Using Prior Knowledge for the CPA Exam

I actually was looking forward to section 2 of my BEC lectures and study questions. I am referring to the Corporate Governance section. The content is not completely foreign to me. As an auditor, I am required to be very familiar with the do’s and don’ts of corporate governance. In addition, I have to know COSO – Internal Control Framework and ERM inside and out. We are exposed to it on a daily basis and have to consider the components, as well as the principles, throughout the course of every audit engagement.

Our audit shop incorporates the 17 principles, if applicable, into all of our audit reports.

For instance, there have been times when we have audited a particular department that did not have their operational procedures documented. When that observation is documented in the report, we state the risks associated with not having written procedures and refer to the COSO component and principle that refer doing so, which would be Control Activities-Principle 12, which states that

“the organization deploys control activities that establish what is expected and procedures that put policies into action”. Being able to apply the components and principles to the audit observations helps to tie it all together.

Because this content has been engrained in my day-to-day job function…

I have all lot of confidence as it relates to this topic and am able to easily understand it. As a result, I quickly moved through the lectures and study questions with no confusion. In addition, the mnemonics that Roger uses makes the concepts that much easier to retain. Also, Roger used some examples that filled in any gaps in my understanding that I previously had.

For this particular topic, my advice is to really try to not only memorize the material in this section…

But really attempt to grasp the concepts as Roger explains them because this section ties into other sections, such as AUD. As a future CPA, it is imperative that you understand the 5 components, as well as the 17 principles, as they all affect financial statement reporting in one way or another.

However, the larger part of my advice in this piece is for you to take advantage of the topics on the CPA Exam that you’re already familiar with or have been exposed to. Whether you’re a working professional whose specialty is tax or a student going through an audit course, use your prior knowledge as a foundation for its application on the CPA Exam. It will give you confidence on that section and could definitely be where you get those extra points to pass!

Kimberly Smith, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review 

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