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SOX Preparing for a Top Down Accounting Risk Assessment

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Before starting this self study program, please go through the instructional document.


  • Top-Down RA
    5 mins
  • Entity - Level
    14 mins
  • Entity Level Controls
    25 mins
  • Defining Assertions
    37 mins
  • COSO Principles
    54 mins
  • Risk Factors
    73 mins

Course Description

In the early years of SOX, organizations went to significant detail documenting and testing financial processes. The PCAOB stressed in AS5 the need to focus testing on those accounts that could materially impact the financial statements.  AS 5 prescribes the auditor should use a top-down approach to the audit of ICFR. 

Top down RA - Begin with controls and evaluate whether processes are in place to meet each principle.  Starting with controls and mapping to principles may not provide a fresh look at the adequacy of controls. Organizations must not take a one-approach for preparing top-down risk assessment. Organizations needs to monitor and re-evaluate RA every year for every significant accounts/disclosures. Five steps for top down RA should be categorized by considering scoring and weighing components. 

Although AS5 provides guidance on performing a top-down RA, many organizations still struggle with the concept. This session will focus on the requirement for a top-down RA and processes your organization can utilize to effectively apply the approach.  We will cover critical concepts of AS5 risk factors when identifying significant accounts as well as the importance of evaluating entity level controls.

Major topics covered in this online CPE webinar:

  • Critical Components of Top-Down Assessment
  • Types of Entity Controls
  • Determining Significant Accounts
  • Propensity for Fraud
  • COSO Principles

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Learning Objectives

  • To define a top down accounting RA
  • To establish importance of entity level controls
  • Types of entity controls
  • To determine assertions and significant accounts
  • To link controls to financial statement assertions
  • To examine COSO principles to evaluate for existence of required controls
  • To identifying controls

Who Should Attend?

  • Accountant
  • Accounting Firm
  • Accounting Managers
  • Accounting Practice Owners
  • Auditors
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Chartered Professional Accountant
  • Chief Accounting Officer
  • Cloud Accountants
  • CPA (Industry)
  • CPA - Mid Size Firm
  • CPA - Small Firm
  • CPA in Business
  • Entrepreneurial CPA
  • Senior Accountant
  • Staff of Accounting Firm
  • Young CPA