NINJA Notes 2014
Auditing & Attestation
Table of Contents
The N.I.N.J.A. Framework
I. Engagement Planning 8
II. Internal Control 25
III. Auditing & IT 36
IV. Evidence & Risk 42
V. Audit Reports 56
VI. Audit Sampling 65
VII. Professional Responsibilities 75
VIII. International Auditing 83
2 The N.I.N.J.A. Framework
Watch your CPA Review videos first – before working any
assigned homework questions.
The CPA Review industry says to watch a section of CPA
Review video and then work the accompanying MCQs. This
perspective stems from the old-school approach to the paper
and pencil exam where you had to sit in a live classroom and
learn from an instructor on weekends.
Today, there is a smarter way to study. You don’t have to go
to a weekend live course. You can fire up the laptop on a
Tuesday morning and knock out two hours of material
before you even brush your teeth. If you work MCQs in week
one over your week one topic, guess what? You will work
them again in week 5 or 6 when you review because you will
forget what you learned.
If you watch a video in week one and score an 85 on the
corresponding MCQs, will you be able to score an 85 four
weeks later? Not likely. You will need to work them again
anyway and it’s not a smart use of study time.
Instead, let the N.I.N.J.A. Framework guide you.
Repeat after me: “PUT THE HIGHLIGHTER DOWN.”
Which method do you think will help you learn the material
better – painting printed words in a book with pretty
florescent colors or writing them down on a legal pad and
thinking about the information?
3 Grab a stack of legal pads, put the highlighter down, and
start writing.
Many people have said that instead of taking their own
notes, they just re-write the material inside of this study
guide, which is fine too.
Now is the time to start working multiple-choice questions
and do them with a focused frenzy. Do so many MCQs that
you’re absolutely sick of them. As you encounter little “fact
nuggets” that you didn’t know or are prone to forget, write it
down and add it to your voluminous stack of notes.
This is where it gets tedious. This is also where the payoff
happens. You may be familiar with the fact that if you had a
choice between $3 Million and 1¢ doubled daily for 31 days,
the penny doubled for 31 days ends up tripling the $3
Million. The payoff, however, doesn’t happen until the 31st
day. The road is long, but ends up being worth it in the end.
The same goes for re-writing your study notes. The thought
of grabbing that stack of legal pads and going to town rewriting what you’ve already written may sound like a
ridiculous suggestion at first, but I am a firm believer in its
Merely writing down your notes and then reviewing them
before your exam doesn’t have near the impact as taking
your furious scribbles and converting them into re-packaged,
easily-digestible “fact nuggets.”
Not only will your notes mean more when you’ve whittled
away the non-essentials, but you are actually learning the
4 material twice. Re-processing the material by re-writing your
notes is like letting the information marinade in your mind.
Just like a well-prepared steak, you will taste the payoff of
this extra step.
Don’t like taking notes? No problem. Re-write these
NINJA Notes instead. You will absorb the material better
vs. reading only.
Plan wisely because this will likely take a week to
“I have found this to be unbelievably helpful! This is now my
second section that I have followed this piece of advice and,
once again, I am amazed at how much the material "clicks"
as I review and write the notes a second time.
Sure, it's time-consuming, but for me, it is worth it. No
questions asked. Not only does it help with processing and
understanding the material, but it also results in a better,
more organized set of study notes to use for review up until
exam date.” – Sandy
You have watched the videos. You’ve taken ridiculous notes
and have done hundreds (thousands?) of multiple-choice
questions. You’ve re-written your notes.
Now, study that stack of review Gold in your hands multiple
times, work MCQs over weak topics, study your notes even
more, and then go in and PASS the CPA Exam.
5 How to use NINJA Notes
You've invested in the NINJA Notes, now let it go to battle
for you. You should read the them as many times as
Carry it with you wherever you go.
Do you have an iPhone®, iPad®, or similar device(s)?
Simply load the PDF onto the device and if you have 5
minutes of downtime, you have 5 minutes of study
It is recommended that you read the NINJA Notes at least
five times leading up to your final two weeks of exam prep.
If you have 6 weeks to study, then you need to complete
this in 4 weeks. 5 weeks to study, then complete it in 3.
4 weeks = 2 weeks. You get the picture. The point is: plan,
plan, plan and budget, budget, budget, budget because
exam day is looming.
6-Week Plan: Approx. 103 pages x 5 reads /4 weeks
/ 7 days per week = Approx. 18 pages per day
5-Week Plan: Approx. 103 pages x 5 reads /3 weeks
/ 7 days per week = Approx. 24 pages per day
4-Week Plan: Approx. 103 pages x 5 reads /2 weeks
/ 7 days per week = Approx. 37 pages per day
3-Week Plan: Approx. 103 pages x 5 reads /1 weeks
/ 7 days per week = Approx. 74 pages per day
This step is optional, but it won over a lot of skeptics with its
results. This is not mainstream advice. This is the NINJA
way. The mainstream way of studying for the CPA Exam is
old-fashion and outdated.
Forget the old way. You are a NINJA now.
Now is the time to either
1. Re-write your own CPA Exam notes or
2. Re-Write the NINJA Notes.
Plan on investing a week doing this and you should expect to
get through 15 pages a day (Approx. 103 pages / 7) in order
to stay on track.
After this, you will still have one week left to put the
finishing touches on your CPA Exam review prep – i.e. doing
a ton of MCQs. (
7 V. Audit Reports
Ø Must be in Writing
Ø Must be Signed
Ø Must include Auditor’s Address
o City & State where office located
Ø The Financial Statements present fairly, in all material
respects, the financial position of the entity as of the
Balance Sheet Date and the results of its operations
and its cash flows for the period then ended, in
accordance with the Applicable Financial Reporting
o Not Fairly Presented?
§ Discuss the problem with management and
based on outcome, decide whether opinion
should be Modified
Ø TIM-AA (Timmmaaayyyyy)
o Title must include “Independent”
o Introductory Paragraph
§ Who: Identify the Entity
§ What: State that they have been Audited
8 § When: Specify the Date or Period
o Management’s Responsibility
§ Preparation/Fair Presentation of Financials
• Applicable Financial Reporting
§ Internal Control
• Design
• Implementation
• Maintenance
o Auditor’s Responsibility
§ Audit in accordance with GAAS
• United States
§ Plan/Perform Audit
• Obtain Reasonable Assurance
§ Audit Description
• Performing Procedures to
• Obtain Evidence about
• Amounts and Disclosures
o Audit Opinion
(Emphasis-of-Matter / Other-Matter)
Ø Financial information is appropriately presented and
disclosed, but the auditor wants to bring attention to
o Going Concern Issue
o Updated Report from a Prior Period
§ Previous opinion was Adverse due to
GAAP/Framework issue
§ Entity has corrected and Auditor is changing
their Opinion, but pointing it out in “Other
Matter” section
o Catastrophe that could affect Financials
o Litigation Uncertainty
o Significant Related-Party Transactions
o Unusual Subsequent Events
Ø Emphasis/Other Matter does not affect Audit Opinion
Ø Auditor should communicate the Emphasis/Other
Matter to those in charge of governance
(Timmmaaayyyyy’s favorite EMO group – “Other Matter”)
o Title
o Introduction
o Management’s Responsibility
o Auditor’s Responsibility
o Audit Opinion
o Emphasis-of-Matter
o Other-Matter
Ø Financial Statements are Materially Misstated or
Ø Unable to obtain Sufficient Appropriate Evidence
(Timaay’s Adverse sister TIMA has a Bad Attitude”)
o Title
o Introduction
o Management’s Responsibility
o Auditor’s Responsibility
o Basis for (Modified) Opinion
o Audit Opinion
11 Ø What if: Auditor wants to express opinion on A/R even
though they Disclaimed an Opinion on the Financial
Statements taken as a whole?
o OK if report on A/R is presented separately
Ø If Group Engagement Partner assumes responsibility
for Component Auditor’s work
o Perform additional audit procedures
o Be involved in Component Auditor’s work
o Perform Risk Assessment procedures
o Assess Risk of Material Misstatement
Ø If Group Engagement Partner does not assume
responsibility for Component Auditor’s work
o Reference Component Auditor’s work
§ Requirements for referencing Component
§ Component Financial Statements must
be prepared using same Financial
Reporting Framework as the Group
Financial Statements
§ Component Auditor must have
performed audit in accordance with
GAAS or PCAOB Standards
Ø Governed by SSARS (Statements on Standards for
Accounting and Review Services)
Ø Non-SEC (public) registrants only
Ø Accountant puts together financial statements
o Information provided by management
Ø Disclosures not necessary – must state not included
Ø Required Statements/Disclaimers
o Identify the Financial Statements
o Performed according to Standards
o Limited in Scope
o No Opinion / No Assurance
o No Responsibility to update for Future events
No Opinion Expressed No Assurances Given 13 No Independence Required REVIEW REPORTS
Ø Governed by SSARS (Statements on Standards for
Accounting and Review Services)
Ø Gives Limited/Negative assurance
Ø Analytical Procedures required
o Compare results to documented predictions
No Opinion Expressed Limited Assurances Given Independence Required COMPILATION VS REVIEW VS PROCEDURES
Compilation Review Agreed Upon Procedures •  No Assurance •  No Indepencence •  Limited Assurance •  Independence •  Limited Use •  Independence 14 PROSPECTIVE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Ø Forecasts
o Uses normal circumstances
o General & Limited use allowed
o Disclaimer: Forecast results may not be achieved
Ø Projections
o Uses hypothetical situations
o Only Limited use by client allowed
o Disclaimers: Limitation of Scope/Usefulness
Ø Agreed Upon Procedures
o Independence required
o Only Limited use by client allowed
Remote Probable Reasonably Possible •  No explanatory paragraph •  Accrue if estimable •  Explanatory paragraph if not estimable •  Auditor assesses need for explanatory paragraph based on loss likelihood 15 GAAP (FRAMEWORK) ISSUES AND ESTIMATES
Ø Immaterial Issues – Unmodified Opinion
o Going Concern Issues
§ Unmodified Opinion + Emphasis-of-Matter
Ø Material Issues – Modified Opinion
o Include in Basis for Modified Opinion section
Ø Very Material Issues – Adverse Opinion
Ø Estimates must conform with GAAP (Framework)
Ø AKA the “Yellow Book”
Ø Governmental Auditing Standards (GAS) Audits similar
to GAAS Audits except
o GAS are more strict
o GAS focus is on Compliance and Regulation
Ø Single Audit Act
o For Government Agencies, Universities, and
Non-Profits who take funding from the U.S.
o Financial Statements must follow GAAP
o Report must state their Compliance with Laws
and Regulations
16 o Requires a report on Internal Control and
Effectiveness of Controls
o Any Known Fraud?
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