Final Project

The United States has three auditing standard-setting bodies:

1- The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or AICPA, which issues auditing standards for auditors who are performing audits for private companies;

2- The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB, which issues standards for auditing public firms; and

3- The U.S. Government Accountability Office, or GAO, which issues standards for auditing state and local governments.

For your final project, which is worth 30 percent of your total grade, you are required to write a research paper of 2,500 to 3,000 words in length (with a typical font and spacing, this will come out to 10 to 12 pages). Your paper should present a comparison study of the AICPA, PCAOB, and GAO auditing standards in certain key areas (audit documentation and audit evidence).

Conduct research by visiting the Web sites of these three organizations and reading the auditing standards for Audit Documentation and Audit Evidence.  Then write a comprehensive analysis and comparison of the requirements for audit documentation and audit evidence according to these three auditing standards-setting bodies. This will involve a discussion and critical analysis of the various standards and their requirements, as well as a discussion of the positive and/or negative effects of the standards.

To access additional resources, log into the myEdison portal and find the My Resources section in the center of the page. Under the Educational tab you can find links to EBSCO and ProQuest. Document all sources in APA style.


After successfully completing this project you should be able to:

Analyze the differences among auditing standards issued by the AICPA, PCAOB, and GAO.  (Course objective 9)

Your paper should fulfill the following requirements:

Title page
Discussion and analysis
Briefly summarizes the background and applicability of the auditing standards issued by the AICPA, PCAOB, and GAO.
Describes and explains the requirements for audit documentation and audit evidence according to:
the GAO (Yellow Book)
Presents analysis and criticism of the requirements of each auditing standard.
Presents comparison and contrast among the three standards-setting bodies.
Presents firm conclusions regarding the most effective and reasonable audit documentation and evidence standard.
Conforms to APA style in terms of in-text citations and the list of works cited. 
Displays a clear style and proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Discusses course concepts accurately and effectively.

Below is a list of criteria that will be used to grade your paper:
Focus: Does the paper address the questions or tasks?
Completeness: Are all the elements of the assignment covered?
Depth: Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth? Does it include references to recent accounting literature published in accounting journals and periodicals?
Critical Thinking: Are the relevant concepts explored and analyzed at an appropriate level?
Organization: Is the paper organized in a coherent and systematic manner?  Are headings included?
Clarity: Is the writing clear, and are the concepts articulated properly? 
Use of Resources: Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of response to the questions (as contrasted with excessive use of summary and quotations)?
References and Citations: Does the cite all sources used correctly (APA style) within the text?  Are all sources listed correctly on the Works Cited page? Does the paper adhere strictly to APA format?

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