Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between Audit and Assurance (AA) and Advanced Audit and Assurance?

Advanced Audit and Assurance builds on the audit content of AA but the syllabus is much broader. In particular, the the syllabus contains a lot on assurance engagements. Many more financial reporting issues are also examinable in the exam.

The other difference is in the style of questions. Advanced Audit and Assurance is a practical exam; to do well in the exam candidates must display judgment, commercial awareness and professionalism.

What are the main features of the exam?

Section A will comprise of a case study, worth 50 marks, set at the planning stage of the audit, for a single company, a group of companies or potentially several audit clients.

Section B will contain two compulsory 25 mark questions, with each being based around a short scenario. One Section B question will always predominantly come from Section E of the syllabus.


How will current issues be examined?

Current issues could be tested in Section A or Section B. Candidates should have an awareness of recent developments in the profession, such as new auditing standards and exposure drafts, and emerging ethical guidelines. It is likely that a current issue will be tested in the context of a question scenario rather than in isolation.

Should Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) be attempted before or with this exam?

SBR should be attempted before the exam but candidates are advised to take the exams in fairly close succession as candidates are required to have up-to-date SBR knowledge.

What exams must candidates take if they wish to obtain the UK or Irish audit qualification?

In order to comply with the requirements of the Statutory Audit Directive (SAD) and to practise as an auditor certain elements of UK legislation and regulation need to be examined.  (AAA-UK) and (AAA-IRL) fully meet regulatory and business environment requirements for those wishing to obtain the UK/Irish audit qualification.

As such, if candidates wish to obtain the UK or Irish audit qualification (or practise as an auditor within the UK or Ireland) they must take either the UK or Irish version of AAA.

Do candidates need to know ISA/IAS/IFRS numbers?

No, we used to give minimal marks for knowledge of ISA, IAS and IFRS numbers but we won't be doing so in the future due to the increasingly applied nature of the exam. It is the content of the standards that are important.

Will candidates sitting AAA-UK need to know FRSs, SSAPs and UITFs?

No. As the UK Strategic Business Reporting exam examine IFRS, candidates will only need to carry over their IFRS knowledge into the exam. 

Will many marks be awarded for questions on insolvency?

Insolvency is a non-audit area of the syllabus similar in ‘weighting' to a topic such as forensic accounting, which has been examined as a small part of a question and as a question in its own right.

As the effect of foreign exchange rates is examinable, will numerical examples be included in the exam?

This would depend on the nature of the question. Candidates should have a working knowledge of simple foreign currency transactions and be able to think about them from the auditor's point of view – ie they need to understand the risk of misstatement.


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