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Paper P7

Staying on the right side of ethics
Within the exam, ethical issues are commonly examined alongside practice management issues as the implications of ethical guidelines will interlink with the processes and procedures that an audit or advisory firm must put in place to ensure compliance.

Accounting issues 
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
A very common theme in Paper P7 questions is to present you with information that embodies an accounting issue. Sometimes the information is presented as a standalone requirement but is often, for example, included in a set of notes of a conversation with an audit client’s finance director.

Forensic accounting 
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
With at least one requirement relating to forensic accounting in three out of five Paper P7 exams between December 2011 and December 2013, this is an area of the syllabus that students cannot afford to overlook. This article explores some of the issues relevant to forensic accounting.

Auditor liability 
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
This article focuses on the issue of auditor’s liability in the UK, and therefore contains references to the UK Companies Act 2006, as well as UK-specific legal cases. Candidates other than those attempting the UK adapted paper are not expected to have UK-specific knowledge. The concepts discussed in this article however are broadly relevant and will help candidates to understand why this is an important issue within the auditing profession.

IAASB developments 
Also available as a podcast on iTunes
In the context of auditing, Paper P7 candidates should be aware of important projects that are being undertaken by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). This article aims to provide an overview of the more significant currently active IAASB projects.

Reporting on audited financial statements – significant changes proposed
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) plans to make significant changes to how the auditor communicates audit-related matters to shareholders and other users of audited financial statements. This article summarises the main issues of the Invitation to Comment and the requirements of the Exposure Draft issued by the IAASB in June 2012 and July 2013 respectively. The IAASB proposals are considered relevant to Paper P7 (INT) and all adapted papers due to their general significance as a current issue for auditors worldwide.

The control environment of a company 
The purpose of this article is to provide candidates with a more detailed appreciation of matters pertinent to an auditor, focusing on the need for the auditor of a large limited liability company (in the UK – a limited company) to evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s control environment.

Continue to be 'rest assured' 
This article looks at the topic of assurance in the context of Paper P7, describing a framework for the classification of assurance and non-assurance engagements, and giving guidance on the practical approach required when undertaking assurance assignments.

ISA 315 (Revised), Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and Its Environment (Related to Entity's Internal Control)
One of the major revisions of ISA 315 relates to the inquiries made by external auditors of the internal audit function since internal auditors have better knowledge and understanding of the organisation and its internal control. This article addresses and highlights the components of internal control.

A question of ethics 
When ethics appears in an optional question in the Paper P7 exam, it is often a popular choice for candidates, but their answers often lack detail and are not well applied to the question scenario. This article aims to assist candidates in terms of knowledge and question technique when tackling a question on ethics.

Planning an audit of financial statements
The key to a successful audit is effective planning. This article explains how planning an audit involves more than just obtaining business understanding and performing risk assessment. She also summarises the main requirements and guidance contained in ISA 300, Planning an Audit of Financial Statements.

Completing the audit
This article explores some of the key requirements of International Standards on Auditing (ISA) that are relevant at the completion stage, and discusses the practical implications of those requirements.

Auditor's reports in the UK
This article considers the rationale behind the UK retaining its own version of the clarified ISA 700, and highlights the main differences between the UK version and its international equivalent.

Clarity auditing standards
An overview of clarity auditing standards, with a focus on the new ISA/HKSA 265 (Clarified), Communicating Deficiencies in Internal Control to those Charged with Governance and Management.

Audit and insolvency
This article highlights some of the issues that auditors may have to deal with in respect of insolvency.

Group auditing
This article reviews the most significant elements of group audits and changes to ISA 600 that were introduced as a result of the recent Clarity project.

Acceptance decisions for audit and assurance engagements
This article discusses the learning outcomes of Professional Appointments from Syllabus reference C4.

Specific aspects of auditing in a computer-based environment
This article provides guidance on various aspects of auditing in a computer-based accounting environment.

Audit of estimates and fair values
Guidance on making estimates, a vital part of preparing financial statements.

Analytical procedures
An outline of the analytical procedures relevant to the audit papers.

A matter of opinion
This article revisits the basic principles of forming an audit opinion and looks at how this knowledge should be applied by considering a past Paper P7 exam question.

Going concern
The additional guidance given for ISA 570, Going Concern.

Audit risk
This article outlines and explains the concept of audit risk, making reference to the key auditing standards which give guidance to auditors about risk assessment.

Auditing in a computer-based environment
The aim of this article is to help students improve their understanding of computer-assisted techniques by giving practical illustrations of computer-based controls and the way they may feature in exam questions.

The IAASB Clarity Project
This article provides a summary of the reasons for, and effects of, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB) Clarity Project from an international and a UK and Ireland perspective.

Massaging the figures
Earnings management - what it is, when it becomes fraud, and implications for auditors.

ISA 240 (redrafted), auditors and fraud
The definitions given by International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 240 (Redrafted) of fraud and error, and the historical expectations of the audit role.

The importance of financial reporting standards to auditors
This article provides guidance on the financial reporting issues that require a detailed level of knowledge, and those for which less detailed knowledge will be expected.

Forensic auditing
This article explores some of the key issues relevant to forensic investigations.

Auditors' reports to those charged with governance
This article discusses the important reporting 'output' produced as a result of the audit process, that of the auditor's communication to those charged with governance.

Group audit issues
This article summarises some of the sections of ISA 600 (Revised and Redrafted).

Examining evidence
This article explains the importance of understanding audit evidence.

Audit working papers
How working papers provide evidence that an effective, efficient, and economic audit has been carried out.

Study support videos

Risk assessment and audit procedures
Steve Whittenbury from BPP provides some exam technique advice on approaching Paper P7, including what to expect in Question 1, syllabus requirements, examinable documents and examiner comments.
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Syllabus updates

Changes to the ACCA Qualification Skills module and Professional level in 2014–15
This article explains the planned updates to the ACCA Qualification syllabuses taking place as part of the process of continuous syllabus refreshment and improvement. The article highlights structural changes to exams, including the latest syllabus changes.

ACCA embeds integrated reporting
Gareth Owen, ACCA qualifications development manager, outlines how the ACCA Qualification embraces the underlying principles of integrated reporting (IR). IR is a different way of presenting information about the business to its stakeholders and, as such, is a new and exciting development in financial reporting.

Examiner approach to Paper P7 - updated March 2013 
This updated examiner approach article looks at the syllabus and paper format changes that have occurred in the last few years. It should be read in conjunction with the Paper P7 Syllabus and Study Guide, and with other recent articles prepared by the examining team.

Syllabus and Study Guide and exam format update 
This article explains the changes affecting Paper P7 from June 2013 and candidates are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the content of this article while preparing for exams in June 2013 and subsequent sittings.

Making the best Options choices 
The Options papers are the final exam hurdle. Peter Redfern, ACCA qualifications manager, explains how choosing Options papers which you are most comfortable with will, hopefully, improve your chances of success.

Syllabus and Study Guide update
An outline of the changes to the Syllabus and Study Guide that are effective from the June 2012 exam session.

Changes in question style for Paper P7
This article provides guidance on the new question style, which will be seen in all adaptations of the paper from June 2011.

Change of syllabus
This article highlights the nature of the Paper P7 syllabus changes and the impacts on the exams that will be set.

Change in question requirements
Outlining the changes in Section A questions for Paper P7 from the June 2010 session onwards.

Exam techniques

Underpinning knowledge for the audit papers
This article explores the similarities and differences between Paper F8 and P7 and identifies how best to prepare for the step up to the Professional level.

Paper P7 (UK) and (IRL) exam style
This article provides candidates preparing for Paper P7’s (UK) and (IRL) exams with information on question styles and the wording of exam requirements. It reiterates and builds on the guidance given in previous examiner’s articles.

Exam technique for Paper P7
This article provides supplementary advice on exam technique, reiterating and expanding on comments made in the examiner’s reports, and focusing on some of the more common requirements that feature in Paper P7.

Passing the Professional level papers
This article outlines what candidates can do to ensure they are well prepared for Professional level exams.

How to tackle exams - a marker's perspective
A lack of knowledge is not the only thing that can lead to exam failure - poor technique could also let you down. This article highlights some common errors all ACCA students need to avoid.

Passing the Professional level papers
This article outlines what candidates can do to ensure they are well prepared for Professional level exams.

How to tackle audit and assurance case study questions - part 2
The second of a two-part series outlines the recommended approach to answering typical Section A case study questions.

How to tackle audit and assurance case study questions - part 1
This article provides an insight into the recommended approach for Section A questions.

Last updated: 26 Aug 2014