Uncovering pressing issues facing audit in a global series of roundtable discussions.
The importance of the reporting framework and the corporate governance framework were key topics at the Frankfurt roundtable, hosted by KPMG in Germany. The Value of Audit series shows how a corporate governance framework dictates audit culture. At the Frankfurt roundtable it was inevitable the local structures, cultures and attitudes would influence the conversation.
The need for an assessment of the role of audit was highlighted at the second economia Value of Audit roundtable, hosted by KPMG in South Africa, with calls for more transparency challenging the profession. Prof Mervyn King, author of South Africa’s corporate governance code and chairman of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), was clear that financial reporting tells only some of a business story, although there remain issues with offering assurance on integrated reports. He also pointed out that failures in reporting were leading many to develop separate sustainability reports, causing companies to report in silos.
The ability to more accurately measure audit quality was identified as a pressing issue facing the profession at the first Value of Audit roundtable, hosted by economia, in association with KPMG. Paul Boyle, chief audit officer at Aviva, welcomed improvements in audit (recognizing there is always more that can be done) and said that the mere fact of having an audit was often enough to make executives behave.
Read more about the discussions at the London roundtable. (PDF 997 KB)
Regulators and investors place too much emphasis on easy-to-quantify measures of independence as a proxy for measuring quality, according to the economia Value of Audit roundtable hosted in Singapore by KPMG. Many agreed that while maintaining independence was important, talk of audit quality has focused on structural issues, such as audit tenure and the cap on non-audit fees.
The importance of the audit profession doing the fundamentals well was the major theme of the economia Value of Audit roundtable in association with KPMG in Canada, which took place in Toronto. Strongly influenced by the risk-averse US market, the Canadian profession is more cautious than many others, so there was a less open reception for ideas such as expanded reporting or offering assurance over forward-looking elements of the corporate report in our roundtable that took place in Canada.
These articles were first published by Economia and have been republished and posted here with their consent. View the original roundtable transcripts and roundtable summaries.