Do You Need to Write the CAS Standard in CPA Canada Exams and CFE?

Are you preparing for the assurance portion of the CPA Canada PEP and CFE exams and wondering whether you need to write “According to CAS” when answering audit AOs? The answer is, it depends on the type of AO you’re dealing with.

Do you need to write “According to CAS…”?

For the common assurance AOs, such as audit planning memo, procedures, control deficiencies, you don’t need to put the CAS standard or mention “According to CAS…” Instead, you can answer based on a format (for example, RAMP, RAP, WIR format).

For non-routine, uncommon AOs, you should write the CAS standard. Examples are key audit matters, fraud, going concern, communication with the auditor, physical matter paragraphs, etc., for these you should write relevant CAS standard.

Another exception is special engagement reports, which I consider a “common” AO. Although it’s common and routine, it still requires writing CAS standards. You must include the CAS number to identify the special report. Examples of special reports are CAS 805, CSAE 3531/3530, CSRS 4400 etc. You can find a full list of special reports here.

How do I study CAS standards?

If you want to fully prepare for assurance AOs and understand CAS standards inside out, a good study strategy is to study them directly. Unfortunately, the Learning eBooks doesn’t divide its chapters per CAS standard, but you can use CAS Summary notes to help you. These notes summarize all relevant CAS standards, including special reports, like CSAE 3531/3530, CSRS 4400. Additionally, review procedures are available in case you get a review planning memo, which comes up in the Assurance and CFE exams.

Extra Resources

In conclusion, when answering audit AOs, it’s not always necessary to write “According to CAS…” However, you should always include the relevant CAS standard for special reports and non-routine audit issues. By studying CAS standards directly, you can ensure that you’re fully prepared for these types of uncommon AOs.

You can get my CPA Canada exam resources here.