corporate analysis and audit plan

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  1. Obtain a copy of a recent annual report of a publicly held company with stock actively traded on the New York, NASDAQ or other over-the-counter exchanges (refer to notes for Workshop One). Answer the following questions:
    1. What is the company’s industry?
    2. What are its primary products or services?
    3. What raw materials does the company use, if any?
    4. How large is the company?
      1. Annual sales revenue?
      2. Total value of company assets?
      3. Total number of employees?
    5. Where is the company located?
    6. What other people/companies are closely associated with this company?
    7. Look at the annual report:
      1. What image does it intend to convey?
      2. What are the segments and functional contents of the report?
  2. Obtain a copy of the company’s 10-k report for the same date as the annual report. Answer the following questions:
    1. If the company has a 10-k that is not also its annual report: How does the 10-k differ from the annual report? Supplement the answers to the questions under #2 as appropriate.
    2. If the annual report is the 10-k report, explain why you think the company uses the 10-k instead of an annual report. Compare to at least one other competitor’s annual report. Do they also use the 10-k?
    3. Supplement the answers to the questions 2a and 2b as appropriate.
  3. Obtain outside information about the company and its industry. Answer the following questions:
    1. What are the key economic factors about the industry?
    2. Where is the company in its life cycle?
    3. What are the five or six most important factors for success in this business?
    4. How does this company stand with respect to these factors?
    5. Describe four or five key business risks related to the client’s business and industry.
    6. What notable accounting considerations are there for companies in this industry?
    7. What legal or regulatory matters are of concern?
    8. What social matters are of concern?
  4. Analyze the company’s financial strength:
    1. Assess the financial strength of the company.
    2. How is the financial strength likely to change in the next year or so?
    3. What are its sources of capital and what is the value of the company’s capital?
    4. How have capital markets responded to the company in the last year?
    5. What is the quality of earnings?
    6. How does the company compare with others in the industry?
  5. Prepare a broad audit plan:
    1. What types of material transactions are involved?
    2. What types transaction cycles are involved
    3. What are the high-risk areas?
    4. What are the low-risk areas?
    5. If management faced tremendous pressure regarding the entity’s financial performance, what opportunities might exist for them to engage in fraudulent financial reporting?
    6. To what extent do you believe it will be appropriate to reduce assessed control risk?
    7. How will the audit effort be allocated among geographical areas?
    8. Will any areas of the audit require outside expertise?
    9. Will there be reliance on an internal auditor(s)? If so, why? If not, why not?
    10. What form of auditor’s report do you expect will be issued? What does it mean?
  6. Your answers should show a high level of critical thinking.
  7. Use proper spelling, grammar, etc. along with in-text citations and references where appropriate.

Adapted from: Arens, Alvin A., Elder, Randal J., & Beasley, Mark S. (2008). Auditing and assurance services: An integrated approach. Instructors Guide. (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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