ACCT5908 Auditing and Assurance Services - 2021

Term 3
6 Units of Credit
Accounting Auditing & Tax
This course outline is for the current term. To view outlines from other years and/or terms, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Given the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in NSW, all Term 3 courses will be delivered online until at least Friday 22nd October and all assessment will be online throughout the term. The University remains hopeful that the situation will improve to allow for some on-campus activities later in Term 3 such as lab, practical and studio classes. UNSW will continue to review the situation regularly and keep students updated. For further information on how your study may be affected this term, please see FAQs here. See tab 8. Policies and Support in this course outline for tips on online study and assessment.

Summary of Course

​This course examines the practice of auditing, the underlying concepts, auditors' responsibilities, and the audit environment. Although the focus of attention is on audits carried out under the provisions of the Corporations Law, reference is also made to other assurance and related non-assurance services. The course is intended to provide an overview of the audit process as it exists in Australia and internationally. The focus is on both the conduct of the audit (as an auditor) and interaction with the audit function (as a member of the business community). Topics include: the risk-based auditing approach; assessment of risk; development of audit strategy, internal control evaluation and controls testing; substantive testing; analytical review; auditing in an information technology environment; audit sampling; audit reporting; contractual and common law duties; the critical role of ethics; and an introduction to other assurance and related non-assurance services.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​This course is offered by the School of Accounting, Auditing and Taxtion as part of the Master of Professional Accounting Degree. In order to enroll in this course, you must have passed ACCT5930 and ACCT5942. You will also find it useful to have studied (or are currently studying) ACCT5943.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrLei ZouQuad 3103
To be advised
LecturerMsFiona Foster
To be advised

.Communications with Staff

  • Dependent on current Government and University health regulations and policies, communications and consultation with staff may take place at the notified times in person, by telephone, via Zoom or email. In the limited circumstances where the notified times are not convenient, please contact the relevant staff member so that a mutually convenient time can be found. At all times, appropriate health protocols are to be followed.

  • Matters of an administrative nature should be raised with Dr. Lei Zou.

  • Matters relating to topic material should be raised with the staff member presenting that material.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​At University, the focus is on your self-directed search for knowledge. Topic presentations, live workshops, textbook material, topic exercises, quizzes, exams and other resources are all provided to help you learn. You need to do all the readings, view the topic presentations, complete all exercises and quizzes, and attend and participate in live workshops in order to fully grasp and appreciate the concepts of Auditing and Assurance Services.

It is up to you to choose how much work you do in each part of the course: covering the course material; preparing for workshops; studying for and completing quizzes and exams; and seeking assistance to clarify and extend understanding of course material. You must choose an approach that best suits your learning style and goals in this course.

You are reminded that this is a challenging course. Not keeping up to date with the material in the course has, in the past, been identified as a common reason for not achieving a passing grade in the course. This course lends itself to a sustained effort throughout the entire term rather than an intense periods of cramming prior to the final examination.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​This Course is presented in both an on-line and face-to-face study mode. Subject to Government and University health regulations and policies (and capacity constraints), you may enrol in a face-to-face or online class. Enrolment in a face-to-face class indicates a commitment and capacity to attend weekly live workshops on the Kensington Campus. Online classes can be completed remotely from anywhere in the world (subject to satisfactory internet connectivity). The online and face-to-face versions of the course are identical, except for the fact that in the face-to-face mode, the live workshops are conducted in person on campus rather than via Zoom. Expectations of students are the same irrespective of the delivery mode.

All times noted in the course outline and other course documents are Sydney time.

Course material will be introduced via pre-recorded presentations and other materials reinforced through interactive live workshops.

Many years of experience, across all types of students, and across different institutions, highlights that the most effective way to become proficient in auditing is to learn by doing (i.e., experiential learning). The course has been designed with this in mind.

For each topic, you will be expected to have completed the pre-reading from the prescribed textbook, viewed the pre-recorded topic presentations, completed the topic exercises (and checked their responses against the published suggested solutions), and prepared for an interactive workshop, all prior to each week's workshop. The live workshops provide an opportunity to strengthen your understanding of auditing by applying the pre-workshop materials in simulated audit settings. The Foundation Knowledge Quiz and Topic Quizzes provide you with feedback on their progress toward achieving the learning objectives in this course.

Pre-Workshop Self Study Materials

Pre-workshop materials include pre-recorded topic presentations prepared by School of Accounting staff teaching on the course, supported by powerpoint slide packages, pre-reading from the prescribed textbook, topic exercises (with published suggested solutions), topic specific additional readings and videos. Pre-workshop self study materials will be available on the Moodle course website at least one week prior to the workshop. Workshops have been designed, and will be conducted, with the expectation that you have completed all pre-reading, viewed the topic videos, completed the topic exercises and compared responses to the published suggested solutions.

Live Workshops

For each topic, there will be a compulsory 80 minute live workshop. You will be assigned to either the early or late workshop within your enrolled seminar time. For example, if you are enrolled in a 9:00 to 12:00 seminar, you will be assigned to either a 9:05-10:25 or 10:35 to 11:55 workshop. The approach adopted, that is to conduct two workshops with a smaller number of students in each workshop, provides greater opportunity for individual students to participate and receive attention from the workshop facilitator. You are expected to actively participate in the workshop. Marks are assigned to effective participation in workshops.

Workshops will allow you the opportunity to apply topic material in simulated audit and business settings. The workshops will be student directed, drawing on the the structure provided by the workshop facilitator. Except in pre-approved exceptional circumstances, you must attend the workshop to which they have been assigned.

For students enrolled in on-line workshops, the Zoom link for each workshop will be available on the Moodle course website.

Consultation and Topic Quiz Feedback Sessions

Topic Quizzes are a key component of the course (see below). Following each Topic Quiz, there will be an online feedback session (time to be advised). At the feedback session, there will be a general discussion on the material covered in the quiz questions and an opportunity for you to ask questions on that material. Questions specific to your responses (e.g., why did I not get a mark for this explanation?) will not be discussed in the Topic Quiz Feedback Session (questions of this nature should be raised in individual consultation). Attendance at the Topic Quiz feedback sessions is optional.

You are also reminded that individual consultation is available should you encounter any difficulty with the course material. You are reminded, however, that consultation is a complement to, rather than a substitute for, engagement with the other learning and teaching activities.

5. Course Resources

​The website for this course is on UNSW Moodle.

1. Prescribed Textbook

G. Gay and S. Simnett "Auditing and Assurance Services in Australia", McGraw-Hill, 7th Edition, 2018.

This textbook is available in both print and e-book versions.

2. Australian Standards on Auditing

Australian Standards on Auditing may be accessed (and downloaded) from the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board website (www.auasb,

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​Based on feedback provided by students in Term 3 2020 & Term 1 2021, individual Topic Quiz has been changed to group Topic Quiz. And Topic Quiz feedback sessions have been introduced to help students understand the material covered in the Topic Quizzes and to improve performance in subsequent quizzes.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 13 September 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 1

Overview of the audit function

Workshop Participation

Week 2: 20 September 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 2

The audit process

Workshop Participation

Week 3: 27 September 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 3

Understand the Entity and Assessing Business Risk and Inherent Risk

Foundation Knowledge Quiz

Workshop Participation

Week 4: 4 October 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 4

Understanding and Assessing Internal Control (Control Risk)

Workshop Participation

Topic Quiz Number 1

Week 5: 11 October 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 5

Auditor's Response to Assessed Risk of Material Misstatement - Audit Strategy

Workshop Participation

Topic Quiz Number 2

Week 6: 18 October 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 6

Test of Controls

Workshop Participation

Topic Quiz Number 3

Week 7: 25 October 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 7

Substantive Tests of Transactions and Balances

Workshop Participation

Topic Quiz Number 4

Week 8: 1 November 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 8

Auditing in an Information Technology Environment

Workshop Participation

Topic Quiz Number 5

Week 9: 8 November2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 9

Audit Completion and Communication

Workshop Participation


Week 10: 15 November 2021Self Study and Workshop

Topic 10

Emerging Assurance and Related Non-Assurance Services

Workshop Participation


8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School program learning outcomes, academic integrity, student responsibilities and student support services. For information regarding special consideration and viewing final exam scripts, please go to the key policies and support page.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Services team.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Learning Support Tools
Business School provides support a wide range of free resources and services to help students in-class and out-of-class, as well as online. These include:

  • Academic Communication Essentials – A range of academic communication workshops, modules and resources to assist you in developing your academic communication skills.
  • Learning consultations – Meet learning consultants who have expertise in business studies, literacy, numeracy and statistics, writing, referencing, and researching at university level.
  • PASS classes – Study sessions facilitated by students who have previously and successfully completed the course.
  • Textbook access scheme – To support the inclusion and success of students from equity groups enrolled at UNSW Sydney in first year undergraduate Business programs.

The Nucleus - Business School Student Services team
The Nucleus Student Services team provides advice and direction on all aspects of enrolment and graduation. Level 2, Main Library, Kensington 02 8936 7005 /

Business School Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The Business School Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee strives to ensure that every student is empowered to have equal access to education. The Business School provides a vibrant, safe, and equitable environment for education, research, and engagement that embraces diversity and treats all people with dignity and respect.

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9065 9444

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Support for Studying Online

The Business School and UNSW provide a wide range of tools, support and advice to help students achieve their online learning goals. 

The UNSW Guide to Online Study page provides guidance for students on how to make the most of online study.

We recognise that completing quizzes and exams online can be challenging for a number of reasons, including the possibility of technical glitches or lack of reliable internet. We recommend you review the Online Exam Preparation Checklist of things to prepare when sitting an online exam.