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External Audit

The following Neverest External Audit courses are offered in-house at your office or a designated off-site location at dates convenient for your team. Click below for course descriptions:


External Audit: Managing Effective & Efficient Risk Based Assurance Engagements

1 DAY – 7 PD HOURS

This course revisits key assurance requirements as it relates to planning, performing and reporting on engagements. By providing Neverest with one or two completed engagement files to review in advance to identify potential training focus points, explore your firm’s typical engagement trouble spots and obtain tips for documenting work appropriately. Identify opportunities for maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of your audit and review engagements.


External Audit: Audit Engagement Workshop

1 DAY – 7 PD HOURS

Are you an auditor who is looking for ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your engagements? In this highly interactive workshop, revisit key audit requirements as they relate to common trouble spots in audit engagements, and learn practical approaches for avoiding or mitigating the impacts of each. Obtain and share practical tips with your peers for improved audit performance.

Participants are invited to bring sample/illustrative audit working papers or any complex or controversial audit issues for discussion and analysis in the course.

External Audit: Review Engagement Workshop

1 DAY – 7 PD HOURS

This course revisits key concepts and requirements of the new review engagement standard, CSRE 2400. Participants will identify aspects of the standard that were easy to implement, and further analyze areas that proved to be challenging. This highly interactive workshop uses sample working papers to illustrate transition and documentation issues. In the spirit of continuous improvement, participants will create a plan for improving review engagement files in the upcoming year, to ensure they are in full compliance with requirements.

External Audit: Managing Assurance Clients

1 DAY – 7 PD HOURS

Delivering high quality client service is paramount to a firm’s short-term and long-term success. However, interacting with clients to deliver that service is not always straight- forward or easy. An audit team’s ability to manage engagements effectively and efficiently hinges on a variety of factors…not least of which, is their ability to communicate and coordinate with clients effectively and efficiently.

This session identifies the qualities and characteristics of ‘ideal’ clients, to highlight the importance of training clients to develop into ‘ideal’ clients over time. Obtain and share tips for proactively managing clients and engagements for success.

This session further identifies difficult situations and conversations that assurance teams may experience. It provides a framework for the assurance team to plan for and manage these difficult conversations. In a safe learning environment, participants will practice reacting to given scenarios, and share tips for ‘thinking on their feet’.

External Audit: Auditor's Workshop for Small to Medium Sized Practices - How Can I Do Better?

1 DAY – 7 PD HOURS

Are you an auditor who is looking for ways to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your engagements? In this highly interactive workshop, revisit key audit requirements as they relate to common trouble spots in audit engagements, and learn practical approaches for avoiding or mitigating the impacts of each. Critique sample working papers to identify opportunities for improvement. Obtain and share practical tips with your peers for improved audit performance.

Participants are invited to bring sample/illustrative audit working papers or any complex or controversial audit issues for discussion and analysis in the course.

External Audit: Audit of a Small Business

½ DAY – 3.5 PD HOURS

Practitioners who service small businesses in their communities know that although it can be very rewarding work, there are unique challenges to auditing small businesses effectively and efficiently. For example, common challenges include ‘right-sizing’ audit planning and risk assessments to small businesses, gaining an understanding of internal control when there are often few formal controls in place, and efficiently and effectively adhering to the auditor’s fraud requirements. Many practitioners also find standard forms and checklists cumbersome to use for smaller, simpler engagements.

This course identifies and provides practical strategies for dealing with the common concerns and challenges of auditing small businesses. Documentation tips specific to planning, conducting and reporting on smaller audit engagements are also addressed.

External Audit: Understanding Controls for Small Entities

1 DAY – 7 PD HOURS

Auditors often find it challenging to obtain a sufficient understanding of a client’s system of internal control to meet the requirements of the Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS).

This course reviews the CAS requirements as it applies to understanding internal control, with a focus on using the best practice “top-down approach”. The course will also address when it would be cost-effective to test controls, and how to do so in a manner that would allow the auditor to appropriately reduce the amount of substantive testing performed. Using an interactive case study, the course will highlight common trouble spots to watch out for and provide tips for successfully addressing internal controls.


External Audit: Designing Analytical Procedures

½  DAY – 3.5 PD HOURS

This course explores an area commonly cited by practice inspection as being deficient in audit and review engagement files: the use of analytical procedures. Review the standards as they relate to planning, performing and documenting analytical procedures.

Explore methods for setting expectations when designing predictive analytical procedures. Discuss techniques for strengthening analytics and dealing with variances. Learn how to effectively and efficiently document results. In addition, identify opportunities for using data analytics in your audit engagements.

External Audit: Sampling

½  DAY – 3.5 PD HOURS

Sampling is a technique used in most audit engagements. To apply it properly, it is imperative that auditors know the “why’s” and “how’s” of sampling. They must be able to apply appropriate sampling methods correctly in diverse situations. And they must be able to draw sound and defensible conclusions from the results of their sampling.

This course explains sampling’s place in auditing. It details the steps associated with planning, selecting and executing a sample. It explains how to evaluate and draw conclusions from sampling results. Using various case study scenarios to analyze and discuss, it also demonstrates approaches for documenting all steps in the sampling process.

External Audit: Journal Entry Testing

½  DAY – 3.5 PD HOURS

When reviewing audit working paper files, practice inspectors and audit regulators are increasing their focus on the auditor’s approach and documentation of journal entry testing. Of specific concern is whether the auditor’s approach considered the completeness of journal entries being tested, and testing journal entries in areas that are more susceptible to fraud.

Designed specifically for small to mid-sized public accounting practices, this highly-interactive workshop explores approaches for selecting and testing journal entries, while keeping the completeness and fraud related concerns top of mind. It explores using software systems such as Microsoft Excel to analyze data, and shares tips for documenting results effectively and efficiently.

External Audit: Interviewing Techniques

½  DAY – 3.5 PD HOURS

This course explores the role of interviewing as an essential audit tool for gathering information, including audit evidence. It explains the basic principles of successful interviewing. It demonstrates techniques for planning, conducting, following up, and documenting interviews in an effective and efficient manner. It also shares tips for dealing successfully with potentially difficult situations and interviewees. Finally, participants will receive guidance for avoiding one of the common deficiencies found by practice inspectors and regulators in assurance engagements: over reliance on inquiry.

External Audit: Business Development

½  DAY – 3.5 PD HOURS

Business development is an art. Although it may seem intimidating to some, it is an art that can be learned and developed at any age and stage of an individual’s career. At its core, business development is all about creating long term value for key stakeholders, building and strengthening relationships, and demonstrating technical and soft skill expertise.

This course explores how every individual in a public accounting firm can actively contribute to the management and growth of the practice. In today’s world where speed, technology and innovation are critical keys to success, explore a proven 5 step approach to developing new business from new and existing clients. Furthermore, identify the skills you need to hone, with continued experience, training and practice to effectively utilize these strategies to bring in exciting new opportunities for growth.

External Audit: Staff To Partner Training - Audit & Review Engagement Fundamentals

4 DAYS – 28 PD HOURS – Minimum 0-1 busy seasons

This course is designed for firm professionals who have not yet participated in an audit or review engagement, have limited experience with the execution of audit or review engagements, or are interested in refreshing their knowledge of the fundamentals of performing audit and review engagements effectively and efficiently.

This course provides practical tools and techniques to make the audit and review process more effective and efficient. For audits, it explores the risk based approach. It enables participants to recognize common risks and objectives for each audit area and helps team members understand the link between planned audit procedures and the identified overall and financial statement assertion level risks. For reviews, it highlights key planning requirements. It enables participants to uncover areas where material misstatements are likely to arise and helps team members direct inquiries and analytics appropriately. The course provides tips for developing working paper documentation in an effective and efficient manner. Finally, it shares techniques for gathering relevant and reliable assurance evidence through client interviews.

Using a case study approach, participants work in small group ‘audit teams’ to plan, execute and report on an audit engagement. Teams learn to identify the risks and objectives of each audit area and work together to ensure planned audit procedures are appropriately targeted to risks. At the conclusion of each audit area, teams compare the approach and procedures used to those that would typically be used in review engagements.

External Audit: Staff To Partner Training - Audit Engagement Fundamentals

3 DAYS – 21 PD HOURS – Minimum 0-1 busy seasons

This course is designed for firm professionals who have not yet participated in an audit engagement, have limited experience with the execution of audit engagements, or are interested in refreshing their knowledge of the fundamentals of performing audit engagements effectively and efficiently.

This course provides an introduction to the accounting profession, and the various types of assurance engagements. It explores the risk based audit approach and enables participants to recognize common risks and objectives for each audit area. It encourages staff to understand the link between planned audit procedures and the identified overall and financial statement assertion level risks. It provides an opportunity to execute audit procedures and learn how to effectively and efficiently create working paper documentation to demonstrate the nature, timing and extent of procedures performed. Finally, it reviews active listening techniques to enable participants to develop their abilities to gather relevant and reliable audit evidence through client interviews.

Using a case study approach, participants work in small group ‘audit teams’ to plan, execute and report on an audit engagement. Teams learn to identify the risks and objectives of each audit area, and work together to ensure planned audit procedures are appropriately targeted to risks. At the conclusion of each audit area, teams compare the approach and procedures used to those that would typically be used in review engagements.


External Audit: Staff To Partner Training - Review Engagement Fundamentals

3 DAYS – 21 PD HOURS – Minimum 0-1 busy seasons

This course is designed for firm professionals who have not yet participated in a review engagement, have limited experience with planning and/or performing review engagements, or are interested in refreshing their knowledge of the fundamentals of performing review engagements effectively and efficiently.

This course highlights the various types of assurance engagements. It explores planning review engagements and enables participants to plan procedures by financial statement area. It provides an opportunity to execute review procedures and learn how to effectively and efficiently create working paper documentation to demonstrate the inquiry and analytical procedures performed. Finally, it reviews active listening techniques to enable participants to develop their abilities to gather relevant and reliable evidence through client interviews to support their conclusions.

Using a case study approach, participants work in small group ‘review teams’ to plan, execute and report on a review engagement. Teams work together to ensure planned review procedures are appropriately planned, performed and documented. At the conclusion of each financial statement area, teams compare the approach and procedures used to those that would typically be used in audit engagements.


External Audit: Staff To Partner Training - Assurance Engagement Supervision

3 DAYS – 21 PD HOURS – Minimum required 1-3 busy seasons completed

This course is designed for professionals with a minimum of 1-3 busy seasons of experience in planning and/or performing assurance engagements, or individuals interested in refreshing their knowledge of planning risk based audit engagements and designing effective and efficient audit procedures by audit area. This course is also beneficial for individuals in a supervisory role interested in refreshing their knowledge of tools and techniques for supervising engagements and teams.

This course develops the technical and supervisory skills of individuals.  It provides an in-depth examination of how to perform a risk assessment.  It explores gaining the appropriate depth of understanding of entity level and activity level risks and controls, including a sufficient understanding of information technology risks and controls. It provides technical guidance in areas that are common trouble spots: using sampling and analytical procedures effectively and auditing complex areas such as management estimates, inventory, payroll and revenues. Participants learn techniques for performing working paper file reviews effectively and efficiently. In addition, this course targets the development of some key soft skills when interacting with clients and colleagues. Participants will hone their ability to obtain relevant and reliable information from client interviews. In the spirit of continuous improvement, participants will also gain strategies for soliciting constructive and timely feedback from supervisors and partners and learn how to contribute to the firm by providing meaningful performance feedback to staff in a professional manner.

External Audit: Staff To Partner Training - Assurance Engagement Leadership

2 DAYS – 14 PD HOURS – Minimum 3-5 busy seasons completed

This course is designed for professionals with a minimum of 3-5 busy seasons of experience, including experience planning and performing assurance engagements, supervising staff and managing engagements. This course is beneficial for individuals in a management role interested in developing their abilities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of engagements, their interactions with clients and team members, and their abilities to coach and lead teams for long-term benefits.

This course advances the skills of experienced professionals by improving their abilities to lead assurance engagements, manage engagement teams and interact with clients and other stakeholders.  Using project management techniques, participants explore each phase of an assurance engagement to find opportunities to improve engagement effectiveness and efficiency. The benefits of coaching and mentoring staff are explored while introducing a framework that encourages flexibility for success in leading others.

Additional elective modules explore key areas that can help grow the practice, improve job effectiveness and elevate presence with partners, clients, boards of directors and other key stakeholders: new business development, critical thinking and creative problem solving, presentation, negotiation, and persuasive communication skills.


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