As part of preparing for Auditing and Attestation (AUD) section of the Uniform Examination, one should STUDY the latest Content and Skill Specification outline that the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant provides on their website. The AICPA Examination Board puts together an outline that tells CPA candidates what is going to be tested and how. For example, AUD's main emphasis is test candidate's knowledge and understand of professional auditing standards. Candidates are should be aware of international standard setting bodies and the audit standards that they have promulgated for the international community.
Another thing that candidates should keep in mind is that there are different standard setting bodies for different types of companies. For example, auditors that audit public companies that issue stock to the general public have to follow audit standards set by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The board was the direct result of the security law introduced in 2002 as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which calls for stricter auditing guidelines and accountability by both the auditors and officers of the corporation.
For non-issuers or non-public companies, the AICPA continues to provide auditing standards for auditors to follow. For example, when doing a compilation or review of financial statements engagement on non-public companies, the auditor needs to follow SSARS 19.
The neat thing about the Content and Skill Specification Outline is that it provides a list of references for candidate to use to further study important topics that may show up in the examination. The list below is an example of some of the auditing standards that candidates can research to build their knowledge and understanding of auditing and attestation.
AICPA Statements on Auditing Standards and Interpretations
• Public Company Accounting Oversight BoaThe latest CSO/SSO as of June 2013rd (PCAOB) Standards (SEC-Approved) and Related Rules, PCAOB Staff Questions and Answers, and PCAOB Staff Audit Practice Alerts
• U.S. Government Accountability Office Government Auditing Standards
• Single Audit Act, as amended
• Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133
• AICPA Statements on Quality Control Standards
• AICPA Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services and Interpretations
• AICPA Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements and Interpretations
• AICPA Audit and Accounting Guides
• AICPA Code of Professional Conduct
• IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
• Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
• Department of Labor Guidelines and Interpretive Bulletins re: Auditor Independence
• SEC Independence Rules