Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy

By Charles Hall | Accounting and Auditing

Nov 16

Audit risk assessment can be easy–or least easier–if you understand it. But many auditors continue to struggle with risk assessment. That’s why I’ve written the book Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy

Peer reviews continue to reveal the failure of auditors to:

  • Understand and document internal controls 
  • Identify risks of material misstatement
  • Develop audit steps responsive to risks of material misstatement
  • Document risk assessment at the assertion level
  • Provide support for lower inherent risk assessments
  • Assess control risk at the right level
  • Document linkage between risk assessment and audit procedures
  • Use tests of details, substantive analytics, and test of controls as responses to risks of material misstatement

So, we need to understand risk assessment to avoid peer review problems, but, more importantly, risk assessment allows us to see what others miss. 

My New Book Helps You See What Others Miss

I have written a new book, Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy, to help you to see what others miss. Here’s a video overview. 

Common Risk Assessment Questions

The book addresses common questions regarding risk assessment such as:

  • Why do I need to understand internal controls if I am using a fully substantive approach?
  • What internal controls should I pay attention to?
  • What is a walkthrough and when is it needed?
  • What risk assessment procedures are required?
  • When is an account balance, transaction cycle, or disclosure significant?
  • What makes an assertion inherently risky?
  • Can I assess control risk at high even though controls are appropriate?
  • What is a significant risk?
  • How do I assess the risk of material misstatement, including inherent risk and control risk?
  • What is linkage and why is it important?
  • How do I know what audit procedures to include in my audit programs?

As you read the book, you’ll see the answers to these questions and you’ll gain a greater ability to see what others miss. In other words, you’ll have greater confidence in your ability to understand and use risk assessment. Let me go out on a limb and say you might—by the time you’re done—delight in risk assessment. Is that possible? I’m betting on it.

Here’s what others are saying about Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy

Praise for Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy

Too often auditors perform risk assessment procedures as a check-the-box compliance exercise, perhaps because genuine risk assessments require an intimidating amount of professional judgment. In Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy, Charles walks us gently through the process using helpful examples and anecdotes. In so doing, he makes a persuasive case that risk assessment is the key to performing audits that are both effective and efficient.

Dr. Eddie Thomas
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, Georgia

Charles clearly recognizes that the CPA’s world of auditing has its own specific, highly technical language many might call “auditor-ese” that can overcomplicate and confuse. Audit practitioners need to more easily visualize and more fully comprehend the application of risk assessment into professional and effective action steps. Charles’ writing style communicates that even the most complicated task is so much easier to understand and undertake when it is explained and described in simple language with practical examples. 

By taking a page from the Mark Twain method to describe fence painting and Mississippi rafting, Charles breaks risk assessment down into understandable, manageable and effective steps, using uncomplicated declarative sentences, plotting a path to help to make audit risk assessment “easy” and the assurance mission possible. 

James J. Newhard, CPA
JJN CPA
Paoli, Pennsylvania

It’s easy to look at risk assessment only in terms of what you need to pass peer review.  That’s a shame because when risk assessment is done well it can laser focus your audits and identify opportunities to help your clients improve their controls. Audit Risk Assessment Made Easy will help you really understand your clients risks and how to respond. 

James H. Bennett, CPA
Managing Member
Bennett & Associates, CPAs, PLLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan

The risk assessment part of the audit can sometimes be a neglected part of the audit as it is often misunderstood. Charles does a fantastic job of explaining the importance of the risk assessment process in present day audits and explains it in a way that can be understood by all levels of auditors.  Thank you Charles.

Mark A. Welp, CPA, CFE
Principal, Audit & Assurance
Holbrook & Manter, CPAs
Columbus, Ohio

Charles takes the time to explain one of the most difficult aspects of auditing in clear and concise language.  His knowledge and wisdom is evident throughout the book with his understanding and enthusiasm providing practical guidance for all levels of auditors.  I highly recommend this book for auditors from staff to partner to augment their skills in the crucial area.

Geoff Fulton, CPA
Audit Partner
Fulton and Kozak
Atlanta, Georgia

Charles dissects one of the most difficult and most misunderstood topics in auditing and renders it easy to understand. He provides a holistic and practical approach to risk assessment. Required reading for all auditors.

Samuel Latimer, CPA, CFE
Rushton and Company, LLC
Gainesville, Georgia

Get Your Copy Now

Get your copy now. Click the book below to see it on Amazon. 

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About the Author

Charles Hall is a practicing CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner. For the last thirty years, he has primarily audited governments, nonprofits, and small businesses. He is the author of The Little Book of Local Government Fraud Prevention and Preparation of Financial Statements & Compilation Engagements. He frequently speaks at continuing education events. Charles is the quality control partner for McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co. where he provides daily audit and accounting assistance to over 65 CPAs. In addition, he consults with other CPA firms, assisting them with auditing and accounting issues.

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