Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The pace of change in the financial statement auditing environment continues to accelerate, even as the need for reliabile, high-quality assurance over financial reporting continues to intensify. The auditing environment is far more complex and dynamic today than it was even 10 years ago. Today, for example, financial statement auditors practice in a regulated environment and must deal with three sets of auditing standards: the standards of the PCAOB for audits of U.S. public companies, the standards of the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board for audits of essentially all other U.S. entities (e.g., private companies, government entities, universities), and the standards of the IFAC’s International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board for audits of entities based outside of the United States. And those standards have undergone change at an unprecedented pace, with few signs of slowing. It is difficult enough for us as professors to stay abreast of the unprecedented change and complexity in the auditing environment; it is simply unrealistic to expect our students to be able to grasp all of this while they are working diligently just to learn the fundamentals of financial statement auditing.
That is why we have focused our efforts in this new edition to present the fundamentals of auditing in a crisp, clear, and understandable way, helping students navigate the inherent complexity while gaining a deep, intuitive grasp of fundamental auditing concepts. We do this by using simple yet compelling illustrations, examples, and analogies, such as relating the demand for an audit to the desire of a prospective home buyer to hire a house inspector. Our hope is that students will not only understand the important standards and concepts underlying auditing but that they will gain an intuitive grasp of why it is important and how the underlying logic can inform their judgments not only as auditors but as business people. In terms of the three sets of extant auditing standards, we simplify the complexities involved by adopting an approach similar to that taken by all of the major international accounting firms: we start with a base set of standards (in our case, the AICPA’s new body of “clarity” standards, which are at this point very similar to the IAASB standards) and we build on that base by addressing any requirements in the PCAOB standards that require more from the auditor. The AICPA’s clarity standards are newly converged with international auditing standards, which means that by studying this book your students will learn the auditing concepts that underlie an audit performed under any of the three extant sets of standards. All of the major firms have adopted a similar approach because it allows their professionals to practice effectively in any environment, domestic or international, using a single, merged set of auditing standards, rather than having to learn the specifics of three different sets. Your students will have that same advantage in learning auditing from this book.
Although the auditing environment has become even more complex and demanding, at the same time it is increasingly important that students gain a deep understanding and working knowledge of fundamental auditing concepts and how they are applied. From the beginning we have worked hard to make this book the most up-to-date, “student-friendly” introductory auditing book on the market, and this new edition continues that effort. Some of the ways this book encourages your students (and ours) to think more clearly and deeply about what they are studying are by
1. Expanding the use of “stop and think” phrases at key places throughout the chapters to encourage students to more fully internalize key concepts and facilitate deep learning by your students.
2. Clarifying explanations and adding easy-to-understand examples throughout the book.
3. Making several chapters more concise and enhancing the focus on key concepts by deleting noncentral detail.
4. Improving end-of-chapter and supplementary materials throughout the book and on the website.
5. Adding a “Professional Judgment” module to the print copy of the book to accelerate the development of professional judgment abilities in your students. This module is based on the 2013 AAA Wildman Award winning KPMG Professional Judgment monograph, authored by Steve Glover and Doug Prawitt, in collaboration with KPMG leaders and partners.
6. New discussion cases added to Chapters 3 and 6 relating to the misappropriations of assets at Koss Corporation and Dixon, Illinois.
This new edition also contains several important updates including the introduction of industry leader IDEA® software by CaseWare Analytics. IDEA is a powerful and user-friendly data analysis tool designed to help auditors perform data analysis, audit sampling, and other audit procedures efficiently and effectively. Students are introduced to IDEA in the text and through hands-on tutorials, exercises, and problems. This edition also has been updated to reflect changes in auditing standards, such as the PCAOB’s Risk Assessment standards and the AICPA’s newly revised body of “clarity” standards, including the “principles underlying an audit conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.” The book also reflects new developments in how auditors assess materiality, based on research into major firms’ materiality policies by Aasmund Eilifsen and Bill Messier, and includes insights into audit sampling in practice based on research co-authored by Steve Glover. This edition also includes coverage of the newly revised COSO Internal Control-Integrated Framework. Because of their increasing complexity and importance to the audit process, this edition also includes discussions of auditing the tax liability and auditing fair value measurements. The book also includes coverage of professionalism and ethics consistent with the AICPA’s newly reorganized Code of Professional Conduct.
Finally, the authors took a hands-on role in improving this edition’s test bank, online quizzes, instructor PowerPoint slides, and the instructor’s manual.