Auditing Assignment – Ethics and the Legal Environment

Length: 1,250 words

Task

Background

You are an experienced audit manager at Samway Baker Fitzgerald (SBF), an accounting firm with offices in Orange, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Port Macquarie and Albury in NSW, Toowoomba in Queensland and Ballarat in Victoria. Although a medium-sized firm by national standards, SBF includes Australia’s largest regionally-based auditing practice. Most of SBF’s audit clients are in the manufacturing and service industries.

It is a late summer afternoon in February 2019 and you are meeting with your audit team to discuss the 30 June 2019 year-end audit for Bletchington Limited, an innovative defence industry manufacturing company based in Orange, listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), and one of SBF’s largest clients by fee revenue. Bletchington often has to go through a competitive market tender process to win large government contracts and only does business with countries that have a recognised democratically elected government. Its main product is a highly specialised light armoured vehicle known as the Bush-Basher. Given the sensitive nature of its designs and clients, Bletchington maintains a highly secure environment.

William Albanese has been the engagement partner on the Bletchington audit for the last 5 years. Andrew is a specialist in the defence industry and intends to remain as the review partner when the audit is rotated next year to Skye Larke, who is to be promoted to partner in early 2020 to enable her to sign off on the 30 June 2020 Bletchington audit.

In September 2018, Bletchington installed an off the shelf costing system. The new system replaced a system that had been developed ‘in-house’ but could no longer keep up with the complex and detailed manufacturing costing process that provides tender costings. The old system also had difficulties with the company’s broader reporting requirements. Bletchington’s information technology (IT) department, together with the consultants from the software company, implemented the new manufacturing costing system. There were no customised modifications. Key operational staff and the internal audit team from Bletchington were heavily involved in the selection, testing, training, and implementation stages.

Bletchington has a small internal audit department which is headed by an ex-partner of SBF, Kev Kevanna. Kev joined Bletchington after leaving SBF 6 years ago. He is assisted by three junior internal auditors, all of whom are completing Bachelor of Accounting studies at Charles Sturt University.

Required

Write a memo to William Albanese, the current Bletchington engagement partner, that advises him on the following:  Question 1 (4%)

The expectations gap that could exist for the audit of Bletchington, including the existence of any special users of Bletchington’s financial reports.

Question 2 (6%)

With reference to relevant legislation and the auditing standards:

  • threats to independence for SBF in its audit of Bletchington
  • safeguards against any potential threats to SBF’s independence. 

    Online submission via Turnitin is required for this assignment. Details will be provided by your subject lecturer.

Rationale

Subject learning outcomes

This assessment task will work towards assessing the following learning outcome/s:

  • be able to explain and critically evaluate influences on audit and assurance services including: Australian and international professional standards, statutory and common laws, regulatory bodies, and public expectations within a global market.
  • be able to exercise critical and reflective judgement and appreciate the value of ethical practice.

Graduate learning outcomes

This task also contributes to the assessment of the following CSU Graduate Learning Outcome/s:

  • Academic Literacy and Numeracy (Application) – CSU Graduates consider the context, purpose, and audience when gathering, interpreting, constructing, and presenting information.
  • Ethics (Application) – CSU Graduates form judgements and apply ethical decision making and reasoning to identify creative solutions to ethical problems.

Marking criteria and standards

 

Criteria

 

High Distinction

 

Distinction

 

Credit

 

Pass

Question 1
Explanation and critical

evaluation of the

influence of Australian

and international

professional standards,

public expectations and regulatory bodies on audit and assurance services

(4 marks).

Comprehensive, focused, and concise synthesis and critical evaluation of the relevant expectations gap issues and stakeholders. Comprehensive and accurate synthesis and critical evaluation of the relevant expectations gap issues and stakeholders. Critical evaluation of the relevant expectations gap issues and stakeholders. Lists relevant expectations gap issues and stakeholders.
Question 2
Identification and evaluation of the influences of legislation and auditing standards on independence issues during the audit process

(6 marks).

Comprehensive synthesis and critical evaluation of the legislation and auditing standards most integral to threats to independence andsafeguards against those threats. Comprehensive synthesis and critical evaluation of the legislation and auditing standards most integral to identifying threats to independence. Provides at least an accurate and competent evaluation of safeguards against those threats Synthesis and critical evaluation of the legislation and auditing standards important to either: threats to independence or safeguards against those threats. Provides an accurate evaluation of the other component. Competent evaluation of legislation or auditing standards important to threats to independence and safeguards against those threats.
These last two criteria relate to the whole of the case study. N.B. although these criteria are not given a separate mark, they will be taken into account when marking each of the previous three criteria.
Professional communication using a business report format:

* Arial 10pt or TNR 12 pt font;

* 1.5 or double line spacing;

* space between paragraphs;

* appropriate headings;

* professional language.

Focused, intelligible, accurate, and concise statements are organised into a professionally-structured and formatted report which engages the reader and justifies and clarifies an insightful critical perspective. Focused, accurate, and intelligible statements are organised into a professionally-structured and formatted report which clarifies a critical perspective and facilitates the reader’s understanding. Accurate statements are organised into a structured and effectively-formatted report which conveys a coherent perspective and facilitates the reader’s understanding despite minor spelling, grammar, paragraphing, or punctuation errors. Statements are organised into a structured report which communicates a relevant perspective to the reader despite some frequent and/or intrusive spelling, grammar, punctuation, paragraphing, or formatting errors.
Appropriate resources and correct APA (6th ed.) referencing Seamlessly and articulately integrated evidence from four or more credible, relevant sources.
All work has been referenced correctly as per APA (6th ed.) requirements.
Integrated evidence from two or more credible, relevant sources.
All work has been referenced correctly as per APA (6th ed.) requirements.
Supported argument with evidence from one or more credible, relevant sources.
All work has been referenced within the body of the answer and in the reference list. Occasional formatting errors and/or omissions of information do not comply with APA (6th ed.) but do not affect transparency or traceability of source material.
Supported argument with evidence from the text. Others’ work is always acknowledged. Frequent formatting errors and/or omissions of information do not comply with APA (6th ed.) but do not affect transparency or traceability of source material.

Presentation

Assessment tasks should be submitted on Turnitin as a Microsoft Word document. Do not submit as a PDF document.

  • The first page should contain your name, student number, subject code, word count and due date. Please use 12 point font and avoid the use of fancy templates with added colour or graphics.
  • Lines should be double spaced.
  • The assessment tasks should be within +/- 10% of the word limit. The word count is taken from the first word to the last word and includes quotes. Quotes must comprise less than 10% of the total word count.
  • Proof-read your work so that it is free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Use language that is appropriate for academic and professional tasks. Ensure you use respectful and appropriate terminology. For assistance, see Learning Skills: http://www.csu.edu.au/division/studserv/learning
  • Your reference list should contain all source documents that you refer to, quote or paraphrase from. It must conform to the APA referencing style: http://student.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/294977/APAReferencingSummary2013.pdf