Course Objective

The goal of this introductory course to auditing is to learn about
fundamental elements of (financial statement) auditing, both from a
practical perspective and from a theoretical/academic point of view.
With respect to the practical perspective, students will be exposed to
the purpose of and economic demand for auditing, fundamental elements of
conducting an audit, and the process employed by financial auditors
(Bridging Theory and Practice - Knowledge; Academic and Research Skills;
Bridging Theory and Practice - Application). Significant attention will
be devoted to ethical threats facing the auditor (Self-Awareness,
Broadening your Horizon). Finally, students will analyze, discuss and
interpret academic audit research output (Bridging Theory and Practice -
Knowledge; Academic and Research Skills).

More specifically, on successful completion of this course, students
will be able to:
- explain the economic and societal role of financial audits;
- describe major applicable regulatory and ethical requirements that
guide the conduct of audits and determine when these requirements are
- define and apply the main concepts of auditing, such as reasonable
assurance, the audit risk model, and materiality;
- identify and illustrate all the stages of the audit process;
- reflect on ethical dilemmas that the student will face in his/her
future role as auditor;
- analyze and interpret auditing cases using the obtained knowledge
about main auditing concepts, the audit process, and given ethical
- recall and interpret the essence of a select number of
state-of-the-art research articles in auditing and critically discuss
and reflect on their findings.

Course Content

Auditing involves the testing and evaluation of evidence against agreed
norms or criteria. The auditor has an important societal function
because financial statement users (e.g., shareholders) and other
stakeholders require some level of third party assurance on the
qualitative aspects of information found in the financial statements,
such as information reliability and relevance. For example, shareholders
require primarily assurance about the reliability of financial
statements, since they use these statements for their professional
decision-making. Providers of debt financing, such as banks, need to
know whether the presented liquidity ratios are accurate.

The course will focus on the role of the auditor in society and what
demands this role imposes on the auditor. We start by giving an
introduction to the demand for auditing, relying on the theoretical
economic foundations of the profession. Next, the course focuses on the
audit process, starting with the planning stage of the audit, where the
auditor obtains an understanding of the client and its business and
designs the audit plan, while paying careful attention to the audit risk
model. The next two audit stages discussed at a general level include
the conduct of audit procedures. Auditors can obtain various types of
audit evidence to test the assertions (claims) made by management in the
financial statements. The audit process concludes with the completion
stage of the audit. By examining audit evidence obtained during an
audit, auditors ultimately decide which type of auditor’s report to
issue. We also devote significant attention throughout the course on the
audit profession’s need for ethical behavior and professional
skepticism, as well as the auditor’s role and responsibilities with
respect to fraud. Throughout the course, students will be offered the
opportunity of interacting with practice during audit firm visits,
practice-based case studies and/or guest lectures by practitioners.

Aside from offering students a practice-based introduction to the
auditing profession, students will also be exposed to the academic
auditing discipline by reading a selection of academic audit research
papers and discussing the importance of the findings for the auditing

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Midterm multiple choice test(s) – individual assessment.
Attendance/presentation – individual assessment.
Case assignments – group assessment.
Written exam with open questions – individual assessment.


- Hayes, Eimers, Wallage, Principles of Auditing, Pearson Education, 4th
edition. (The 4th edition is currently being written. If it is not yet
available by the beginning of the course we will use Hayes, Wallage,
Gortemaker, Principles of Auditing, Pearson Eduction, 3rd edition. More
information will provided via Canvas.)
- Academic papers (available on Canvas).
- Additional readings will be announced on Canvas.

Recommended background knowledge

Basic understanding of Financial Accounting and Accounting Information

General Information

Course Code E_EBE3_AUD
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator prof. dr. A.H. Gold
Examiner prof. dr. A.H. Gold
Teaching Staff O. van Mourik

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Instruction course, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: