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ACCT600 Accounting for Decision Making

Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Accounting is a profession for which public trust is paramount. Auditing and assurance services provide credence to published financial statements and therefore, are major accounting profession activities.

Auditing is a vital economic and accounting function on which several people rely to make decisions. This unit will raise student awareness of the interplay between auditing, common good and stewardship.

This unit covers both theoretical and practical aspects of auditing. The knowledge and competencies learned in this unit are applicable in many other countries as international accounting standards are used throughout the course. This unit introduces students to the concepts and practice of auditing, the way the profession has developed, and how it addresses current business and social needs.

This unit aims to emphasise contemporary auditing theory and practices, and provide a stimulating and research-informed learning environment, which will develop students' critical thinking and team working skills.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - examine the objectives of the audit function, and explain the professional, ethical, legal and regulatory aspects of auditing with particular reference to generating socially responsible outcomes and fostering common good and stewardship (GA2, GA5)

LO2 - develop audit evidence collection procedures and critically review risks and materiality (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - integrate theoretical and technical auditing knowledge with standards and regulations during planning and implementation and reporting phases of the audit (GA5, GA8)

LO4 - exercise professional judgment in deciding an appropriate audit report under various circumstances (GA5, GA6)

LO5 - critical analysis and evaluation of internal control system (ICS) individually or collectively to determine the responsibility of management and auditors for ICS (GA5, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media.  


Topics will include:

  • The auditing and assurance services profession
  • Ethics, independence, and corporate governance, common good and stewardship
  • The legal liability of auditors
  • Planning and risk
  • Overview of the elements of the financial report audit process
  • Assessing inherent risk, other business risks and materiality
  • Understanding the internal control structure and assessing internal control risk procedures for collecting evidence
  • Tests of transactions / tests of balances
  • Audit sampling
  • Completion, review and communication
  • Auditor’s reporting obligations

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

ACU’s teaching policy focuses on learning outcomes for students. Our teaching aims to engage students as active participants in the learning process while acknowledging that all learning must involve a complex interplay of active and receptive processes, constructing meaning for oneself, and learning from others. ACU promotes and facilitates learning that is autonomous and self-motivated, is characterised by the individual taking satisfaction in the mastering of content and skills and is critical, looking beneath the surface level of information for the meaning and significance of what is being studied.

The schedule of the workshop is designed in such a way that students can achieve intended learning outcomes sequentially. Teaching and learning activities will apply the experiential learning model, which encourages students to apply higher-order thinking. The unit ensures that learning activities involve real-world scenarios that assist with ‘real-world’ preparedness. The unit also uses a scaffolding technique that builds a student’s skills and prepares them for the next learning process phase.

Mode of delivery: This unit is offered in different modes. These are: “Attendance” mode, “Intensive” mode and “Online” mode. This unit is offered in three modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants and maximise effective participation for isolated and/or marginalised groups.

Attendance Mode

In a weekly attendance mode, students require face-to-face attendance in specific physical location/s. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops, and most students report that they spend an average of one hour preparing before the workshop and one or more hours after the workshop practicing and revising what was covered. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for students to prepare and revise.

Intensive Mode

In an intensive mode, students require face-to-face attendance in weekends, or any block of time determined by the school. Students will have face-to-face interactions with lecturer(s) to further their achievement of the learning outcomes. This unit is structured with required upfront preparation before workshops. The online learning platforms used in this unit provide multiple forms of preparatory and practice opportunities for you to prepare and revise.

Online Mode

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of the essential knowledge associated with corporate finance. Students can explore the essential knowledge underpinning corporate finance and develop knowledge in a series of online interactive lessons and modules. Students are given the opportunity to attend facilitated synchronous online seminar classes with other students and participate in the construction and synthesis of knowledge, while developing their knowledge of corporate finance. Students are required to participate in a series of online interactive workshops which include activities, knowledge checks, discussion and interactive sessions. This approach allows flexibility for students and facilitates learning and participation for students with a preference for virtual learning.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments are used primarily to foster learning. ACU adopts a constructivist approach to learning that seeks alignment between the fundamental purpose of each unit, the learning outcomes, teaching and learning strategy, assessment and the learning environment. In order to pass this unit, students are required to achieve an overall score of at least 50% and attempt all assessment items. Using constructive alignment, the assessment tasks are designed for students to demonstrate their achievement of each learning outcome.

Each of these assessment pieces has been designed to empower students, lead to greater equity and deepen students’ skillsets by virtue of their design. They are assessments that are constructed to integrate the unit’s instruction and curriculum. The first assessment which is an individual task, is directed at getting students to individually apply capital budgeting techniques. The second assessment is a group assessment which enables students to learn to not only evaluate risk and return of investments but also to be a part of a collaborative and consultative team. This in turn provides a broader application of the corporate finance process. The final assessment requires students individually to apply corporate finance techniques to maximise the value of the firm.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Case Study Report 

This assessment task consists of a 2000-word written report. This task requires students to select a real-life auditing firm of their choice, and answer specific questions. The purpose of the first assessment is to develop a student’s understanding of the professional and ethical aspects of auditing and how auditing can contribute to socially responsible outcomes and foster common good and stewardship. The first assessment also aims to develop students’ understanding of accounting /auditing standards and the legal framework.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Study / Written report

Artefact: Written report



GA2, GA5

Assessment Task 2: Oral (Debate)

This task requires students to work in groups and debate against another group. the purpose of the second assessment is to develop students’ communication, critical thinking and knowledge and skills in the interpretation and application of auditing standards that related to planning the audit, audit risk, collecting appropriate sufficient evidences and testing internal control systems. This will be based on a real-life case study applying relevant theories and auditing standards

Submission type: Group

Assessment Method: Debate  

Artefact: Oral


LO2, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9

Assessment Task 3:

This task requires students to apply their advanced professional judgement in determining audit evidence collection procedures and reviewing risks and materiality together with integrating the theoretical and technical knowledge of auditing. This task requires students to critically consider auditing in the context of the common good and stewardship.

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Written Report

Artefact: Written Report


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, 

Representative texts and references

Arens, AA, Best, P, Shailer, G, Fiedler, B, Elder, RJ & Beasley, M 2017, Auditing, assurance services and ethics in Australia: An integrated approach, 10th edn, Pearson Education, Sydney.

Auditing, assurance and ethics handbook Australia, 2020, CAANZ, Sydney, NSW.

Gay, G. & Simnett, R 2018, Auditing and assurance services in Australia, 7th edn, McGraw-Hill Australia.

Knapp, MC 2018, Contemporary auditing, Cengage Learning.

Martinov-Bennie, N, Roebuck, P & Soh, D 2016, Auditing and assurance – a case studies approach, 7th edn, Lexis Nexis.

Messier, WF, Glover, SM & Prawitt, DE 2016, Auditing and assurance services: a systematic approach, 10th edn, McGraw-Hill, Irwin.

Moroney, R, Campbell, F & Hamilton, J 2020, Auditing: a practical approach, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Sydney, NSW.

Cyr, D., Heroux, S., Fontaine, R. (2020). Auditors’ Judgment Subordination and the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Managerial Auditing Journal. Volume 35, Issue 8, pp.1189-1211.

Elmghaamez, I.K., Gerged, A.M., and Ntim, C.G. (2020). Financial Market Consequences of Early Adoption of International Standards on Auditing: International Evidence. Managerial Auditing Journal. Volume 35, Issue 6, pp. 818-858.

Garcia, J., Villiers, C., Li, L. (2021). Is a client's corporate social responsibility performance a source of audit complexity? International Journal of Auditing. Volume 25, Issue 1, pp. 75-102.

Khoo, E., Lim, Y., and Monroe, G. (2020). “Corporate reputation and the timeliness of external audit and earnings announcement”. International Journal of Auditing. Volume 24, Issue 3, pp.366-395.

Kitiwong, W., and Sarapaivanich, N. (2020). “Consequences of the implementation of expanded audit reports with key audit matters (KAMs) on audit quality”. Managerial Auditing Journal. Volume 35, Issue 8, pp.1095-1119.

Sharma, D., Ananthanarayanan, U., and Litt, B. (2021). CEO compensation, corporate governance, and audit fees: Evidence from New Zealand. International Journal of Auditing  Volume 25, Issue 1., pp.117-141

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