Category Archives: Accounting & Auditing

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Understand Basic Accounting Concepts and Stay a Step Ahead With CIA

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

When it comes to studying for professional exams, you can’t go wrong by proactively researching some of the basic ideas and concepts behind each module. One area where you can particularly benefit from a little extra study is accounting, especially when you reach part three of the CIA curriculum.

Part three incorporates a financial management module covering financial and management accounting, with topics including accounting terminology, financial statements and how they’re used, basic accounting concepts, and underlying principles.

Why do you need to cover these topics ahead of class?

Here’s why you should take control of your learning, and get a grasp of these accounting basics in advance:

  • You’ll save time in class - the instructor will be able to progress through the course without having to explain numerous basic accounting terms and concepts
  • You can stay motivated and not become demoralised by falling behind your peers
  • Confidence in your own abilities and understanding will increase
  • A clear appreciation of the basic concepts underpins your entire learning experience, and helps you apply the concepts in practical assignments
  • It helps you to understand the subject rather than simply learning facts
  • Your chances of success increase greatly when you undertake independent study. It’s an important element of your time as a student, and allows you to gain a wider perspective of the subject as a whole.

Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor represents a magnificent achievement, and provides a significant boost to your career. As with most areas of study, however, when you’re proactive in seeking out relevant information, the curriculum becomes easier to manage.

Learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals by looking through our website. We offer clear instruction and comprehensive ongoing support to help all our students succeed.



Pass the CPA REG Exam First Time

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

The CPA Regulation (REG) exam is designed to test a candidate’s knowledge of taxation at a federal level and the law in a business context. Therefore this section tends to be a cause for concern for candidates who either don’t have taxation experience or don’t have a natural ability to memorise lots of tax facts. The aim is of course to pass first time, which is why we have pulled together our top tips.

Be clear on the exam structure and timings

There are 5 testlets making up the REG exam. The first two are multiple choice, each containing 38 questions. After these have been submitted, there is a 15 minute optional break which does not contribute to the overall exam time of 4 hours. After the break there are the remaining three testlets which are task based simulations. Testlet three has 2 simulations, and testlet four and five have 3 simulations each.

The REG exam is 4 hours in total with no restrictions on how to use your time. Therefore it is important to consider in advance how much time you should spend on each section. The best way to do this is by doing practice exams. As a rule of thumb the multiple choice questions take 1.5 hours and the task based simulations take 2.5 hours.

Know the scoring weights

The concepts tested and their relevant weights are as follows:

Federal tax procedures and professional ethics and responsibilities – 10-20%

Business law – 10-20%

Federal property transaction taxation – 12-22%

Federal individual taxation – 15-25%

Federal entity taxation – 28%-38%

Whilst these weights gives a relative indication of the importance of a section from a scoring perspective, it does not provide the insight to permit a candidate to not study all of the topics on the syllabus.

50% of the score is attributed to the multiple choice questions, and the remaining half to the task based simulations.

Quick tips

Here are a few of our top quick tips to pass REG first time:

  • Practice as many multiple choice questions as you can
  • Be ready to memorize a lot of tax facts
  • Break up tax studying with something else
  • Take a revision class

In Summary

As with any exam, preparation is key to success. However, there are of course specific attributes of any exam that need to be considered and planned for. This will help you to plan not only your revision time, but also your performance within the exam itself. Explore our various tools and resources designed to help you pass the exam from the first attempt!


What to Buy the Accountant Who Has Everything

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Accountants are difficult to buy for. The same is true of any professional (or indeed anyone), but buying gifts with accountancy in mind that are either fun, useful, or practical can be tricky. However, if you apply those three principles when choosing a gift for an accountant – or indeed anyone else – you can’t go far wrong.

The fun gift

Think along the lines of Secret Santa type presents. Fun gifts can also overlap with both useful and practical, but if they can make the accountant recipient laugh too, so much the better. For example, a chocolate calculator is appropriate, amusing, and a useful snack for those long tax-season working hours. Slogan t-shirts and mugs are also appreciated; what better than professing a love of spreadsheets, or a refusal to give you a salary increase when drinking coffee?

The useful gift

Accountants have a tendency to be desk-bound and therefore sit down for long periods during their working day. If their workstation is set up properly, this can lead to a range of problems; anything from a bad back, to a crick in the neck if they’re prone to propping the phone under their chin and talking at the same time, to RSI if they don’t take proper keyboard breaks. Ergonomic back cushions, wrist rests, or even kneeling chairs are thoughtful gifts for those glued to their offices.

The practical gift

Both initial training and continuing professional development can be very expensive. Starting a CPA fund that can be topped up periodically for the accountant in your life can be the most thoughtful and practical gift of all. The CPA exam is difficult and takes a lot of work to pass, so removing worries about how to afford training in the first place can actually be a huge help to an accountant in their preparation. Make sure other friends and relatives have details of the account to help out too.

Of course, accountants are people too, so the usual gifts of socks and handkerchiefs at Christmas and birthdays are always useful standbys (sometimes, they’re even wanted!). However, using the fun/useful/practical model can help you take the headache out of gift-giving, and keep your accountant happy!


Don’t Lose Your CIA Designation – How to Complete and Report Your CPE Hours

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Now you’ve attained the status of Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), you’ll need to meet the requirements of your professional body with regard to continuing professional education, or CPE.

All you have to do to maintain your CIA certification is complete and report the required number of CPE credit hours each year, referencing the courses or events you’ve attended, and learning activities undertaken.

Use CCMS Online 

CPE credit hours should be reported by 31st December each year via the IIA’s online portal, the Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS). Candidates who live outside North America may need to report the information directly to their IIA Affiliate.

A new requirement for 2018 is that at least two CPE credit hours should be completed in the area of Ethics.

So what might be the best types of education and learning activities to undertake, and how do you access them?

Registry of CPE Providers and Other Learning Opportunities 

The Chartered IIA has developed a registry of approved CPE providers to help you assess and choose suitable activities, but you can also carry out other forms of continuing professional education.

Activities might include:

  • Attending international conferences, seminars, workshops, or other programs
  • Completing internal and external training courses
  • Presenting at events
  • Carrying out research and writing articles on audit-related issues
  • Volunteering to help the IIA, on a local, national, or international basis
  • Reading Internal Auditor Magazine, and answering questions on the content
  • Login to the Certification Candidate Management System using your username and password
  • Select ‘Complete a Form’
  • Navigate to the appropriate CPE Reporting Form
  • Enter the details of your credit hours, and activities/learning undertaken
  • Submit the form

Steps to Reporting your CPE Credit Hours on CCMS 

Don’t forget to keep your contact details up-to-date on CCMS, as regular email reminders regarding CPE reporting will be sent to you prior to the 31st December deadline.

For more information on maintaining your CIA certification, have a look through our website or get in touch with one of the team. We’ll provide valuable guidance on CPE activities, your reporting obligations, and how you can meet them.


Study For Your CPA Anywhere, Anytime with our New CPA LiveOnline Format

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Want to study for the CPA but need the flexibility to study within your home, or even on the move? Becker and Morgan International are excited to announce the launch of LiveOnline which is a web based structured schedule of CPA course instruction. This format is also excellent for busy professionals who would be unable to make classes but still require structured support.

A dynamic multimedia experience

LiveOnline courses include the same comprehensive materials and instruction as other formats but they are provided in real time. This means that students can access instructor support as and when they need it, to get study tips, guidance, and to ask questions.

What is included?

The programme is packed full of content, support and resources. This includes:

  • 114 hours of live online review sessions including 12 hours of simulations (4 simulation sessions per part)
  • 100+ hours of recorded lectures and expert instruction
  • Over 6,800 multiple choice questions
  • Over 380 task-based simulations
  • Adapt2U Adaptive Learning Technology
  • Interactive Skills Practice includes videos and 215 interactive simulations
  • Two mock exams per exam section that mirror the CPA Exam
  • Comprehensive textbooks and interactive eBooks
  • Modularized content delivered in short learning segments to easily fit in your schedule
  • A live chat that allows you to ask questions and get immediate feedback from our expert instructors
  • Interactive study planner
  • Unlimited academic support

In Summary

The next course begins in January 2018. If you would like more information, take a look at this link. We are confident that our LiveOnline programme will offer candidates everything they need to succeed as we mirror the CPA exam in every way. This ensures that candidates have no unwanted surprises on exam day. This is just one of the many reasons that Becker students are twice as likely to pass than non-Becker candidates!


Seven Steps to Achieving CIA Certification

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Follow these seven steps, and take a huge leap in your career by achieving CIA certification:

1. Create a profile 

Complete your personal details and create your profile on the IIA Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS).

2. Complete your application

Navigate to the CIA program application form using the ‘Complete a Form’ link. Once the application has been submitted, payment is required within 90 days.

3. Submit supporting documentation 

The ‘Document Upload Portal’ is used to upload the information needed to support your application - this should be uploaded within 90 days of application submission.

4. Register for an exam

Once your application has been approved, you can register for an exam using the ‘Complete a Form’ link within CCMS. When you’ve submitted the exam form and payment, the IIA will send you an ‘authorisation to test’ email.

5. Schedule your exam 

You should wait 48 hours from receiving your ‘authorisation to test’ email, before contacting Pearson VUE to schedule an exam. You can do this either online or by phone.

  • Online

Visit the Pearson VUE website to schedule an exam 24 hours a day. You’ll be able to choose your exam date, time, and test centre location, receiving instant confirmation on the screen, and via email.

  • Phone

You can also schedule an exam by phoning the Pearson VUE call centre, where you’ll be asked for your candidate number, preferred dates, and test centre locations.

  • Receiving confirmation

The email confirming your exam details should be checked carefully for accuracy - you’ll need to print off this email and take it with you to the test centre.

6. Complete the CIA course 

Morgan International offers extensive support to our students at every stage. You can study in the way that suits you best, using our in-depth practice materials and comprehensive text books.

7. Take your exam

You should arrive at your chosen test centre at least 30 minutes prior to the exam start time, otherwise you might not be able to sit the exam. You’ll also need to provide at least one form of official photo identification that meets IIA/Pearson VUE’s requirements.

Let us help you achieve CIA certification, and set you on the road to an illustrious career. Take a look at the detailed course descriptions on our website, or call to speak to one of our knowledgeable advisers.

Rubab CMA Small

The Inspiring CMA Journey of Rubab Fatimah Rizvi

By Rubab Fatimah Rizvi 

“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time.”

These lines from the poem, A Psalm of Life, have always inspired me.

With a passion for growth and the drive for excellence, I have always aimed for achieving the extraordinary in all facets of life.

Academically I have been inclined towards Accounting, Economics and Finance. After completing my BSc in Finance with first honours and the highest grade in my class, I wanted to pursue Master’s and eventually enter the corporate world. However, due to certain personal circumstances, I could not go for Master’s that year and being a non-Saudi female meant I couldn’t get a job either because of the Saudization laws. I had a teacher for the course Money and Banking who often stressed the importance of professional certifications and at that instance, his words struck me and my quest for learning propelled me to register for the Certified Management Accountant [CMA] programme.

Morgan International, a renowned institution in the Middle East offering professional certifications including the CMA in partnership with the Institute of Management Accountants [IMA], USA was extremely welcoming. I registered for the course and was promised all the support that I required.

I was born with Congenital Glaucoma, a degenerative eye condition because of which I have little functional sight in one eye. This has never been my limitation but my driving force to face challenges and achieve the impossible.

I was the first visually impaired candidate to have taken the CMA and hence, it was a new experience for Morgan International and IMA and they were highly enthusiastic in providing all possible support. I was readily provided with a pdf version of the books and PowerPoint slides and got access to the Wiley test bank. I was fortunate to have the most capable teachers who read out the material from the board out loud while explaining the lessons. I was very active in class and always shared my insights into lessons and took part in discussions. My classmates never hesitated in reading out the questions or material to me from the textbooks during class work.

I use a screen-reader called JAWS [Job Access With Speech] on the laptop and do all my work independently. CMA is obviously a technical subject involving numbers, complicated tables and large calculations. However, my base in Accounting and Finance is extremely strong and I am very fast at visualizing tables and numbers so I absorbed the course material well. I am a very fast learner and devoted a reasonable amount of time towards understanding each chapter but practiced, practiced and practiced as many questions as I could.

I faced implicit challenges while studying because at times JAWS was not very accessible with online test bank sites or when questions or the course material had large tables or technical questions.

I have always been accustomed to working and studying independently using JAWS and the thought of having a reader during the exams made me very apprehensive. I had been granted extra time and a reader and scribe as well as permission to use my talking calculator.

There were few challenges during the exams not so much because of the anxiety or time constraint but because of getting used to the reader’s style of reading and that too on the very day of the exam.

Nevertheless, all the hard work bore fruit when I received the most awaited and splendid news of passing both my exams in my very first attempt! Not just that, I was the CMA Part II Exam Top Scorer in Saudi Arabia.

I have always aspired to achieve the extraordinary and accomplishing this milestone of my life is indeed gratifying. Mr. Emran Adam of Morgan International, Mr. Abdul Karim, Mr. Ibrahim and Mr. Talib all deserve a special mention for their continuous support and guidance.

I did not just take the CMA because I wanted to prove my caliber to anyone but because I wanted to exploit my knowledge of Management Accounting and Financial Management. A lot of people are conditioned to believe that any person with a visual impairment cannot pursue technical fields of study and I hope that my experience with Morgan International and IMA can open avenues for aspiring CMA’s, regardless of their circumstances.


The importance of audit planning


By Morgan International Staff Writers

Audit planning is a complicated process, and many businesses fall into the trap of using the ‘same as last year’ approach.  But this can be a major problem because it doesn’t consider changes that might have taken place within the business in the last twelve months or new projects or systems that have been implemented.  But why does your business need an audit plan?

  • The scenario

Let’s create a picture of why audit planning is crucial.  Imagine a business receives a request from their most significant client asking for copies of current and prior year audits and internal control documentation.  The company provides this information and shortly afterward receives notice of a lawsuit from the client.

The basis is that the audit firm didn’t detect an embezzlement scheme from an accounts clerk and that the company also failed to identify a breakdown in internal controls which led to payments to a fictional company.

  • The problem

So how can this happen?  Problems often arise from audit planning that use ‘same as last year’ approaches, known as SALY in auditing.  This approach focuses on getting the job done quickly, using checklists or a highly compartmentalized approach to the audit that saves time.  But this doesn’t incorporate any new changes, new systems or new projects that the company has added during the year.  It also assumes that the process last year was working comprehensively – without checks, this might not be the case.

Planning an audit

There are three main components of a successful audit: timing, risk assessment, and team composition.

  • Timing

Timing is about more than when the audit will take place.  It is a continuous process that starts when the last audit ends and finishes when this audit is complete.  It should take any control deficiency noted in a prior audit and address this before moving on.

  • Risk assessment

Risk assessment is where the audit looks at the client and the environment of the business to create a holistic view of the regulatory, internal and external factors that may influence the audit.  It can identify areas of greatest risk and spot errors that can lead to professional liability claims.

  • Team composition

Team composition looks at the experience of the team, the use of experts and schedules who will review what.  This ensures the right people are conducting the right parts of the audit for maximum success.

Investing time is a crucial part of an audit to ensure the business doesn’t fall into the SALY category and miss potential problems.  Planning the audit should be flexible and adapt to the business as it is now, not as it was twelve months ago to have the maximum effect.

Every company is unique, and Morgan’s bespoke workshops are designed to reflect this. We listen to your precise needs and design a workshop that matches the diverse expertise of our instructors with your professional goals. Click here to choose the workshop for you

Potential areas of risk for the 2017 audit cycle


By Morgan International Staff Writers

When a business is entering the audit cycle, there are some primary considerations that it should take with regards to the audit and potential areas of risk that might be within the business.  These need particular attention – how the auditor will plan and execute their audit, the tools being used and other more complex areas of the process.  The business should also consider the auditor and indeed their suitability for the role.

  • Auditor independence

The auditor needs to be a completely neutral person who isn't affiliated with the company or connected companies in any way to ensure that the audit is consistent and high quality.

  • Multinational audits

If the auditor is from outside the country, it is important to check the professional reputation and independence of the auditor with companies and professional bodies in their home nation.

  • New accounting standards

If the company has transitioned to any new accounting standards during the year, this is a high risk for the audit cycle as the overlap could leave areas of vulnerability.  New standard approaches are being encouraged for revenue recognition, credit losses and preparing the financial statement.

  • Economic factors

All businesses can be affected by certain economic factors – the rise of fuel prices is a classic example.  Ensure these are factored into the audit cycle appropriately.

  • Financial reporting areas

Potential areas of risk include the assessment and management of ongoing concerns by the auditor and that the procedures of evaluation and testing can cover earnings in foreign jurisdictions.

  • Ever increasing transparency

New rules require the disclosure of more information in auditors including the role of an engagement partner and other participants so this needs to be factored into the audit process.

There are also other considerations that should be used to look for risks and problems within the method including:

  • Engagement quality review
  • Improper alteration of documents
  • Cybersecurity risks
  • Software audit tools
  • Auditor’s reporting model (if a new version is pending approval)

Controlling risks

An important part of the auditor’s role and that of the company using their services is to identify and handle the many risks within the audit cycle to help minimalize or remove them entirely.  By considering areas such as the economic factors affecting the business and any new accounting standards employed by the business, areas of risk can be identified before the audit and made certain to give the correct attention during the undertaking.  This makes for a more successful audit process.



How and when to grow your company’s accounting function


By Morgan International Staff Writers

In many cases, when a business first starts there’s no need or the budget to employ a full time accounting professional.  As the business grows and the accounts become more complex, there is sometimes the need for more advanced software or even a part-time professional.  Sometimes the services are outsourced to someone outside the company.

Finally, the company reaches the point of having one or more professionals working full time on the accounts.  But how do you know when your business reaches the stage and is ready to move and grow?

Starting a business

  • DIY services

When you start a business, it is crucial to start accounting from day one or things can quickly get out of control.  Many companies use software such as QuickBooks to set up a connection to their bank account, automatically handling basic accounting functions.  It can take care of bookkeeping tasks such as; business income, business outgoings (expenses) and invoicing clients.

Sometimes the task may be outsourced to a freelancer on a regular basis.

  • Tax preparation

As the year progresses, there is the need for tax preparation.  This is a different job to bookkeeping and the professional required is often a different one.  The software can do some of the job, compiling the information needed.  Often a freelancer can be used to submit the actual self-assessment or corporation tax returns to ensure it is done correctly.

Growing the business

  • Freelance services

As the business grows and people are employed by the company, the accounts become much more complex and a part-time accounting staff member is often used alongside the software.  Alternatively, a regular freelance service can be used on an ongoing basis to handle tasks such as payroll, tax and bookkeeping.

  • Cash flow monitoring

Accounting is about more than just tax – it is the measure of the financial health of the business.  Therefore, the accounting department, whether one part-time staff member or a room of full-time staff, are responsible for providing reports and information to help monitor the cash flow of the company.  There may also be compliance issues to consider depending on the industry.

The larger business

  • In house specialists

When the business reaches the stage of multiple employees, multiple contracts with different customers or a range of products, then a full-time accounting person is often needed – sometimes a team of them.


  • Compliance and company reports

There may be one person handing general bookkeeping and payroll while another handles invoicing.  Tax and compliance issues may be another person’s area of expertise or there may be an overlap.  There should be someone responsible for compiling those crucial reports into the financial health of the company.