Small Audits Made Easy and Profitable (CPE Course)

CPE Credit: 9 hours

Course Type: Downloaded PDF materials with online test

Price (with PDF Textbook): $60


Course Description
This course includes guidance for planning, performing and completing high-quality small audit engagements with maximum efficiency.  The course includes illustrative practice aids that demonstrate the application of requirements in the Clarified Auditing Standards.


Author: Larry L. Perry

Course Number: AU002

Table of Contents
Part 1. Overview
Part 2. Saving Time with Quality Control
Part 3. Developing Cost-Beneficial Audit Strategies
Part 4. Audit Planning for Profits
Part 5. Understanding Internal Control and Making it Pay
Part 6. Understanding Risk Assessment Standards and Financial Statement Assertions
Part 7. Simplifying Materiality and Sampling Decisions
Part 8. Preparing the Most Efficient Practice Aids and Working Papers
Part 9. Reviewing Engagements
Part 10. Eliminating Waste During Engagement Completion
Part 11. Preparing Audit Reports and Internal Control Letters
Appendix. Illustrative Practice Aids

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the philosophies underlying cost-beneficial audit strategies for audits of small- to medium-size entities.
  • Design audit strategies for small audits that will comply with all applicable professional standards and achieve high levels of profitability.
  • Perform and document auditing procedures for smaller audits that result in both quality and efficiency.
  • Recognize the importance of leadership involvement on small audits.
  • Evaluate the relationship of audit risk, materiality calculations and sampling decisions.
  • Identify appropriate engagement completion procedures.
  • Understand the quality control policies and procedures that comply with the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct and the Statement on Quality Control Standards No. 8, A Firm’s System of Quality Control (Redrafted) (QC 10).
  • Discuss the components of the AICPA Practice Aid Establishing and Maintaining a System of Quality Control for a CPA Firm’s Accounting and Auditing Practice (Practice Aid), the AICPA Conceptual Framework for Independence Standards, A Guide for Complying with Rules 102-105 (integrated into the AICPA’s updated Code of Professional Conduct) and AICPA Instructions for Quality Control Materials Reviews.
  • Identify potential impairments to independence and threats to rules violations.
  • Evaluate risk at the financial statement level.
  • Understand when a CPA firm is responsible for establishing and maintaining a system of quality control over the development of quality control materials.
  • Understand how the relationship between risks of material misstatement and various types of tests can create efficiencies on small audits.
  • Use assessed levels of risk of material misstatement for certain financial statement classifications to reduce overall evidence requirements.
  • Perform and document risk assessment procedures.
  • Design cost-beneficial audit strategies on small audits.
  • Design audit responses to potential risks of material misstatement.
  • Understand how effective engagement planning can increase small audits’ profits.
  • Focus on the purposes and substance of engagement planning first, the procedures and documentation second.
  • Perform engagement planning activities in the most appropriate order.
  • Better plan and organize audit documentation before beginning the work.
  • Understand how an engagement leader should be involved throughout an engagement.
  • Understand the history and evolution of internal control.
  • Distinguish between key controls at the entity level and the activity level.
  • Evaluate internal control based on the nature, size and complexity of an entity.
  • Prepare flowchart documentation of accounting and internal control systems.
  • Understand how to report control deficiencies on small audits.
  • Know the key requirements of the risk assessment standards.
  • Understand the opportunities in the risk assessment standards for designing efficient audit strategies and plans (programs).
  • Focus on relevant assertions when designing effective and efficient audit strategies and plans.
  • Calculate and use planning materiality and tolerable misstatement (performance materiality) and the lower limit of individually significant items (ISIs) to create efficiencies on small audits.
  • Perform good error analysis.
  • Save time on small audits by not performing sampling applications (planning strategies not to sample).
  • Apply sampling procedures to sampling populations when necessary.
  • Plan and use the minimum practice aids for smaller audits.
  • Plan audit documentation that supports cost-beneficial audit strategies for smaller audits.
  • Understand the requirements of key auditing standards and alternative ways to document compliance.
  • Prepare “just enough working papers.”
  • Understand and use a risk-based approach to reviewing engagements.
  • Apply appropriate review responsibilities as in-charge accountants and/or engagement leaders.
  • Build resources of staff personnel by writing effective review notes.
  • Document the reviews of engagements by completing an Engagement Review Checklist.
  • Identify the phases of the audit process and examine the negative effects on the completion phase that result when tasks are completed out of order.
  • Discuss the key functions and responsibilities necessary for efficient engagement completion.
  • Integrate planning, performance, and completion procedures by compiling checklists, organizing documentation, and performing quality control procedures to maximize planning efficiency and eliminate problems during engagement wrap-up.
  • Use a checklist to order engagement activities and facilitate a “do it now” attitude to prevent loose ends consuming engagement completion time.
  • Prepare financial statements, footnotes, and reports more efficiently and effectively.
  • Understand types of audit report modifications and when they are applicable.
  • Prepare more practical internal control communication letters for smaller audits.
  • Understand the contents of AU-C 265 of the Clarified Auditing Standards, Communicating Internal Control Related Matters Identified in an Audit.

    Level: Overview

    Instructional Method: QAS Self-Study

    NASBA Category: Auditing

    Prerequisites: None

    Advance Preparation: None

    Program Registration Requirements: Click on "Purchase Course" near the top of this page to pay for and access the course. You will then be able to download the course as a PDF file, then take an on-line examination, and then download a certificate of completion if you pass the examination.

    Program Refund Policy: For more information regarding administrative policies concerning complaints, refunds, and other matters, see our policies page.


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    AccountingTools, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org.

    The NASBA sponsor identification number for Accountingtools, Inc. is 115881.


    AccountingTools is an IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider. We are compliant with the requirements for continuing education providers (as described in sections 10.6 and 10.9 of the Department of Treasury’s Circular No. 230 and in other IRS guidance, forms, and instructions). Our IRS Approved Continuing Education Provider number is 72821.