Audit quality has long been a very critical component for businesses. However, responsibility for it has always been square on the auditor’s shoulder. According to an article in the IFAC blog, this has to stop.
Alan Johnson, non-executive director of Jerónimo Martins and committee member of IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business, reiterates the importance of shared accountability from those in governance, users, as well as regulators to ensure that audit quality lives up to a high standard. He also numerates the elements that he thinks would ensure audit quality.
Pushing for shared accountability, like any cultural transformation, will be tough. However, a good place to start would be to identify the different stakeholders who should be invested in the auditing process. Johnson refers to the recently updated “Framework for Audit Quality” by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) as a good resource to map out the different players who should be accountable.
He also points to a report by the UK Economic Social and Research Council and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) as a great starting point to discuss how to further improve corporate culture to bring about change that will benefit not just organizations but the auditing profession in general.
To learn why so many executives say audit is neither delivering the value it should nor addressing the risks that matter, read Why Internal Audit Fails At Many Organizations.