Application of Professional Skepticism

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1.5 Credits

Professional skepticism should be ingrained in our work every day - from the time we arrive to the time we depart. It should be on our minds from planning to wrap-up. It is critical we keep the core concepts of professional skepticism in mind at all times.

The companion chapter, Audit Staff Essentials New Staff: Core Concepts, "Introduction to Professional Skepticism," covered the basics of professional skepticism, including our professional requirements under generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS); the link between professional skepticism and professional judgment; and impediments and mitigation techniques integral to the use of professional skepticism.

In this chapter, as in the companion chapter, a case study approach is used to illustrate and delve into further concepts related to professional skepticism, including additional factors that can impair our skepticism, the role of ethics, and a look at the tools we use to apply our skills. First, a broad look at the guidance that applies.


  • Identify internal and external factors that affect the auditor's application of professional skepticism and judgment influences that lead to less-than-optimal decision-making.
  • Recall the connection between professional ethics and professional skepticism.
  • Recall how and when to use a judgment framework.
  • Identify good practices for documenting professional skepticism.

Major Topics

Internal and external factors affecting judgment
Role of ethics
Review of biases
Professional judgment and professional skepticism
The decision-making process

Designed For

Recently onboarded staff
First-year staff
Firms that want consistent training and level setting

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