Module description


Auditing is of critical importance for the smooth functioning of financial markets – and thereby it plays a significant role in the allocation of resources within society.  However, in recent years, as debacles such as Enron, WorldCom and Tyco in the United States of America, Barings Bank in the United Kingdom, Parmalat in Italy, HIH in Australia and Satyam in India have reached the media headlines, auditors and the audit function have faced severe criticism.  This module will explain the critical role and importance of the external audit function to society by exploring broad questions such as: What is audit?  What is the value of external financial statement audit?  What are the key features of the regulatory framework which governs external financial statement audit? What constitutes the crucial principles and elements of financial statement audit?

Additional Information:


This module looks at the International Auditing Standards, which are applicable in most countries.

External Engagement

This module is accredited by major professional accounting and finance bodies, such as ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland), and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Authority).


This module equips students with practical auditing skills and the course feeds into the accounting qualification.

Full module specification

Module title:Auditing
Module code:BEA3022
Module level:3
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Maria Tsipouridou - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEA2019 and BEA2020 (BEA2001)



Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

The module aims to give you an understanding of the basic concepts and techniques relating to the provision of audits under the Companies Act and provide you with an understanding of the legal and ethical framework surrounding auditing.

The overall aim of the auditing module is to enable students to understand:

  • the social importance, nature and objectives of the audit function
  • the audit process, and
  • the principles of audit practice.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the role of the audit function in society
  • 2. discuss the need for, and value of, external financial statement audits
  • 3. describe the regulatory framework of the financial statement audits of companies – comprising statute law, case law, and quasi-governmental and professional regulations
  • 4. demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts which underpin auditing – including competence, independence, audit evidence, materiality, audit risk and audit quality
  • 5. outline the audit process and the related audit objectives and procedures
  • 6. explain the factors that affect auditors’ desired level of audit risk and materiality levels, and how auditors’ assessment of audit risk and materiality levels impact the nature, timing and extent of audit tests
  • 7. discuss the reporting responsibilities of financial statement auditors - to shareholders and to those charged with governance of the reporting entity
  • 8. explain the development of auditors’ legal liability and the steps auditors may take in order to avoid being exposed to liability
  • 9. demonstrate an awareness and understanding of current debates in the auditing arena

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 10. identify and apply relevant auditing concepts and Auditing Standards (or rules) in given situations encountered in the statutory audit of companies’ financial statements
  • 11. demonstrate an ability to apply research and analytical skills to unresolved issues in auditing
  • 12. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different opinions on current auditing issues

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 13. demonstrate written and oral communication skills
  • 14. demonstrate problem solving skills
  • 15. demonstrate group working (i.e. teamwork) skills

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact Hours22Lectures
Contact Hours10Tutorials

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Assigned work for each tutorial (in groups or individually)3 hrs preparation by the students/1hr in-class discussion1-15In class and suggested solutions on ELE

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class Test201 hour1-14 In class and suggested solutions on ELE
Final Examination802 hours1-14Suggested solutions on ELE

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
In-class test and final examinationExam (100%) 2 hours1-14August examination period

Re-assessment notes

Should a re-sit be required for this module, it will be by means of one two-hour examination accounting for 100% module marks [ILOs 1-14].

Syllabus plan

  • What is auditing? The development of financial statement auditing and audit objectives
  • Conceptual framework of auditing with particular focus on auditors’ independence
  • Auditors’ legal and professional duties (including auditors’ responsibilities with respect to fraud
  • and other illegal acts)
  • Overview of audit process, audit evidence, staffing & documentation
  • Commencing an audit: Engagement procedures, understanding the client and identifying risks
  • Planning the audit; audit materiality and audit risk
  • Internal control and the auditor
  • Testing financial statement assertions
  • Completion and review
  • Auditors’ reports to users of financial statements and those charged with governance
  • Development of auditors’ legal liability – and ways of avoiding liability

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The required text for the module is:

Principles of External Auditing (4th edition) by Brenda Porter, Jon Simon and David Hatherly.  Published by John Wiley & Sons 2014.   ISBN 978-0-470-97445-2




Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources  – Source of all International Standards on Auditing and Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, and International Education Standards.  – Source of all International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and Ethical Standards. ,  and – Various publications of the key professional bodies in the UK

Origin date


Last revision date