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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

ACCT 373

INTRODUCTION TO ASSURANCE SERVICES

SPRING 2012

PROFESSOR ROSE LAYTON

GENERAL INFORMATION


Faculty: Professor Rose Layton

Office Location: ACC 112

Office Phone: 213/740-5022

E-mail Address: rlayton@marshall.usc.edu

Office Hours: T/Th 2:00-4:00 pm; or by appointment.

USC Emergencies: 213/740-4321

USC Emergency Information

Line: 213/740-9233

USC Information: 213/740-2311 and 91.5 KUSC FM Radio

Course Section: 431-14055D, 14056D, 18057D, Lab 431-14058D

Course Prerequisites: ACCT 370, 371a

Co-Requisites: None

AICPA. Codification of Statements on Auditing Standards; PCAOB standards, and other documents (Available on line through the AICPA, PCAOB and other website and Blackboard).

Read a business periodical.



COURSE OBJECTIVES AND DESCRIPTION


Assurance issues will be discussed from the perspectives of management and other users of the financial statements and other reports, as well as, the external auditor and assurance profession. The objectives of this course are for you:

  1. To comprehend our role as professionals through understanding the value our assurance, attest, and audit services have on our economy and the importance integrity and ethical behavior have on our performance of this role.

  1. To commence an understanding of planning a financial audit.

  2. To develop the ability to question and apply critical thinking skills to real world situations involving risk.

  3. To gain an understanding of the business environment that you will be working in by presenting you with some of the types of conditions, events, and situations that you will encounter.

  4. To further develop your communications skills. These skills are essential to your professional development.

  5. Finally, I hope to share my enthusiasm and excitement for our profession. Our profession is continually evolving and developing. Our training allows us to make career choices that we may never have dreamed. The learning never stops, nor does the opportunities.


PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

If you do something long enough, with as much variety as possible, you will begin to learn it”. Unknown.


I believe that a variety of skills are necessary to be an excellent professional. Therefore, there are several components to your overall grade.


Component

Points

Weekly Quizzes

40

Cumulative Quiz

125

Homework Assignments/Participation

Group Project-Enforcement Case

Mini-Audit Workshop

Group Member evaluations



10

60

20



10

Assurance Workshop

PCAOB Workshop

Final Exam

Total


10

10

250



535






Please see the Leventhal School of Accounting grading policy attached. All of the sections of ACC 373 will be curved together. Historically, accounting electives’ mean GPA target is a 3.3.


The grade of W is allowed only if a student withdraws by approved date. The grade of IN is reserved for highly unusual cases where the student is unable to complete a single item of the course requirements. See the attached policies for further information.
After each grade is posted or returned, you will have one week to challenge your grade in writing. After this time, the grades will become final.
Weekly Quizzes

There is a weekly quiz on the reading material or the material that has been cover in prior classes. The lowest quiz will be dropped. If you are not present, you cannot take a make-up quiz.


Cumulative Quiz

This quiz will cover the material that has been covered through the last class prior to the cumulative quiz. It is a way of testing your understanding of the concepts that have been covered. The cumulative quiz must be taken at the time designated.



Final Exam:

The final will be given during your class time during finals week for first half courses. The test format and topics will be discussed in class. The final exam must be taken at the time designated on the schedule. IF you have a conflict, please notify me immediately, so we can appropriately resolve the conflict.


Group Research Project-Enforcement Case:

You will be assigned to a group on the first day of classes. Each group will consist of approximately 3 members (my choice). All members of the group will receive the same grade unless their level of participation is not the same as the other group members. Each group member will sign their name indicating their level of participation in each project. Please note that it is an honor code violation to indicate that you have participated, when in fact you have not participated in the project. Additionally, each group member is held responsible for the level of participation of the group members. The details of the project will be given in class. No late papers or presentations will be accepted.


Group Evaluations:

You will be allowed to evaluate your group members.



PCAOB, Mini-Audit Workshops and Assurance Presentation:

Each of these will take place during a Friday lab period. More details relating these events will be given during class. You are expected to attend and participate in the workshops and presentations.


ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Ethics and values are very important in accounting and the world of business, nonprofit and government organizations. We will consider ethical issues throughout this semester.

Throughout the syllabus, the student's ethical standards are listed. It is expected that each student follow these expectations. If there is a situation that results in an academic integrity violation, the Leventhal School of Accounting Student Honor Code will be followed.
LEVENTHAL SCHOOL OF ACCOUNTING GRADING AND ACADEMIC STANDARDS

See the attached summary of the most important grading and academic standards of the Leventhal School of Accounting.


RETENTION OF GRADED PAPERS

I will retain all graded material that has not been returned to the student for one semester. After that time, I will discard all materials. E-mails and other digitally submitted assignments will be viewed on line and then deleted after viewed.



DSP

Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me as early in the semester as possible. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776.


SKILL ENHANCEMENT ACTIVITIES

Throughout this course students will be challenged to develop skills that are critical to professional success. The principal skills and related activities that will be employed in pursuit of your development during this semester include:



Communication Skills:

Oral communication skills will be enhanced through active class participation and presentation of cases and the group project. The participation in Accounting Firm workshop will also provide the opportunity to enhance communication skills.

Written skills will be practiced in group projects and written examination.

Research Skills:

The project will require Internet and database research.



Critical Thinking and Reasoning:

Workshops and projects will challenge the student’s critical thinking and reasoning skills through the use of thought provoking questions and actual cases.



Analytical Skills:

Exams will analyze and evaluate financial information. Many answers are subjective.



Ethics:

Cases and class discussions will discuss ethical issues faced by today’s auditors. There are several presentations of ethical cases throughout the class.



Information Technology

Cases and projects will be prepared using word-processing and/or spreadsheet programs. Research of databases and the Internet will be utilized.


These skill-enhancing activities are designed to replicate those that are necessary and commonly used in practice. Students are urged to work diligently in developing these and other skills that form an important part of a successful professional.

INDIVIDUAL CLASS TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS

Class

T

Th


F

Discussion

Readings

Quizzes/

Presentations













Week 1







1

1/10







Introduction Auditing and Assurance Services

AICPA: http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/Pages/default.aspx

PCAOB:


http://pcaobus.org/Standards/Auditing/Pages/default.aspx

IFAC


http://www.ifac.org/About/





2




1/12




Auditing and Assurance Services

Guide to Clarified and Converged Standards:

http://www.aicpa.org/InterestAreas/FRC/AuditAttest/DownloadableDocuments/FRCWhitePaper_Guide%20to%20Clarity.PDF

Assurance

http://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/frc/assuranceadvisoryservices/pages/asec.aspx

Attestation

AT Sec 101
















1/13

No Lab

Enjoy!!
















Week 2








3

1/17







Accountant Ethics

AICPA Professional Code of Conduct

http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/CodeofConduct/Pages/default.aspx

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (skim & will reference through class)

http://www.soxlaw.com/index.htm




Quiz 1

4




1/19




Ethics

In Class Exercise





5







1/20

PCAOB Lab

Hoffman - Edison
















Week 3








6

1/24







Key Concepts

AU 110, 150, 326,

AS 15



Quiz 2

Group 1


7




1/26




Key Concepts


AU 312

AS 8, 11



Groups 2, 3

8







1/27

Assurance Lab

Hoffman – Edison

















Week 4







9

1/31







Managing Risk

AU 316, 317, 334


Quiz 3

Group 4


10




2/2




Managing Risk

AU 314, 325

AS 5; AU 334

New COSO proposal


Groups 5,6

11







2/3

Mini Audit” Lab

To be determined – one at USC/ one at firm office
















Week 5







12

2/7







Cumulative Quiz

Topics through 2/2






13




2/9




Reporting

AU 508

AS1


http://www.andrewskurth.com/assets/pdf/article_806.pdf


Groups 7,8

14







2/10

Mini Audit” Lab

To be determined – one at USC/ one at firm office
















Week 6







15

2/14







Legal Liability

FCPA

http://www.fcpa.us/




Quiz 4

Groups 9,13



16




2/16




Types of Assurance and other services

Attestation

Compilation and Reviews

Consulting

http://www.aicpa.org/Research/Standards/Pages/default.aspx

AT 201

AT 301



Group 10, 14










2/17

No Lab



















Week 7








17

2/21







Hot Topics

Audit Firm Rotation; Auditor Independence; Audit Documentation

Articles will be posted one week prior to class (for most current knowledge)




Quiz 5

18




2/23




Wrap -up



Group 11, 12

19







2/24

Optional Lab

Hoffman Edison
















Final Week







20

2/28







Final

Hoffman 415 – during regular class times










3/1




NO CLASS







The Leventhal School of Accounting adheres strictly to the grading standards of the University and the Marshall School of Business Administration. Additionally, the Leventhal School of Accounting has supplemented those standards with certain others. For students' convenience, and to prevent misunderstanding, these additional standards are summarized below.
GRADING STANDARDS
The following grades are used: A - excellent; B - good; C - fair; D - minimum passing; F ‑ failure. The grade of F is awarded for failing work at the end of the semester. The assignment of minuses and pluses when earned is required.
The grade of W (Withdraw) is assigned if the student officially withdraws after the third week but before the end of the twelfth week of the semester. No withdrawals will be permitted after the end of the twelfth week except by student petition to the University's Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures.
Students may elect to audit courses during the first three weeks of the semester. A course taken for audit (V) will be assessed at the current tuition rate. A course taken for audit (V) will not receive credit and will not appear on the USC transcript or grade report. Under no circumstances will the University allow a change in the registration status of a course from letter grade or credit to audit (V) or vice versa after the third week of a given semester.
The grade of IN (Incomplete, i.e., work not completed because of documented illness or some other emergency occurring after the twelfth week of the semester) is reserved for those highly unusual cases where, due to circumstances judged fit by the Dean of the Leventhal School of Accounting, the student is unable to complete a specified single item of the course requirements by the time final grades are submitted.
IN grades can be removed only by the student completing the missing requirements of the course to the satisfaction of the instructor.
Marks of IN in courses numbered below 500 must be removed by the end of the semester following the one in which the mark of IN was assigned. If not removed within the specified time limit, marks of IN automatically become marks of IX (expired incomplete), with the exception of thesis and dissertation, and compute in the GPA as an F. A student may remove the IN only by completing the work not finished as a result of illness or emergency. It is not possible to remove an incomplete by re-registering for the course. Previously graded work may not be repeated for credit.
G.P.A. PREREQUISITES FOR UNDERGRADUATE ACCOUNTING COURSES
The grade point average prerequisites for any undergraduate student enrolled in any accounting course is a minimum 2.5 GPA for all completed accounting courses. In computing grade point average prerequisites, BUAD 250ab, BUAD 280/281, 305 and 302T are considered accounting courses.
Grades in accounting courses taken at other institutions will not be included in the computation of the cumulative accounting grade point average.
When a student's cumulative accounting grade point average falls below 2.5, the student is placed on probation. If a student on probation does not regain a minimum accounting cumulative GPA of 2.5 after completing the next 12 semester hours in all courses (including accounting courses) attempted within the University, that student will not be permitted to continue as an accounting major in the Leventhal School of Accounting. Exceptions to this policy may be granted only in unusual circumstances by the Academic Standards Committee of the Leventhal School of Accounting. Decisions of the Academic Standards Committee are final.
To be removed from probationary status, a student may elect either to take another accounting course or courses for which prerequisites are met or to repeat an accounting course or courses in an attempt to earn a higher grade. Regardless of the course of action taken, all courses completed will be counted in computing the cumulative accounting grade point average.
The grade of "W" in an accounting course taken while a student is on probation will not extend probation. The probation period ends at the end of that semester during which the student completes a cumulative total of 12 semester hours of courses in any subject(s) at the university. Under no conditions will the student be permitted more than two successive semesters, including the summer semester, to complete the 12 semester hours of courses.
Students must attain a minimum 2.5 cumulative accounting grade point average to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree.
See the USC Catalogue for further restrictions on including grades in repeated classes in the overall grade point average computation.
OTHER ACADEMIC STANDARDS
1. Students enrolled in any class offered by the Leventhal School of Accounting are expected to uphold and adhere to the standards of academic integrity established by the Leventhal School of Accounting Student Honor Code. Students are responsible for obtaining, reading, and understanding the Honor Code System handbook. Students who are found to have violated the Code will be subject to disciplinary action as described in the handbook. For more specific information, please refer to the Student Honor Code System handbook, available in class or from the receptionist in ACC 101.
2. The ability of students to write clearly and concisely is a necessary prerequisite to success in accounting work. Accordingly, students will be required to demonstrate writing capability in all accounting courses. This may be accomplished primarily through the inclusion of essay-type questions on course examinations.





Leventhal School of Accounting

Important Dates

Spring 2012







First Day of Class

Monday, January 9







New Student Orientation – ACCT-370a lab time

Friday, January 13, 10am







Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, University Holiday

Monday, January 16







Last Day to Add or Drop w/out a “W” (Session 431)

Tuesday, January 17







Resumes for Spring Resume Book due

Wednesday, January 25 at 5pm







Last Day to Add or Drop w/out a “W” (Regular Session)

Friday, January 27







USC Career Fest

Monday, January 30 - Friday, February 3







Summer Leadership Info Session (Beta Alpha Psi)

Thursday, February 2, 6-9pm







Meet the Firms – California Science Center (Accounting Society)

Tuesday, February 7, 6-9pm







USC Career Day

Thursday, February 9







ACCT courses with session 431, Last Day to Drop with a “W”

Monday, February 13







Presidents' Day, University Holiday

Monday, February 20







LSOA Scholarship Applications Due

Friday, February 24







Final Exams for ACCT courses with session 431

February 27 - March 3



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