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RSM Bird Cameron says role of auditor evolving

The role of a good auditor has become more than just reviewing financial statements and disclosure documents, says RSM Bird Cameron.

News Staff Reporter 17 September 2014
— 1 minute read

Ged Stenhouse, national head of Assurance and Advisory at the firm said an experienced auditor will also look at internal systems and policies so that they can provide feedback across those areas.

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A successful audit is one that takes place with clear communication and cooperation, enabling the internal and external audit teams to work together for the best outcome, according to RSM Bird Cameron. Mr Stenhouse said “The audit report itself should deliver accurate, unvarnished information and a clear set of sensible recommendations".

“The Australian audit framework is an example of global best practice, so it’s important for organisations to continue to demand value from their audit partners while providing them with the information and access they need to do their job accurately and independently.”

Given this, RSM Bird Cameron has offered advice to help choose the right audit partners:

Set clear parameters for the scope of work, including communication. It’s essential to identify the areas or entities to be audited, how they should be evaluated and what company policies or legal requirements govern their financial management. It can also be helpful to set a work schedule with agreed timeframes at this point.

Ensure a holistic view of the audit process. It is important to take a holistic approach to the report. It should be integrated and include items like a carbon audit, probity assessment etc. As the international investment community becomes more sophisticated the audit report must reflect the importance of contextualising the information to give investors assurance beyond a simple financial position.

Choose the right team. Experience, qualifications and knowledge are essential, along with a clear understanding of the client’s business and objectives. Ideally the audit staff should have experience in the company’s particular industry to enable them to clearly understand the challenges and market conditions in which the client operates.

“It’s important to make sure you have the right person or team in place and then develop a strong, trust-based relationship with them. Only then can you get the value you expect from your audit process,” Mr Stenhouse said.

RSM Bird Cameron says role of auditor evolving
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