Analyzing Financial Issues

When analyzing financial case studies, always break them down into smaller issues, which can then be addressed individually. If you are writing your CPA Exams (CFE or others), exam time will be constrained, so focus on the key issues with the biggest impact. These key issues will also have the largest weighting on your assessment. If time permits, address the minor issues. For increased clarity, use headers throughout your analysis, and write in point form to save time.


Use the headers below, to analyze each issue in a structured and clear manner.


Issue: Describe the issue and refer to the evidence that describes the issue (e.g.: “The accounts receivable clerk stated that revenue was booked as cash was received.”). Explain why it is an issue.


Analysis: Using the appropriate framework (e.g. IFRS or ASPE), analyze the issue, citing the appropriate section in the handbook (e.g.: “as per IFRS 15 - Revenue Recognition…”). Explain the impact on the financial statements - quantifying the impact, whenever possible.


Recommendation/Conclusion: Conclude with advice as to how the stakeholder/user should proceed and fix the issue. This can include correcting journal entries.


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