The Value of Audit: Views From Audit Committee Chairmen

ACCA’s paper examines the role of audit, current levels of stakeholder satisfaction and the extent to which users of financial statements still rely on the assurance conveyed by audit reports when making decisions.

 

Key findings:

  • Overall, AC Chairmen indicated that their auditors currently met all their key expectations and had no issues with the qualityof audits.
  • AC Chairmen want auditors to be independent and ‘speak their mind’. This is where the real value is. Audit provides an invaluable independent perspective on the numbers generated by management.
  • AC Chairmen are willing to pay reasonable fees for quality audits, especially those which add value to the corporate
    governance role to be discharged by the AC Chairmen, and keeping them as low as possible was not a principal objective for
    them.
  • Liability is a key problem and needs to be addressed. AC Chairmen thought auditors had become risk-averse to offering
    professional views that would be useful to the company but was not required within the scope of the statutory audit nor
    specifically requested for.
  • Most AC Chairmen did not expect auditors to advise them on business strategies and preferred auditors to focus on core
    assurance services. But they did believe audit firms and the accountancy profession at large had the expertise and skill-sets
    to potentially provide a range of specialised non-audit services, having regard to applicable independence rules.

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