the Audit. Knowing these facts can easily bring you points during exam day.
With Audit, I found that reading each Audit Report was crucial to my understanding of the reports.
I did not simply memorize the material or skim it; I learned it. That way I would be able to avoid falling into the traps the exam will present. I would also know the difference between the correct and incorrect answer the next time I’m presented with similar answer choices that have subtle differences. Keep studying and reviewing and working multiple choice questions each and every day, and you will be well prepared for the Audit Section of the Exam.
–Christopher Boate, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review