Assignment Description
In addition to the Submission Guidelines appearing on page 1, the assignment is to be
completed by groups of four students. The submission into the campus specific assignment
drop box is to made by ONLY one group member.
This assignment is comprised of three parts (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), worth a total of 40
marks. Part 1 is worth 24 marks, Part 2 is worth 12 marks, and Part 3 is worth 4 marks.
The first two parts must be completed and the last part addressed throughout the submission.
Part 1
Research on ‘Big 4’ and ‘non-Big 4’ audit firms
(24 marks; i.e., no more than 1200 words)
Audit firms are categorized in a number of ways; the two most common being the
international ‘Big 4’ audit firms and the ‘non-Big 4’ (or mid-tier) audit firms.
The Big 4 audit firms are; (i) PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), (ii) Ernst and Young (EY), (iii)
KPMG, and (iv) Deloitte.
Most audit firms maintain a website that explains the services offered by the firm and
provides resources to their clients and other interested parties. The services offered by most
firms include both audit and non-audit services.
Find the websites for: (a) a ‘Big 4’ audit firm and (b) a ‘non-Big 4/mid-tier’ audit firm. Present
a ‘business report’ that addresses the following two requirements;
(a) Compares your two audit firms on the following ten characteristics: (20 marks; i.e., no
more than 1000 words)
i. Range of services provided.
ii. Geographic coverage (i.e. where their offices are located).
iii. Number of staff and special skills offered.
iv. Industries in which they claim specialisation/expertise.
v. Publications and other materials provided to their clients or the general public
vi. Key marketing message(s).
vii. A topic of your choice No. 1.
viii. A topic of your choice No. 2.
ix. A topic of your choice No. 3.
x. A topic of your choice No. 4.
Unit Code; MA611 Unit Title; Auditing Page 3 of 5
Lasted Updated: April, 2018
Note, to find four ‘topics of your choice’, you will need to look-up (at least) four articles
published in ‘professional’ and/or ‘academic’ accounting/auditing journals that have
examined differences between ‘Big 4’ and ‘non-Big 4’ audit firms. These articles (reference
sources) must be cited in your responses, and listed appropriately at the end in a reference list
using APA referencing style.
(b) Makes a recommendation on which audit firm your group would prefer to work for and
why. Your explanation must refer to the material presented in Part 1 (a). If the
recommendation of your group is ‘undecided’, then explain why, again, referring to the
material presented in Part 1 (a). (4 marks; i.e., no more than 200 words)
In terms of Part 3’s ‘Format and presentation quality’ (worth 4 marks out of 40 marks; 10 per
cent), your ‘business report’ for this part must have a/an;
(i) Executive summary (between 100 to 200 words),
(ii) Introduction that succinctly outlines the main theme (s) and requirements of this
part of the assignment (no more than 200 words),
(iii) Body that specifically addresses the requirements of Part 1 (a) (no more 1000
(iv) Conclusion that specifically addresses Part 1 (b) (no more than 200 words), and
(v) Reference list containing all cited works.
(iv) Proper English grammar, appearance.

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