Module   Code






SCQF   Level


Credit   value


Module Co-ordinator           

Professor Ian Fraser


Professor Ian Fraser, Mr Alan Ballantine


25% Assignment, 75% Examination

Module introduction, aims and objectives

The main aim of the course is to enable students to obtain a critical understanding of the practice and function of external financial statement auditing in ensuring the accountability of organisations to interested parties.

Learning outcomes and skills developed

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • explain the general nature of the audit function, the regulatory framework, and why financial statement audits are necessary;
  • Identify and explain audit objectives;
  • explain the auditor’s duties and responsibilities as compared with the directors’/management’s responsibility for the financial statements, in particular with respect to the detection and reporting of fraud and going concern issues;
  • explain and discuss why independence is essential to the audit function and the reasons why the auditors’ independence may be, or may appear to be, compromised;
  • describe the audit procedures which are used to gather evidence and the ways in which that evidence is collected and evaluated, including the use of statistical and other sampling techniques and analytical review;
  • explain the relevance of the concepts of materiality and audit risk to planning the audit;
  • describe the techniques for reviewing and documenting the accounting system and its internal controls;
  • prepare and interpret auditor’s reports, including reports qualified in response to disagreement and uncertainty;
  • discuss auditors’ contractual liability to their “client” entities and auditors’ liability to third parties for negligence

Transferrable Skills

Some of the skills this course should help you to develop are:

  • analytical
  • time management
  • problem solving
  • communication
  • interpretation
  • organisation
  • planning
  • prioritisation
  • listening
  • interpersonal
  • decision making
  • investigation
  • essay writing 

Introductory Reading

I Gray & S Manson: The Audit Process, Principles, Practice and Cases Business Press, Thomson Learning, 5th edition, 2011

This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.

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