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Opinion

The audit profession: Center stage

Auditing, in general, has received mixed reviews in light of last year's series of corporate failures. Although internal auditors have not been specifically implicated in any of the recent financial- reporting incidents, these events have nonetheless put somewhat of a damper on our reputation in the minds of clients and the general public.

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To whom it may concern

A key skill in accounting is the ability to clearly communicate information to management. Consequently, it is a skill that examiners expect candidates to demonstrate in answering examination questions.

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Audit evidence

When external auditors are employed to express an opinion on the financial statements of an entity, they must ensure that they have sufficient appropriate evidence on which to base such an opinion. To answer the question "what constitutes sufficient appropriate evidence?" we need to re-examine the basic auditing premise that the financial statements of an entity merely embody the assertions of the management of that entity.

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The CPA Exam Alert

After years in the making, the computerized CPA exam is slated to launch April 2004. Lorraine P. Sachs, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) in USA, addresses what computer-based exam candidates need to know now.

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Creating a risk-intelligent organization

In the aftermath of last year's debacles and governance meltdowns, stakeholders are demanding greater transparency about the risks an enterprise faces and a commensurate level of assurance about the robustness of the organization's risk-management processes and the achievability of its business, reporting, and compliance objectives.

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Risk analysis

To say Risk Analysis is an important issue is an understatement. It is difficult to quantify the losses suffered each year by businesses arising from the use and misuse of Information Systems (IS). In Ernst and Young┬┐s 1998 report Fraud: the unmanaged risk the total losses experienced by 132 companies exceeded US$628 million, with over half of the respondents having been the victims of fraud during the year.

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Fraud threats in organisations

Fraud includes the improper usage of resources and the misrepresentation of facts to receive gain. It is related to the misallocation of resources, or the distorted reporting of the existence and availability of resources. Fraud is a parasite that maims and eventually kills an organisation.

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Has the time come for quarterly reporting?

Accountancy currently finds itself in the eye of the hurricane. Financial scandals, changes in the form of Basel II and International Accounting Standards (IAS), and stock market turmoil are bringing about the most sweeping changes ever seen at the same time.

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Equal opportunities

Organisations and businesses are made up of many individuals working together to achieve organisational success. These individuals bring different attitudes, perceptions and learning experiences to the workplace, as well as ethnic, gender and personality differences. These can be a source for developing creativity within an organisation. However they can also be the cause of problems.

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