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Analyzing Your Client's Competitive Position - Audit Staff Essentials, Level III

Author/Moderator: Joanne Flood, CPA-MBA
Publisher: AICPA
Availability: Online Access
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The first thing we do as auditors is gather information. This includes client-specific information, data about the industry, and technical auditing and accounting information. Thus, an audit is an information-driven process. The efficiency and effectiveness of your audits begin with the quality of the information you gather.

In this course, we will give you tools for gathering information. You are probably familiar with techniques to help you with examining a company's internal dynamics. In this course, we'll talk about your client's external dynamics. In the first half of this course, you’ll learn how to drill down for information. At the uppermost layer, you'll start with the identification of general objectives. As you proceed deeper in the information-gathering process, your questions will become more detailed until at last you get to the information you want.

By understanding the information you now have, you can assess your client's ability to deal with them. For example, you might be able to understand your client's relative strengths for dealing with outside forces and the opportunities available in the industry. You will also be able to assess the client's weaknesses and possible threats to its competitive position. After completing this course, you'll be able to use the techniques and detailed questions you learned as a way to gather this, and other, critical audit information.

Topics Discussed:

  • Understanding the environment your client operates in
  • Positioning in the market
  • Business strategies
  • Sources of information about your client and competitors

Learning Objectives:
When you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Categorize external forces as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats to your client
  • Assess the relative strength of a client's competitors, suppliers, and customers
  • Ask detailed questions of your client to gather information about competitors, suppliers, and customers
  • Access public sources to gather information about your clients, and their suppliers, competitors, or customers

Prerequisite: At least 20 months of audit experience

Advanced Preparation:  None

NASBA Field of Study: Accounting and Auditing
Level: Intermediate
Recommended CPE Credit: 2
Analyzing Your Client's Competitive Position - Audit Staff Essentials, Level III
CPE On-Demand , 2014
Product# 150194
Availability: Online Access 365 Day
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