ACCT5908 Auditing and Assurance Services - 2023

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Term 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus and Online
Accounting Auditing & Tax
The course outline is not available for current term. To view outlines from other years and/or terms, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

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 IT dominated and data rich 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 Taxation 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-chargeAProfNoel HardingQuad 306602 93856109To be advised
LecturerMrsFiona FosterOnline-To be advised

Communications with Staff

  • Dependent on current Government and University health regulations and policies, and the availability of those teaching on the course, communications and consultation with staff may take place in person, by telephone, via Zoom or email.

  • Staff consultation times will be advised on the Moodle course website.

  • Matters of an administrative nature should be raised with Associate Professor Noel Harding.

  • At all times, appropriate health protocols are the be followed.

  • Email correspondence should not be used in circumstances requiring a detailed response and/or explanation, and should be limited to administrative matters. Where questions relate to clarification or explanation of course material, they should be asked in class or during scheduled consultation time.

The policies regarding staff contact in the School of Accounting, Auditing and Taxation are as follows:
  • All questions regarding course administration should be directed to the Lecturer-in-charge.
  • The full-time staff will be available for consultation starting from Weeks 2 to 10 and STUVAC period.
  • Consultation hours will be advised on the Moodle course website.
  • Students are encouraged to consult with staff during their notified consultation hours. Consultation will be available online via the Zoom link on the Moodle course website. Associate Professor Noel Harding will also be available for face-to-face consultation.
  • Consultation times during STUVAC period will likely vary to the regular consultation during Term and be posted on the course webpage later in the Term.
While emails to staff should be a rare occurrence as noted above, in instances where it is warranted, please make sure that:
  • You use your UNSW email address when corresponding with UNSW staff. Emails from other addresses (such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, 126, QQ, etc.) are not accepted and will not be replied to.
  • You must use appropriate communication level with staff. Emails and discussion forum posts that use short-hand and “Texting” language are not acceptable, and communication must be in English. If your email cannot be understood then staff will not reply.
  • You must identify yourself by your full name, student ID and seminar day and time.
  • Please be aware that staff will not necessarily reply to students to inform them if their emails are non-compliant.
  • Full-time teaching staff only answer emails during regular working hours of Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Other staff often have other commitments and require 48 hours within regular business office hours to reply to emails.
Complaints about the assessment and other aspects of this course should be directed in the first instance to the Lecturer-in-Charge (or Course Convenor) and if still unsatisfied with the response received then you are directed to contact the School of Accounting, Auditing & Taxation Grievance Officer, details available here:

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Use of your Webcam and Digital Devices: If you enrol in an online class, or the online stream of a hybrid class, teaching and associated activities will be conducted using Teams, Zoom, or similar a technology. Using a webcam is optional, but highly encouraged, as this will facilitate interaction with your peers and instructors. If you are worried about your personal space being observed during a class, we encourage you to blur your background or make use of a virtual background. Please contact the Lecturer-in-Charge if you have any questions or concerns.

Some courses may involve undertaking online exams for which your own computer or digital devices will be required. Monitoring of online examinations will be conducted directly by University staff and is bound by the University's privacy and security requirements. Any data collected will be handled accordance with UNSW policies and standards for data governance. For more information on how the University manages personal information please refer to the UNSW Student Privacy Statement and the UNSW Privacy Policy.

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​At University, the focus is on your self-directed search for knowledge. Topic presentations, seminars, textbook material, topic exercises, quizzes, exams and other resources are all provided to help you learn. You need to do all the readings, complete all exercises and quizzes, and attend and participate in seminars 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 seminars; 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 period of cramming prior to the final examination.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​This course, contingent on circumstances, 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 on-line class. Enrolment in a face-to-face class indicates a commitment and capacity to attend the weekly seminar on the Kensington Campus. The on-line class can be attended remotely from anywhere in the world (subject to satisfactory internet connectivity - which is an essential requirement to enrol in the course). The on-line and face-to-face versions of the course are identical, except for the fact that in the face-to-face mode, the seminars 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.

Key concepts in each topic will be introduced and discussed in the seminar, but it will not be possible to cover all material in the seminar. Seminars are not lectures. It is important that students have adequately prepared for the seminar so that they can understand the application of the material for each topic, ask questions to clarify, reinforce and extent their understanding, as well as get the most benefit from case discussions.

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, prior to the seminar, you will be expected to have completed the pre-reading from the prescribed textbook, reviewed the topic slides, completed the topic exercises, and prepared for the case discussions, all prior to each week's seminar. The seminars provide an opportunity to strengthen your understanding of auditing by applying the pre-seminar materials in simulated audit settings. It is likely that you will also need to meet with your fellow team members. The Foundation Knowledge Quiz, Topic Quizzes, and Knowledge Application Quiz provide you with feedback on your progress toward achieving the learning objectives in this course.

Pre-Workshop Self Study Materials

Pre-seminar materials include powerpoint slide packages, pre-reading from the prescribed textbook, topic exercises, topic specific additional readings and videos. Pre-seminar self study materials will be available on the course Moodle website at least one week prior to the seminar. Seminars have been designed, and will be conducted, with the expectation that you have completed all pre-reading, viewed the topic slides, completed the topic exercises.


Audit and assurance work, like a lot of business and broader societal and personal activities, is undertaken as a team. Even where audit and assurance work is completed individually by a sole practitioner without any assistance, it is still necessary for the practitioner and the preparer of the subject matter being assured to work together. Working as a team allows you to benefit from the synergies of different perspectives. Effective teams produce outputs that are superior to what would have been achieved by the team members working individually. Ensuring that teams work effectively, however, is the responsibility of all individual team members and requires the commitment to facilitating appropriate interactions as well as motivating, encouraging and supporting all team members. In Auditing and Assurance Services, teamwork is emphasised as a key learning and teaching activity to help you achieve the course and program learning outcomes.

In Auditing and Assurance Services, teams of five will work together throughout the term to complete the Topic Quizzes. You may also want to leverage off being part of an effective team to form a study group, and may find the relationships formed and networks developed to be useful in your future career.

You will be given the opportunity to form your own teams. Students who do not find themselves in a team will be randomly assigned to a team. Members in each team will discuss and commit to provisions contained in a group contract.


Seminars are the key learning activity in this course. It is in the seminars that you will reinforce, clarify and learn to apply the knowledge that you have generated from pre-seminar activities. Seminars will allow you the opportunity to apply topic material in simulated audit and business settings. Each seminar will be a combination of short lecture segments and interactive problem solving segments.

Except in pre-approved exceptional circumstances, you must attend the seminar in which you have formally enrolled. You should not enrol in the face-to-face seminar unless you are able to attend the seminar conducted at the Kensington Campus. If a student's circumstances or preferences change, there is no guarantee that they will be able to transfer to a different seminar delivery mode or different seminar time.

For students enrolled in on-line seminars, the link to the seminar each week will be available on the course Moodle website.


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 searched) from the AUASB Standards Portal (

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 2022, the way in which material in the seminars is delivered has been changed, the assessment structure has been modified and a break (coinciding with the Flexibility Week) embedded in the course structure.

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 February 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 1

Overview of the Audit Function and the Importance of Ethical Judgment

Week 2: 20 February 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 2

The Audit Process

Team Contracts

Week 3: 27 February 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 3

Understand the Entity and Assessing Business Risk and Inherent Risk

Foundation Knowledge Quiz

Week 4: 6 March 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 4

Understanding and Assessing Internal Control (Control Risk)

Team Topic Quiz Number 1

Week 5: 13 March 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 5

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

Team Topic Quiz Number 2

Peer Assessment of Teamwork Performance Form Number 1

Week 6: 20 March 2023Self Study

No seminar - Recharge week

Week 7: 27 March 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 6

Test of Controls

Team Topic Quiz Number 3

Week 8: 3 April 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 7

Substantive Tests of Transactions and Balances

Team Topic Quiz Number 4

Week 9: 10 April 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 8

Auditing in an Automated and Data Rich Environment

Team Topic Quiz Number 5

Week 10: 17 April 2023Self Study and Seminar

Topic 10

Audit Completion, Audit Communication, and Other Assurance Services

Knowledge Application Quiz

Peer Assessment of Teamwork Performance Form Number 2


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, supplementary exams 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.  For PG Research PLOs, including Master of Pre-Doctoral Business Studies, please refer to the UNSW HDR Learning Outcomes

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

Attendance and Engagement

Your regular attendance and active engagement in all scheduled classes and online learning activities is expected in this course. Failure to attend / engage in assessment tasks that are integrated into learning activities (e.g. class discussion, presentations) will be reflected in the marks for these assessable activities. The Business School may 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.). If you are not able to regularly attend classes, you should consult the relevant Course Authority.

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.
  • Educational Resource 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 Academic Skills
Resources and support – including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources – to help you develop and refine your academic skills. See their website for details.

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.