How to pass Advanced Audit and Assurance

Key messages

There is no choice; all syllabus areas are examinable. Think of this as a positive factor – you do not have to make the agonising decision of what you can risk leaving out of your revision! You will also not waste time wondering which questions to pick in the exam.

It is easy to forget in the heat of the exam that the pass mark is 50% so you do not need perfection to pass at the first attempt.

Be prepared

Section A has one question, worth 50 marks, in the form of a case study. There is a lot of information to read and analyse in this question. You should familiarise yourself with how this information is presented on the platform so that you can navigate your way through the various exhibits. The aim of this first question is to test your ability to produce a well-presented piece of work to a tight deadline, much like auditors and other professionals are asked to do in real life. The scenario for this question will be based on the planning stage of the audit.   

Section B has two questions, worth 25 marks each. The scenarios will usually be shorter for these questions than for the case study. One of the questions in this section will be based on the completion stage of the audit.

Section B has two questions, worth 25 marks each. The scenarios will usually be shorter for these questions than for the case study. One of the questions in this section will be based on the completion stage of the audit.

Questions in both sections are based on unique scenarios so avoid regurgitating rote learning and providing generic answers. You will need to think on your feet and apply your knowledge to the specific task in hand rather than recall a similar question that you might have attempted during your studies or revision. No matter how good your underlying technical knowledge, there is no substitute for practising questions under time constraints. Auditing is a practical skill, based on extensive technical knowledge, and the exam will test that.

The more questions you practise under time constraints, the better your plan of attack will be in the real exam because you will have a tried and tested approach that works for you.

In the exam

With only three questions in total, the allocation of time in this exam should be straightforward. You should therefore spend half the time on Section A, and half on Section B. The marks available for each requirement in the individual questions will guide you further on how much time to spend on each part.  

In question 1 there are four marks available for professional presentation; these marks are not just for headings and layout, but also for logical argument and clarity. Focussing on professionalism, as you would in real life, will help you to produce a quality response addressed to the person requesting the information.

For all written questions, consider the following approach:

  • Read the requirement carefully

  • Note the verb for the level of detail required

  • Plan the answer to ensure key points are covered

  • Write the answer

  • Make use of the word processing functions (e.g. bullet points for lists, bold for headers)

  • Review the answer for clarity, spelling, and logic

  • Read the requirement again to ensure that all relevant points have been addressed

 

Once your time allocation for a question is up, move on. You can come back to any incomplete answers at the end of the exam if time allows.  

Key Resources

  • Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA) was previously known as P7, and all resources for P7 can be used for AAA.

  • ACCA has a wealth of resources on the website: AAA Study support resources

  • Specific guidance on CBEs is available here: CBE Guide (non SBL)