Select a publicly traded company using the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) EDGAR System (http://sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html) and submit to the instructor for approval. Please note that each student must research a different company. Once the instructor has approved the company selection, obtain the Annual Report (Form 10K) and Proxy Statement (Form DEF 14A) of the company for the immediate past fiscal year. Review these documents in addition to Earnings Releases and other financial information available on the company’s Investor Relations Web site to evaluate the following items.
Identify the company’s independent registered public accounting firm. Determine how long this firm has served as the external auditors and other services, if any, provided to or on behalf of the company.
Describe the responsibilities of internal and external auditors and how audit engagements are planned to comply with requirements of the Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) 99 to detect fraud.
Explain the criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) and the PCAOB governing the auditor’s consideration of internal control. Discuss documentation of management’s representations and auditor findings regarding internal controls in the audited financial statements.
Discuss requirements for audit documentation, working papers, analytical procedures and evaluation of audit evidence when conducting the audit. Highlight any tests or procedures used by the public accounting firm discussed in the notes to the audited financial statements.
Analyze and explain the Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) requirements for communicating audit findings in the financial statements.
Prepare a 10-12 page research paper (excluding title page, abstract, references page, and appendices containing financial analysis) in APA format that presents the findings of your analysis of the company’s SEC filings. Your paper should also discuss the following:
Explain the ethical, professional, and legal responsibilities of the accounting profession.
Describe the importance of a working knowledge of contract law for performance, third party assignments, discharge, and breach and remedies for public accountants.
Discuss the impact of agency relationships and the liabilities and authority of agents and principals on the practice of public accounting.
Differentiate between GAAS requirements for audited financial statements and standards governing reviews of financial statements, explaining differences in the reporting and communication by the public accountants.
In addition to the SEC Forms, a minimum of five (5) peer-reviewed academic or professional references must be used in the paper.
This assignment will be assessed using additional criteria provided here.