Auditing and Assurance Services

Semester 2, 2017

Group Assignment

Contribution to overall assessment: 25%

Due Date: Week ??

According to your textbook, “Auditors are gatekeepers that play a critical role in ensuring that Australian investors can be confident and informed. It is important to continue the work to improve audit quality and the consistency of audit execution…auditing is an essential and integral element of government accountability”.

According to the Chief Innovation Officer of Deloitte & Touche LLP, “Using artificial intelligence, auditors may soon be able to provide clients with new ways to uncover risk hiding in plain sight in financial statements”.

According to a manager in a Big 4 firm, ““I have been in situations where some course of action/piece of advice is ‘right’, but given that it is not what the client wants your advice is overruled by those more senior to you. I believe that this happens because there are pressures at the more senior levels in professional firms. In particular, the culture of performance targets and the fee generation pressure creates incentives for bad/unethical decisions. It is very much if your fee income falls you will be out of a job” (cited in ICAS, 2004).


According to Sikka (2009), “The second question relates to the basic auditing model and total auditor income. The auditing firms are capitalist enterprises and are dependent upon companies and their directors for income. The fee dependency impairs claims of independence and has the capacity to silence auditors (Powers et al., 2002; United States Bankruptcy Court for the District Delaware, 2008). It poses fundamental questions about the private sector model of auditing which expects one set of capitalist entrepreneurs (auditors) to regulate another set of capitalist entrepreneurs (company directors)”.



Discuss the opportunities and challenges for the auditing profession under the Australian auditing model.  You also need to address the recent regulatory attempts to improve the audit quality in Australia.

You need to support your discussion with suitable examples and relevant cases – both recent and past.

Important: In developing your viewpoint, you need to examine the issues raised in the above excerpts.

Starting points for your research:


Your textbook.


Helliar, C., & Bebbington, K. J. (2004). Taking Ethics to Heart. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Sikka, P. (2009). Financial crisis and the silence of the auditors. Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 34(6-7), pp. 868-873



Please note the following:


·         Required format: Essay (Around 2500 words)

·         The assignment is to comply with the University’s General Guide to Writing and Study Skills, General Guide to Referencing, and Assignment Layout and Appearance Guidelines.

·         This is a group-assignment.  Each group needs to have 2 to 3 members in it. Please organise yourselves into groups.  

·         Please make sure that names and ID numbers of all group members are stated on the cover sheet of your submission.


As this is a group assignment, each member of your group is awarded the same mark.  Working in groups has its pros and cons. I am sure that you will hold constructive group discussions. In case of any disagreements, you will be able to resolve them in a reasonable way. There will be times when you may have to agree to disagree with each other.


Invariably different group members bring different skills to a project; it is up to you to make the best of it. I believe one can learn a lot by discussing the issues with one’s colleagues. If you find your group members are “not pulling their weight” or there are problems with any member’s commitment, then please try to resolve those issues amongst yourselves. Open and honest communication always helps. 


If you are unable to resolve these issues, you are most welcome to see me and we will try to sort out the problems together. Do this as soon as possible and certainly before the due date.


For some reason, if you do not wish to work in a group, please let us know. Please adapt this to suit your style and your students.

Thanks – Geeta



BUACC5935, Auditing and Assurance Services

Semester 2 – 2017,  Group Assignment


Bases of assessment

F                       P                         HD

Content – Identification of relevant issues.


Research – Selection of relevant material. 


A demonstration of critical evaluation of the material. 


Expression of your viewpoint (and not a catalogue of quotes/ others’ ideas).



Expression – clarity, style (formal and academic), coherence in writing, grammar, punctuation, spellings and sentence structure.


A logical flow of argument at both the paragraph level and the overall text level.


Use of supporting arguments. 

Use of literature to support the argument.



Structure – Synopsis (Stated the topic, reflected main arguments and identified conclusions reached).


Introduction (Provided background/contextual information; clearly introduced the essay topic; outlined the plan for addressing the topic).


Discussion in appropriately linked sections and paragraphs.


Conclusion (no new material; reiterated the main line of argument).


Referencing procedure (within the text, and at the end of the text).

Appropriately styled and punctuated bibliography.




Overall Presentation – including cover page, line spacing, page numbering.



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