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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 - Describe the nature and purpose of auditing including the legal and regulatory requirements relating to auditors and evaluate how the independent, ethical and professional conduct of auditors can contribute to informed decision making (GA3, GA5)  

LO2 - Determine the risks of material misstatement in the financial statements considering auditors liability and assess the impact on the audit strategy (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Apply and interpret the Australian/International Auditing Standards and their impact to the role of auditors regarding planning the audit, obtaining appropriate sufficient evidence, documentation and testing internal control systems (GA5, GA7) 

LO4 - Appraise the entire audit process from pre-engagement to compiling an audit report with regard to International Standards on Auditing or other relevant auditing standards, laws, and regulations applicable to an audit of general-purpose financial statements (GA5, GA8)  

LO5 - Develop appropriate audit opinions under different circumstances and decide the appropriate treatment for subsequent events using Australian/International Auditing Standards (GA5).  

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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


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 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 students 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 must demonstrate competence in all learning outcomes and are required to achieve an overall score of at least 50%. 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 Evaluation 

This task requires students to evaluate real-life case studies, use data and information from a variety of sources and perspectives through research, integration, and analysis to discuss the nature and purpose of auditing and the auditor’s ethical and professional conduct in contributing to informed decision making.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case study

Artefact: Written evaluation (1200 words)


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2: Oral (Debate)

This task requires students to work in groups and then debate findings clearly and concisely when presenting. Students will apply their knowledge to a real-life case study considering relevant theories and auditing standards to evaluate their application to the audit process.

Submission type: Group

Assessment Method: Debate  

Artefact: Oral debate (equivalent 1500 words)


LO3, LO4

GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 3: Final Exam

This assessment task requires students to examine real-world case studies to evaluate reporting standards and determine whether appropriate audit opinion has been expressed under different circumstances and decide the appropriate treatment for subsequent events.

Submission type: Individual

Assessment Method: Exam

Artefact: Submitted paper (equivalent 1500 words)


LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5, 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, Latest year, CAANZ, Sydney, NSW.

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

Knapp, MC 2022, Contemporary auditing, 12th Edition, Cengage Learning.

Messier, WF, Glover, SM & Prawitt, DE 2019, Auditing and assurance services: a systematic approach, 11th 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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