Out of all the eight subjects, Audit receives the most step-sisterly treatment because of the misconception that the subject can be easily managed owing to the practical exposure. No denial that practical exposure does help, however Audit as a CA Final subject is much more.
Broadly, the subject is divided into 4 parts –
1. Standards on Auditing (30-40 marks) – Standards CANNOT be rote-learnt. You must make sincere attempts to understand each standard (Certain standards such as SA 240, 250, 550, 570, 700, 705 are the Institutes favorites and hence need special attention). Here, it is very important to interpret the question correctly, hence focus on the question as much as the answer. Going through past questions and suggested answers will help you with correct interpretation.
2. Company Audit (15-20 marks) – EASY TO SCORE. Make sure you have read all relevant sections and you can easily sail through. Hence, cover it end to end.
3. Professional Ethics (16 marks) – BONUS. Direct questions asked. You are only required to remember the schedule and part numbers correctly. In the recent attempts, Questions are being asked on Guidelines. Please do not omit that by any means. Write specific answers. Do not beat around the bush. See ICAI model answers for reference. Write in a similar fashion.
4. Other Chapters (25- 40 marks) – A lot to cover for not-a-lot of marks. However I’d suggest that this part should not be taken lightly. Straight forward questions are asked. Try covering as many chapters as possible. Learn answers in point format. Certain chapters like Audit under Fiscal Laws, Audit of Banking and Insurance Companies and Audit under CIS Environment are more important and repeatedly asked vis-a-vis others.
Reference Books – It is advisable to follow one book for the entire subject. Institute Study Material has too much of theory. If you are following an external author book for the entire subject, you may skip the study material, However the Past Question Papers must be seen once to develop an idea of the kind of questions asked and the answers expected.
LAST DAY REVISION – While studying the subject for the first/second/third time, highlight key words. Cancel repetitive content. Summarize (in the book itself) as much as possible by writing pointers in the textbook. Quick reading of the summarized content on the last day. Cover all RTP amendments.
LINKING OF ANSWERS – Answers in audit need to be corelated to all aspects of auditing. For example – An answer on fraud must contain reference to SA 240, Section 143(12) and CARO clause 3(x). An answer on auditors appointment must contain reference to Section 140 of the companies act and Professional ethics Schedule I Part I clause 8. Such linking of points will improve the quality of answers significantly and fetch you additional marks.