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10 Deadly (Exam) Sins - P7 Adv.Audit

Below is a list of main error types for P7 Advanced Audit exams. This has been written using my knowledge and experience of the past 10 years of teaching + marking Advanced Audit P7 papers!!



You’ve identified an issue but not explained WHY it’s an issue. This is one of the examiner’s pet hates. Students can pick out the issue but are not able to expand and say WHY it’s an issue (sometimes because it seems to the student too obvious to mention


You are described a situation and asked what to do .. in the absence of specific audit procedures – there will be marks for saying.. id review XYZ work, or ask XYZ - just ways to deal with the issue.


P7 is extremely time pressured and in fact the examiner is indirectly testing your ability to prioritise and communicate under pressure.

Ive marked too many scripts that score well on Q1 scenario but who don't manage to finish the paper. This is frustrating because I can see you are a good candidate with sufficient knowledge to pass – but I cant pass you If you score less than 50 overall… (Manage your time limits and move onto next question).

Error Type 4: Not using the mark scheme to guide how much you write‼

For each question, you must use the mark scheme as a guide – generally its one mark per point (esp. for audit procedures and shorter answer questions. The Q1 scenario is sometimes more like 1 ½ marks per well explained issue - avoid bullet points unless its asking for a list or unless you are out of time- and remember your emergency tactics if you need to find a couple more points to meet the marks allocated.

Error Type 5: Audit procedures (Action > Source > Objective)

When you are asked for audit procedures – whether testing a control or testing detailed balances/ transactions in substantive procedures. You need to write in the format of Action ≫Source≫Objectiveto gain a full mark.

E.g.) “ Reperform the bank reconciliationto identify errors.

Error Type 6: Answering from wrong perspective

Be careful not to approach the risk question from the wrong perspective – e.g. Audit risk needs to be answered from the perspective of an auditor – rather than the problem which may be experienced by the client. Business Risk is the opposite way around.

Error Type 7: Rule of ‘AND’

In your reading time/ at the beginning of the exam – I strongly recommend you go through each question on the exam paper and highlight the word ‘AND’ . When an exam question contains AND this means there are actually TWO questions to be answers and likely a split of marks. It’s so easy under pressure to miss the second half ( this error costs you half the marks available‼)

Error Type 8: Not knowing the recommended format for main question types

Analyse the past exams and look beyondthe answers - instead I need you to concentrate on the structure of the answer. How many points are made per paragraph.

Notice the MARE response for Comment on the Issues question. (materiality, accounting treatment, risks and evidence)

Notice the number of procedures offered and the detail required.

Obviously the model answer gives far more than you can write in the time allowed, but you can certainly emulate the correct structure and style in your exam script -P7 is actually a very predictable paper

Error Type 9 – Failing to use your calculator

Its largely a written, discursive exam right – so you don't need a calculator?? WRONG‼

Materiality needs to be calculated in cases where numbers are given particularly for MARE ( M stands for materiality calculation & comment on materiality) – also the Audit risk scenario questions will calculate materiality for most issues. Aside from this there may be analytical procedures – ratios and calculations to identify unusual fluctuations – you;ll need your calculator for these too‼

Error Type 10: Leaving a question blank‼

Never ever leave a question or part of a question blank. This spells disaster – I don't think Ive ever marked a script where a question was left unanswered but the candidate still managed to pass. You need good average marks on each part of the paper in order to pass this exam. In the event that in the real exam -you fall into the ‘marginal pass/fail’ bracket eg 42% - 49% – then your script will be second-marked by the examiner or a senior member of marking team. When making an opinion on whether the grade needs adjusting– an influencing factor may well be whether you have attempted all parts of the questions.

Remember to move on… even your best & favourite subject will return diminishing marks per minute.. meaning after you've written a good full page or two – the number of extra marks to be gained after this point are relatively few. By spending the same amount of time making a start on perhaps your least favourite question you will gain more marks per minute because early paragraphs contain definitions and so on.

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