Audit Training Guidance: FAQs for PAs and Audit Professionals
Fulfilment of CPE is a membership obligation as well as the need to maintain professional competence to provide services of high quality in the public interest.
ISCA CPE provides a broad selection of relevant CPE programmes to choose from. Members who attended the exact course more than once within the same calendar year will only be counted once towards the annual CPE fulfilment in that year.
Should I attend Audit Courses specially designed for Practising Accountants or based on the Various Aspects of Audit?
ISCA CPE maps Audit CPE programmes comprehensively to address the different areas of Audit, whether they are undertaken by Junior or Senior Audit professionals.
As the applicability of the SSAs cuts across the work of both Junior and Senior Auditors, participants of various experience levels may at times come together to attend the same course as long as they have not mastered an aspect of audit to a sufficiently proficient standard.
ISCA CPE provides a range of courses indicated as Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced Level. Intermediate to Advanced Level courses are catered for more experienced participants such as Practising Accountants. Each CPE course carries a specified field, “Intended For” where all participants will know the intended target audience for each course prior to course enrolment.
ISCA CPE provides a good variety of courses in terms of depth and breadth to address the specific training needs of experienced participants. Practising Accountants should study the range of Intermediate, up to Advanced Level CPE courses and decide which courses best suit their learning needs.
However, Practising Accountants may also discern, at times, to gain a refresher of the actual work undertaken by their junior colleagues and enrol themselves for “basic” training if they feel that such training is relevant to their own professional development.
I need to attend Basic training to conduct my own Internal Training for my Staff. Should I then attend Basic training for this purpose?
Practising Accountants manage their own professional practice and need to be well versed with practically most, if not all the audit subjects, from the Foundation, Intermediate, up to the Advanced level in order to effectively lead, manage and train their Audit staff. Hence, Practising Accountants should use their prerogative to attend “basic” training to obtain the most up-to-date audit methodology in order to effectively carry out in-house training for their junior audit staff, if they deem it as necessary.
However, Practising Accountants are strongly encouraged not to neglect their own personal development and they should attend the most relevant CPE courses that will meet their individual training needs, rather than accumulating CPE credits by attending basic training for the purpose of conducting training for their internal staff.
According to IES 7, Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence (2010), it is the responsibility of the individual professional accountant to maintain competence by undertaking relevant continuing professional development (CPD) activities.
Though ISCA CPE will facilitate access to its members’ professional development needs by offering a suite of courses, participants should also use their professional judgement to discern the most relevant CPE courses that will meet their specific training needs, taking into account their unique job nature and subjective areas of weaknesses when planning for their own personal development. (Please click here to view the paper on IES 7).
Practising Accountants should concurrently note the CPE requirements mandated under Practice Direction No. 2 (2010), Revised Continuing Professional Education Syllabus for Registration as a Public Accountant and Renewal of Certificate of Registration.
Please click here to view the document on Practice Direction No. 2 (2010), Revised Continuing Professional Education Syllabus for Registration as a Public Accountant and Renewal of Certificate of Registration.
There is a 3-Year Rolling Period to meet my CPE requirements, so there is no urgency to attend courses within any specific year?
Under Practice Direction No. 2 (2010), although Practising Accountants are obligated to fulfil a total of 120 CPE hours in each rolling 3-year period, they have to meet a minimum of 20 hours of structured learning in each calendar year.
ISCA CPE strongly encourages all members to maintain competence by undertaking relevant Continuing Professional Education (CPE) activities that will meet their specific training needs on a continual basis, and allocating sufficient time to attend CPE courses per calendar year.
As a partner, if I conduct Audit training for my Internal Staff or attend e-learning Audit courses, does it count towards my CPE hours? What sort of activities is considered as verifiable CPE?
According to IES 7, Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence (2010), the following examples represent evidence that could be used for verification (of CPE) in an “Input-Based” Approach:
- Timed course outlines, teaching materials;
- Attendance record, registration forms, or confirmation of registration from the provider;
- Independent assessments that a learning activity has occurred;
- Confirmation by an instructor, mentor, or tutor of participation; and
- Confirmation by an employer of attendance at and participation in an in-house program.
Again, according to IES 7, Continuing Professional Development: A Program of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Development of Professional Competence (2010), the following examples represent evidence that could be used for verification (of CPE) in an “Output-Based” Approach:
- Evaluation of written or published material by a reviewer;
- Assessments of learning outcomes achieved;
- Publication of a professional article or of the results of a research project;
- Periodic re-examination;
- Specialist or other qualification;
- Work logs that have been objectively verified against a competency map;
- Self-assessment that uses competency maps developed by the member body;
- Objective assessments against a competency map developed either by the employer or by the professional body to reflect the individual’s level of competence;
- Independent assessments that assess CPD; and
- Assessments or sign-offs by specialist associations that document enhancements of competences, and assessments by regulators, e.g., government reviews of licensed banks.
- The SACT refers to the Structured Audit Core Training which is essentially a training matrix comprising a series of Audit training programmes to holistically address the learning needs of the various experience levels of staff of the Small and Medium Audit Practices (SMPs).
- The objective of this series of training programmes is to equip the SMP staff with practical audit knowledge and also serve as a useful refresher for those who wish to update their knowledge and maintain their competence in this area. For the full list of programmes under the SACT, please click onto this link here.
- There are currently 3 Levels in the SACT targeted at Audit professionals with various experience Levels. Each Level in the SACT is specially designed for Auditors with specific training objectives. For more information pertaining to SACT 1, 2 and 3, please click onto this link here.
I have been working in an Audit firm for more than 3 years but I have attended very little audit training except OJT. Do I need to attend SACT 1 before progressing to SACT 2?
- ISCA CPE has prescribed 3 SACT Levels intended for different target groups of Auditors with varying experience levels. An Auditor should attend the SACT Level which best reflects his Audit work experience.
- However, an Auditor can still choose to enrol for his/her preferred Audit programmes under the various SACT Levels as long as his professional judgement leads him to attend the Audit programmes most relevant to his/her specific training needs.
I am a sole-proprietor with only 3 Audit staff. How does the ISCA SACT benefit me and meet my staff training needs?
- ISCA CPE has launched the “Audit Core Training Package” to encourage more SMPs to nominate their Audit personnel to attend Audit Related CPE seminars as presented in the “Structured Audit Core Training” (SACT) matrix.
- These packages are attractively priced at a discounted rate and are made available in 3 different options according to the number of CPE Hours pre-purchased. The “Audit Core Training Package” will help defray the overall cost of Audit training, and small Audit firms with a limited training budget will find it especially useful.
- For more information related to the Audit Core Training Package, please click onto this link here.
- When a Practising Accountant fails his practice review and has identified specific Audit training areas to attend, the Audit training to be undertaken is sorted according to the Categorisation of the specific Area of Audit (Such as “Audit of Inventories” or “Final Review of the Financial Statements”, etc) independent of its Level (i.e. Foundation / Intermediate / Advanced).
- For the full list of Audit programmes under ISCA Structured Audit Core Training, please click onto this link here.