Sampling Strategies in Financial Statement Audits: Methodologies, Data Analytics, and Off-Site Inventory

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This course will prepare audit specialists to select appropriate sampling techniques for financial statement audits and discuss the move from traditional sampling to data analytics. The panel will explain the rationale for and technical terms of generally accepted standards for sampling methodologies, based on AICPA accounting standards and guides and on professional practices.


External auditors must stay up to date on sampling methodologies, as applied to examinations of clients' internal controls or substantive details during financial statement audits. Recent developments that substantially impact sampling practices merit practitioners' attention and study. These include the effects of the pandemic on sampling and the introduction of data analytics into the auditing regime.

The current state of the economy continues to affect sampling of inventory, for example, and also raises new considerations for the determination of sample sizes. Additionally, the ability to determine trends by analyzing 100 percent of a population, rather than a sample, is exciting and concerning. Moving to data analytics, however, requires a substantial upfront investment of time and resources. The reluctance of peer reviewers to embrace nontraditional auditing approaches leaves some auditing professionals hesitant to move forward.

Best practices and insights from an experienced professional augment technical guidance when it comes to planning a sampling strategy, quantifying a right-sized sample under a given set of client circumstances, achieving the required level of evidence and deciding what to do with sample results or errors.

Listen as our financial audit veterans lays out the framework to improve your use of traditional sampling methodologies for financial statement audits and covers unique considerations in the current auditing environment.



  1. Review of AICPA sampling, risk assessment guides
  2. Sampling considerations in the current environment
  3. SAS No. 142 and upcoming standards revisions
  4. Audit risk model and its applicability
  5. Current sampling priorities and best practices
  6. Frequently faced issues and common peer review matters


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Understanding the implications for audit sampling in the AICPA auditing standards
  • Developing best practices from the AICPA sampling and risk assessment guides
  • Creating a well-planned sampling approach that follows the audit risk model
  • Determining the impact of data analytics on audit sampling
  • Identifying the proper size of a sample needed for a substantive details test or for an examination of internal controls


Reyhl, Duane
Duane M. Reyhl, CPA, CGMA

Andrews Hooper Pavlik

In addition to his work supervising and performing audit and accounting engagements, Mr. Reyhl authored an AICPA...  |  Read More

Soule, Gregory
Gregory H. Soule, CPA, CISA, CISSP, CFE

Andrews Hooper Pavlik

Mr. Soule has a broad public accounting background which includes financial statement audits, operational and internal...  |  Read More

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