The aim of P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance, is to apply relevant knowledge, skills, and exercise professional judgment in analysing, evaluating, concluding and reporting on the assurance engagement and other audit and assurance issues in the context of best practice and current developments.
At this advanced level in the qualification, ACCA is aiming to test students’ skills on evaluating situations and applying proficient intellect to resolve problems or recommend ‘precise’ actions to these problems.
Allow me to suggest a systematic approach to P7 that worked for me.
Most of the marks for P7 are not just for knowledge. You also score marks for your aptitude on applied scenario-based questions. Initially, there are only around five or six types of applied audit questions. Therefore, phase one is to study the techniques for all the types of applied audit questions and grasp an understanding of theories like audit risk, internal controls, substantive testing, and so on.
Many students do well when they are tested on the techniques. However, many students also fail to practise these techniques during the actual exam, which ultimately leads to a fail.
So first, I would recommend recognising the key points to learn. Then keep practising exam questions (always make sure to use revision kits from ACCA’s Approved Learning Partners). Repeat this as much as you possibly can in the weeks leading up to the exam. Repetition can be irritating and time consuming, but it is effective.
On exam day, when writing your answers, keep re-reading the techniques and reiterate them inside your head and make sure you adhere to them when applying your answers to the question scenarios.
While preparing for P7, take time to practise writing a minimum of five bullet points for each accounting standard to help drive home in your mind the key topics. Understanding the more complex ISAs such as succeeding events and initial audit concepts is important. Core standards on areas like audit risk and response, evidence, and audit reports must not be overlooked either.
If that all seems straightforward enough, why isn’t the pass rate for P7 as high as it could be? It is discouraging, but you need to read, comprehend, grit your teeth and try to follow the above.
Rigorous exam practice can always save you from making any blunders in the exam – and I hope you find my detailed tips useful for your exam practice.
Good luck to those preparing for P7!