Study guide: Third edition (new)

The Advanced Audit and Assurance subject provides a body of knowledge for you to understand the nature and diversity of audit and assurance engagements. The subject provides an insight on audit and assurance processes, the methodologies and procedures. It also examines the objectives of assurance engagements and current and future developments in assurance engagements. The environment within which the auditor or assurance practitioner operates, and the respective roles of the private and public sector auditors and internal audit, are also discussed.

In the CPA Program, the professional responsibilities of accountants are discussed in the Ethics and Governance subject. However, this subject emphasises the ethical and professional conduct of auditors. The strategic business analysis techniques in the Advanced Audit and Assurance subject are further discussed in the Strategic Management Accounting and Global Strategy and Leadership subject in their respective context.

This subject and the Contemporary Business Issues subject also cover sustainability reporting and assurance, with an emphasis on businesses. Advanced topics in financial reporting which complement the accounting knowledge of audit professionals are covered in the Financial Reporting subject.

This subject is compulsory for candidates who have not completed recognised studies in auditing.

General objectives

On completion of this subject, you should be able to:

  • understand and apply the framework for assurance engagements in audit and review engagements and assurance engagements (other than audits or reviews), and discuss the elements of an assurance engagement
  • discuss the quality control standards for audit and assurance engagements, and the fundamental ethical principles for the auditing profession
  • explain and apply the requirements of the audit, review and assurance standards that are applicable to audit and review engagements and assurance engagements (other than audits or reviews)
  • design the audit process to be undertaken by auditors in conducting audit and assurance engagements
  • apply the relevant auditing standards to the assessment for fraud and going concern in an audit of financial statements
  • explain the purpose and role of performance audits
  • identify and describe the various types of assurance engagements
  • discuss the nature of internal audit

Exam structure

The Advanced Audit and Assurance exam generally consists of 100 per cent multiple-choice questions.

Subject content

The subject is divided into seven modules and a case study.

The ‘weighting’ column in the following table provides an indication of the emphasis placed on each module in the exam, while the ‘proportion of study time’ column is a guide for you to allocate your study time for each module.

Table 1: Module weightings and study time


proportion of
study time %

Weighting (%)

1. Assurance services framework


2. General audit principles and auditor responsibilities


3. Understanding the entity, assessing risk and responding to risks


4. The auditor’s response to assessed risks


5. Audit conclusions and reporting requirements


6. Performance engagements


7. Other assurance services 11 12
Case study


  100 100

For further information, see the subject outline (PDF).