Recent Question/Assignment

Students enrolled in the course ‘Auditing’ this year will be entering the workforce at a very exciting time: the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also referred to as Industry 4.0). In speaking of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, stated,
“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” (Schwab, 2018).
Many of the developments referred to by Schwab have, or will, impact auditing and the broader field of accountancy. In this assignment, you will explore the impact of technology on auditing by addressing the following essay question.
Select three technologies from those discussed in the paper titled, ‘Audit and Technology’ (ACCA, 2019) that have, or are expected to, impact financial statement auditing. Briefly outline each of the technologies you select and explain how its impact on auditing has been felt, and /or is likely to be felt in the near future.
The essay concerns a significant contemporary issue in auditing. It requires you to gain an understanding of the issue and to be able to explain its importance. In completing the assignment, you will need to master a set of readings that are provided under the heading, Required Assignment Readings. One of these readings, ‘Audit and Technology’ (ACCA, 2019) is the foundation reading. You should study this reading carefully and use it as a reference point for further reading. The Required Assignment Readings provide students with a sound basis for addressing the essay question. As can be seen in the table below titled ‘Assessment Criteria’, 15 marks are allocated for using the Required Assignment Readings.
You are also required to undertake further research on the essay question. An additional 15 marks are allocated for the use of other appropriate material. You may wish to use materials that you have found yourself, or, you may wish to rely on the readings provided under the heading “Additional Assignment Readings”. Perhaps you will choose a combination of both. There is no set number of additional readings/ materials that are to be used. The number provided by me may exceed the number any one student is likely to use. In providing the Additional Assignment Readings, I am simply presenting to students with good quality discussions of the relevant issues. (Please note that I have provided the Additional Assignment Readings because some students in the course are affected by the Government’s travel ban, and may not have access to sufficient resources to undertake independent study.) Required and Additional Assignment Readings are listed below, together with their URLs.
Key Points to Note
? The due date for this assignment is 9.00 am on Monday September 14th.
? The assignment is to be submitted through “turnitin” on the course MyUni page.
? It is an individual assignment.
? Either the Harvard referencing system or the footnote system can be used.
? The assignment must submitted according to the following criteria:
? Title of the essay, student name and ID number are to be placed at the top of page 1
? File type: .doc or .docx.
? Font: Either 11 pt. Arial or 12 pt. Times Roman.
? Spacing: 1.5
? Margins: Left-hand margin 2.2 cm and right-hand margin 3.4 cm (this is to allow feedback from the marker to be included on the face of the essay).
? While headings can be used to identify sections of the essay, an integrated piece of writing, in which you present an overall argument, is required.
? The word limit is 2,500 words.
? No more than 5% of the words submitted can be direct quotations. Please see also the University’s Academic Honesty Policy, which can be accessed online through the Course Outline.
? The marks allocated according to the marking criteria stated below will be scaled to yield a final mark out of 30 for this assessable item.
Item Marks
Outlining three technologies and providing an introduction and a conclusion [1] 30
Explanation of the impact on auditing of each of the three technologies [2] 30
Use of Required Assignment Readings [3] 15
Use of other appropriate material [3] 15
Total 90
Penalty for poor presentation or exceeding the word limit [4] Up to 5 marks
Penalty for not constructing a sound argument. [5] Up to 5 marks
Penalty for incorrect and/ or incomplete citation of references. [6] Up to 5 marks
Penalty for exceeding the word limit for direct quotations and close paraphrasing [7] Up to 50% of the marks otherwise awarded
Notes on Assessment Criteria
[1] Marks are allocated as follows:
I. The introduction should provide the context for the analysis you will provide in addressing the essay topic, and succinctly inform the reader (the marker) of what you will be discussing in the body of the essay. (4 Marks)
II. The outline of the three technologies should inform the reader of the salient characteristics of each technology. You need to demonstrate an understanding of each of the three technologies. (3 x 7 =21 Marks)
III. The conclusion should succinctly draw together the main ideas that you have discussed in the body of the essay. (5 Marks)
[2] To be awarded marks under this criterion you are required to explain the impact of each technology on auditing. (3 x 10 = 30 Marks)
[3] To be awarded marks under the criteria “use of material provided” and “use of other appropriate material”, you are required to select ideas from various readings that are relevant to your analysis of the impact on auditing of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and to compare and /or contrast the ideas of different writers in a cogent argument. Such use of materials must me evidenced though appropriate referencing. (15 marks for each criterion)
[4] Assignments must be free from typing errors and be properly spaced. Each page must be numbered and organised with care. Students may complete the essay using +/- 10% of the word limit.
[5] All answers are expected to be logical and well structured. Merely listing ideas is not satisfactory.
[6] The essay must be written in your own words. The real value to you in writing an essay is that provides an opportunity to critically analyse a body of literature and construct a valid argument.
Association of Chartered Accountants (2019a). Audit and Technology. accessed February 7 2020
Schwab, K. (2018) “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it Means, How to Respond.- Accessed 2 March. 2020.
Required Assignment Reading 1 (Foundation Reading): Association of Chartered Accountants (2019a). Audit and Technology. accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 2: Raphael, J. (2017). Rethinking the Audit. Journal of Accountancy, April 1, 2017.
accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 3: Sweet, P. (2019). Artificial intelligence cannot replace professional judgment for auditors. Accountancy Daily 4 Jul 2019. accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 4: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (2016). Data Analytics for External Auditors. accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 5: Association of Chartered Accountants (2019b).
Machine Learning More Science than Fiction accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 6: Guszcza, J., Rahwan, I., Bible, W., Cebrian, M. and Katyal, V. (2018) Why we need to audit algorithms. Harvard Business Review, November 28, 2018. accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 7: Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (2017).
The Future of Blockchain accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 1: Forbes Insights (2020). Audit 2020 A Focus on Change accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 2: PWC (2017). Confidence in the Future Human and Machine Collaboration in the Audit. accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 3: Association of Chartered Accountants (2017). The Race For Relevance: Technology Opportunities for the Finance Function. accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 4: KPMG (2018). The Impact of New Technology on Audit and Assurance. accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 5: Sun, T. and Vasarhelyi M.A. (2017). Deep Learning and the Future of Audit. The CPA Journal, June 2017. accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 6: Association of Chartered Accountants (2018). Tenets of Audit Quality accessed February 7 2020
Additional Assignment Reading 7: Association of Chartered Accountants (2017). Divided We Fall, Distributed we Stand. accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 8: The impact of Digital and Artificial Intelligence on audit and finance professionals: harnessing the opportunities of disruptive technologies 30 January 2019 Report. accessed February 7 2020
Required Assignment Reading 9: Baraniuk, C. (2020).Blockchain The revolution that hasn’t quite happened. BBC News, February 11, 2020. accessed February 7 2020

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