CASE 6.4 Tommy O’Connell, Audit Senior
1. Compare and contrast the professional roles of an audit senior and a staff accountant. In your analysis, consider the different responsibilities assigned to each role, the job-related stresses that individuals in the two roles face, and how each role contributes to the successful completion of an audit engagement. Which of these two roles is (a) more important and (b) more stressful? Defend your choices.
Staff Auditor (1-3 years) performs the detail work of a financial audit under the supervision of a senior auditor. Staff Auditors will often start to direct small audits at the two-year level. In this case, Carl Wilmeth is a staff accountant and is assigned to large-scale test of transactions that involved checking invoices, receiving reports, purchase orders and other documents. The staff auditor should complete all these detail work accurately in limited hours. And since the test of transactions is the basis of the audit work and even senior auditor would rely on the work staff done, I think it is more important to a successful completion audit engagement. Senior Auditor (3-6 years) works under the general direction of an Audit Manager. Responsibilities include the direction of audit field work, assignment of detail work to staff accountant, and review of their working papers. Also prepares financial statements, develops corporate tax returns, and suggests improvements to internal controls. In this case, Tommy O’Connell sits in this position. He faces more stress than the staff accountant, Carl Wilmeth. He has pressures from review the audit work from staff accountant, and also the pressure from audit partner and clients. Since the senior auditor has more power to lead the audit work than staff accountant, his or her role is more important than a staff accountant.
2. Assume that you are Tommy O’Connell and have learned that Carl Wilmeth will be working for you on the Altamesa audit engagement. Would...
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