Audit, assurance, or something in between?

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Recently, there has been growing scrutiny and enquiries regarding the audit profession’s purpose, capacity, and output quality, particularly among accountants in Sydney.

There has also been a marked change in the perceptions around the purpose of an audit and its benefits –it’s now almost a cliché that an audit is perceived as an unnecessary, sometimes expensive, compliance cost.

Furthermore, the profession commoditising audits in a drive to become competitive in a service line that’s more than just about ticking boxes has resulted in a lot of scrutiny from the regulators and media, bringing into question the quality of audits.

This perception needs to change – and the service line needs to return to some of its original value and purpose.

Assurance services need to return to being about:

  • delivering actual value that complements all that we already know about our client’s affairs;
  • providing a service that is more than looking at the history of your business;
  • a tailored and not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Why have an audit, assurance or related service?

When performed to the proper standards and quality, an audit, assurance or related service is regarded as one of the most credible means to demonstrate to various stakeholders that your business has a sound financial position and correctly accounts for its funds.

In many cases, your business may be required by legislation and regulation to engage a recognised audit professional to undertake an audit. At other times, you may be required contractually to engage such a professional to provide a specific assurance service to demonstrate you are managing your business in compliance with the contractual obligations. For example, financiers may seek assurance that you comply with the loan terms.

The involvement of a recognised audit professional such as a Chartered Accountant and Registered Company Auditor, helps to increase trust, benefiting both your business and your working relationships.

Engaging and selecting the exemplary service to target the appropriate area of your business, your strategy, and your internal or external goals could decrease the cost of doing business because of the level of understanding and rigour an assurance service delivers, thereby assisting your business to become more efficient.

Over the coming months, we will provide an overview of the full breadth of assurance services provided by our firm, their benefits and, notably, a sense of the value they can bring to the future of your business.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.

Kreston Stanley Williamson Team

*Correct as of March 2018

*Disclaimer – this article has been produced by Kreston Stanley Williamson as a service to its clients and associates. The information contained in the article is of general comment only and is not intended to be advice on any particular matter. Before acting on any areas in this article, you must seek advice about your circumstances. Liability is limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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