Audit, assurance, or something in between?

Audit, assurance, or something in between?

In recent times, the audit profession has become the subject of increased scrutiny and questions around its purpose, capability and quality of output.

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, and sometimes expensive, compliance cost.

Furthermore, the profession commoditising audits in a drive to becoming competitive in a service line that’s more than just about ticking boxes has clearly 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 true value that complements all that we already know about our clients’ 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?

An audit, assurance or related service, when performed to the right standards and quality, 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 funds entrusted to it.

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 certain type of assurance service to demonstrate you are managing your business in compliance with the contractual obligations. For example, financiers may seek assurance that you are complying with the terms of the loan.

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 right service to target the appropriate area of your business, your strategy, your internal or external goals, could in fact 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 importantly a sense of the value they can bring to the future of your business.

Should you require any further information in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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 contained in this article, it is imperative you seek specific advice relating to your particular circumstances. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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