Highly-acclaimed training tool comes to Praxity for FREE to Praxity Member Firms

Praxity has bought the licences for two highly-rated films created by the ICAEW to elevate training for audit professionals. ‘False Assurance’ and ‘Without Question’ provide a highly-engaging way to develop professional expertise using real life scenarios. The award-winning False Assurance film is already a key feature of audit training at Mazars and MNP, resulting in rave reviews from participants, including “this is the best training course I have done”. Now firms across the Alliance can access the films via Praxity without having to buy individual licenses.

False Assurance

The first film in the series – False Assurance – follows the story of two turbulent years in the life of a fictitious company and how it was brought to its knees by the actions of its executive directors, the lack of vigilance and courage by its board of directors and failure by the company’s auditors to identify and investigate red flag issues. The ICAEW says it created the 35-minute film “to facilitate thought-provoking discussions about how accountants, auditors and company directors should act when faced with difficult situations”.

"A new way of presenting information & engaging participants"

MNP in Canada has been using the film since 2018 as part of its professional scepticism training for audit practitioners. By the end of this year, the firm will have rolled-out the training to 2000 staff in both public and non-public audit practices.

Jody MacKenzie, MNP’s Assurance Professional Standards Director, says: “I was very excited to be able to incorporate the False Assurance film into our training regime. It provides a new way of presenting information and engaging participants.”

A key feature, she says, is the possibility for firms to tailor training around the film, and to isolate topics for discussion and incorporate real life scenarios, adding: “We wrapped it in an MNP envelope to provide professional scepticism training that provides participants with the opportunity to discuss what scepticism is and how to apply it and talk about the issues.”

Jody took the film-based course herself to see how it worked. “People were really engaged and they felt they could relate to the situations being presented. It provided them with an experience which is directly applicable to what they would do in their practices. A lot of people liked the fact they could have a discussion about the scenario.” Commenting on feedback to date, she adds. “The vast majority of the feedback has been very positive. Comments typically include ‘this is the best training course I have done’.”

"Captivating and intriguing"

Another convert is Michael Spencer, Partner at Moss Adams, who was pleasantly surprised by the authenticity and high quality of False Assurance. He comments: “As I walked in dreading yet another arduous training about professional scepticism, I was suddenly caught up in a captivating and intriguing story as good as any you might see during prime-time television. The video clips kept everyone engaged, from staff to partners, and was designed to promote real conversations amongst team members about the importance of this topic. “At Moss Adams, we were searching for a new format in which we could engage with our professionals on a topic that many would consider difficult at best to seize and maintain our audience’s attention. Having participated in a programme centred around the False Assurance scenario and training in the past, I was thrilled to find out that as a member of the Praxity alliance, our firm would have access not only to False Assurance, but the ICAEW’s new production Without Question.”

Without Question

In this latest ICAEW film, we meet the Holts, a family at war with itself. They disagree on future strategy for their development and management company, Rapston Hotels, and are troubled by the self-indulgent behaviour of some board and family members. An initial public offering (IPO) seems like a way of ending the conflict at first, but it puts Rapston and its professional advisers under strain. The film joins Rapston, its auditors and professional advisers on the journey from private company to listed entity. It examines the conflicts that this difficult transition can raise within a family-owned company, such as founding shareholders who are struggling with their loss of control and new independent directors who are asserting their control and good governance. The film tackles matters such as issues for directors and professional advisers seeking assurance and the importance of effective communication. It also draws out themes for discussion, such as accounting estimates, confidentiality, reliance on experts and dangers of social media.

Find out more

All Praxity participant firms can now access, free of charge, the ICAEW films via the Praxity licences. For further information, including how to use the films as part of your firm’s training, please email website@praxity.com