Audit Working Group: what can it do for you?
In the latest in our series on Praxity working groups, we focus on the specialist support provided by the Audit & Assurance Working Group.
These are challenging times for audit professionals. Cross-border business is becoming increasingly complex, significant reforms are being introduced and resources are stretched. Praxity’s Audit & Assurance Working Group helps professionals in member firms navigate these challenges.
A unique resource, the Audit & Assurance Working Group provides a much-needed forum for audit professionals in member firms to access information and guidance; discuss reform, regulation and compliance; and work together to achieve best practice.
The Audit & Assurance Working Group operates alongside the Praxity Assurance Committee (PAC) to benefit member firms worldwide.
The PAC focuses on helping firms do cross-border activities by maximising the benefits of the Praxity platform and associated tools, and making sure firms are aligned through quality standards, case studies, templates and collaborative tendering. The Audit & Assurance Working Group focuses on the issues and changes taking place in the profession, both regionally and globally, and how to respond.
Members of the working group meet locally to discuss the issues that matter. They come together at Praxity Global Conference to discuss how these issues impact member firms in each region and worldwide. Group members work together to find new ways for audit professionals to work more effectively to support one another through specific challenges.
- Audit reform
- Recruitment and retention of auditors
- Audit technology and digitalisation
- Updates to IFRS
- Hybrid and remote working for auditors
- How to improve collaboration between member firms
Group member Bindi Palmer, Senior Partner and Head of Audit & Assurance at Rouse Partners and Chair of Praxity Membership Committee, says two of the biggest issues facing the profession right now are the reform of audit in the UK – which is likely to impact audit professionals worldwide – and a global lack of auditors.
UK tax reform is an attempt to restore trust in the UK’s corporate reporting and audit regime to help prevent the sudden collapse of large companies such as Carillion and BHS. Plans include a new regulator, greater accountability for big business and “addressing the dominance” of the Big Four audit firms. Reform is already underway and action has been taken to ban failing auditors from reviewing large companies’ accounts.
“Audit reform is increasing prices because auditors are putting in more hours, but if the same people are doing more work, you are just going to run out of people to do the audits,” Bindi says. “What’s happening in the UK is going to impact firms globally. Audit reform is going to follow pretty quickly in Europe and the U.S. is on standby. But the problem is resources. You just can’t find enough auditors in the world. It’s unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it.”
Commenting on how the working group can help, she says: “We are sharing expertise so that audit professionals can see what other firms are doing. Resources is a major issue and people are trying different things, such as secondments between member firms. We are starting to talk about how different firms have different busy periods, and how we can help each other.”
Bindi and her colleagues at Rouse Partners are leading by example. The UK firm has already carried out several secondments in collaboration with William Buck in Australia. The two firms also shared expertise remotely during the Covid pandemic. Rouse Partners has been in talks with a member firm in Brazil over the possibility of similar collaboration in future.
The overriding objective is to ensure audit professionals within the Alliance are not alone, and can tap into the expertise of colleagues in other member firms as and when they need to, and get up to speed with latest developments and changing working practices.
Through shared insight and best practice, audit professionals can feel even more confident that annual audit and financial reporting requirements are both compliant and fairly presented, in each and every country where your clients are located.
Bindi Palmer, Senior Partner and Head of Audit & Assurance at Rouse Partners
Want to join the Audit Working Group?
Praxity’s Audit & Assurance Working Group is open to individuals from any member firm. The Group is always looking for new members and joining is easy. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.