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YOUCPA audit scenario, auditor independence

For each individual on the engagement team and on the management of YOUCPA, complete the following:

1. Determine if they are or are not independent.
2. Explain your reasoning.

YOUCPA is a regional CPA firm engaged in public audit work of small- and medium-size firms in the Midwest. The YOUCPA firm has their main office in Chicago, Illinois, and regional offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Indianapolis, Indiana. The managing partners are located in Chicago. YOUCPA also provides tax preparation and information consulting to customers and is an approved PCOAB audit firm.
Your client, the publicly traded Fresno Freezer Corporation, is located in Elgin, Illinois, a small city located outside of Chicago. The client has the main plant there and has distribution centers in Indianapolis and Minneapolis.
The Fresno Freezer Corporation has contracted with YOUCPA for an audit. During the audit, the audit team has asked you to determine if everyone on the engagement team is independent.

The following individuals are on the engagement team and on the management of YOUCPA:

Sarah Ball, Senior Partner, YOUCPA
- Manages the YOUCPA partnership
- No financial interest in client
- No relative with firm
- No past history working with client in a direct manner (meaning working for the client as an employee)

Bill Davis, Managing Partner, YOUCPA
- Managing the audit of the client
- No financial interest in the client
- No relative with the firm
- No past history working with the client in a direct manner

David Youssef, Manager of Taxation Services, YOUCPA
- Manages the taxation services for the accounting firm
- No financial interest in the client
- No relative with the firm
- No past history working with the client in a direct manner

Yewel Faraday, Manager of Information Consulting, YOUCPA
-Manages the information consulting for the accounting firm
- Yewel has no financial interest in the client
- No relative with the client in a direct manner

Frank Bell, Supervisor of Auditing assigned to Client, YOUCPA
- Will supervise the audit at the main plant
- No financial interest in the client
- Wife works with client as a worker in the plant
- Wife has no control or influence on the impact or creation of the financial statements
- Wife has been working there for 20 years

Beth Wright, Supervisor of Auditing assigned to Client, YOUCPA
- Will be auditing the distribution locations
- No financial interest directly in the client
- Does own a mutual fund that is invested in the client
- Mutual fund estimated value is 0.01% of the total value of the stock market value of the client
- Mutual fund makes all decisions on who, when, and how much they invest in corporations
- Total investment in the mutual fund is $1,000

Wilbur Singation, Auditor, YOUCPA
- No financial interest in the client
- No relative with the client
- No past history working with the client in a direct manner
- Has contacted a head hunter looking for a new, better position
- Head hunter has discussed his qualifications with many firms, discreetly
- Wilbur does not know the firms or the content of those discussions

Sam Martin, Auditor, YOUCPA
- No financial interest in the client
- Cousin works with the client in a role as the mail distribution person
- Cousin handles the mail
- Conversation with cousin has been rough in the past over a small debt the cousin still will not pay
- The amount of the debt is $500

Mary Franks, Auditor, YOUCPA
- No financial interest in the client
- No relative with the client
- No past history working with the client in a direct manner

Phil Cole, Auditor, YOUCPA
- Recently joined the team
- Used to work at the client less than a year ago
- Was responsible for financial planning and control
- Left to experience the auditing profession

Callie Smart, Auditor, YOUCPA
- Just graduated from a prestigious online university in Illinois
- No relative or any direct relationship to the client
- No investment in the client

You, Auditor, YOUCPA
- No investment in the client
- No past working relationship with the client in a direct manner
- No relatives working at the client

Solution Preview

Sarah is definitely independent. There is nothing in Sarah's background or personal data that would compromise her integrity or position within the audit.

Bill Davis is also independent. When we look for independence and a non-biased relationship, we primarily focus on the audit partner's past dealings or relationships with the client. In this case, neither of these employees have had any prior history with the client, which is the ultimate, independent situation between audit partner and client.

David manages the tax services for the accounting firm and has no financial interest with the client. David would also be considered independent and a suitable audit team member. Yewell is also independent. Both David and Yewell will remain independent as long as their job positions don't change. As is, they're fine. If David is reassigned to a different position within the company while on the audit team (unlikely), this could present a conflict, as it would for Yewell. This would happen because the employee is now accessing different parts of the company's information, where there could potentially be an interest in the company based ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains if each member of the YOUCPA team is independent. A thorough discussion is provided for each member. Includes 2 references.

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