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Audit needs to respond more quickly to change, evolve or die, new report finds

Date

04 Apr 2016

Sections

Euro & Finance
Innovation & Enterprise

Round tables point to concerns over Audit in developed countries

A series of round tables held by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and Grant Thornton in seven countries across the world has revealed a series of highly diverse opinions on the current and future position of audit.

The report, The Future of Audit, showed that in countries where audit is still developing, it was valued far higher than in countries where it is has been long established.

In developed countries there were strong views that while the audit and assurance process was important it was neither timely nor offered insights as to where businesses could have done better.

Andrew Gambier, ACCA head of audit and assurance, said: “There is a definite feeling that the traditional audit process is not delivering enough. Investors want insights on how a company could have addressed risks better or where they could have maximised profits. Although enhanced auditor reporting has gone down well in the UK, and is now being rolled out elsewhere, there’s a belief that the audit should evolve to allow auditors to provide more valuable insights about a wider range of measures.

“While the traditional approach might reassure regulators and company bosses, its usefulness to investors is shrinking all the time, prompting questions over its future. Business leaders expect information in real time, so why do we expect investors to wait months for the audit reports?

“Auditors need to look at how they can use technology to deliver a high quality audit in a more efficient and timely manner.”

The roundtables showed that while there are advantages to developing global rules, standard setters should be sensitive to the fact that countries are evolving at a different pace.

Nick Jeffrey, Director, Public Policy at Grant Thornton International, said: “We heard views from investors, companies, regulators and banks. While audit remains valued the world over, there was a striking message. Jurisdictions with a long history of audit said the future was in assurance on a broad range of data; which contrasted with those with a shorter audit history who want a stable body of rules to enable them to maximise benefits. The implication for global rule makers being that one pace of development will not suit all.”

The roundtables that informed the report were held in China, the EU, Singapore, South Africa, the UAE, the UK and Ukraine. The Future of Audit can be downloaded from: http://www.accaglobal.com/uk/en/technical-activities/technical-resources-search/2016/march/future-of-audit.html

- ends -

 

For more information, please contact:

Ray Allger, ACCA UK Newsroom

T: 020 7059 5788

M: 07540 919819

E: ray.allger@accaglobal.com

Twitter: @ACCANews/ @ACCA_UK

 

Notes to Editors

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 178,000 members and 455,000 students in 181 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 95 offices and centres and more than 7,110 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com

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