The Audit Inquiry and How We Can Assist

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From our CEO, Craig Waldon.

Australia’s audit inquiry has created much debate and discussion within the industry. Many outcomes are still unclear, but it’s encouraging that we can have robust discussions which will hopefully result in a positive change to the audit industry.

The story so far…
  1. In August, the Senate voted to establish an inquiry into the regulation of auditing in Australia and are set to issue a report on March 1 2020. It will examine the relationship between auditing and consulting services, the level and effectiveness of competition in audit, audit quality and other related matters.
  2. Many stakeholders have had input into this report including industry leaders and professional bodies such as the AASB and the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand. 
  3. In December, ASIC again documented that audit quality had slipped in 2019 for some firms. 
  4. The Brydon report was also issued in the UK and provided a review into their audit industry, which called for the audit industry to become a stand-alone profession and regulated separately to accounting.

See the links below for some useful material.

Following these events, there has been much discussion about how the business of the accounting firm is moving beyond traditional auditing and taxation and this is potentially causing conflicts with the role of the auditor. Closing the expectation gap (the difference between what an auditor does and what stakeholders believe they do) has also been a topic of conversation.

The UK proposed that this gap can be closed by auditors asking more questions in their audit process, instead of just relying on financial statements. The AASB recommended mandatory lodgement of financial statements in a digital format, making them more available to standard-setters. Many ideas, some very different.

So, how can CaseWare help?
Compliance

We are committed to providing our customers with compliant products that make it easier for them to undertake compliant audits and have been doing this for 25 years. We work with multiple subject matter experts to ensure that we are compliant at all times. This assists with closing the expectation gap as auditors can focus on investigating the data more thoroughly and delivering valuable insights rather than stressing about compliance.

All of our analytics tools are a ‘clear box’, producing transparent results that give auditors confidence they understand the results. Our audit trails also allow you to easily understand your audit at any stage and provide proof of what was undertaken and completed. 

Online Collaboration & Insights

The cloud also allows for secure collaboration with one centralised location for all staff and stakeholders. Our cloud technology continually undergoes independent security audits and has certifications in ISO 2001 & SOC 2 to help auditors meet their security and privacy obligations. Auditors can, therefore, be more efficient with their audits and ultimately improve the overall quality. Documents can be easily managed with built-in archiving and backup capabilities.

We’ve also made collaboration even easier with our latest cloud app, Xtend. This app ensures easy, efficient and secure collaboration with clients, reducing the number of emails sent, tracking documents and datasets received; ultimately saving auditors time. We also recently released AnalyticsAI which gives auditors better insights of datasets by highlighting areas of higher risk. These applications should provide auditors with the necessary tools to produce high quality, compliant audits. 

Quality Training 

Since the role of the auditor is changing, upskilling and training becomes even more important. Staff need to be well trained to ensure they provide the best possible audit. CaseWare offers hands-on training for all levels of staff to ensure auditors are maximising the use of the product within the business. Our refresher courses are also perfect for those who need to brush up on ‘best practices’, or just as a reminder of what is new or different in the last few updates of the software. 

Useful material

Here’s some helpful information if you want to know more about the audit inquiry in Australia.

I also found this quote from the Reporting and Assurance Leader of CA ANZ, Amir Ghandar to be on point: 

“This is an opportunity for Australia to join the global discussion on the purpose of audit so we can continually evolve to meet modern stakeholder expectations. Current global debate, such as in the UK, shows it is time for a rethink on product, scope and purpose, rather than focusing just on process.”

 

Contact us

If you have any inquiries about how CaseWare can assist with the ever-evolving audit industry requirements and standards, or are interested in any of our products, feel free to give us a call or send us an email:

(03) 9660 4680

sales@caseware.com.au