Role of financial auditors needs to be widened, experts urge

25 November 2010

The role of financial auditors needs to be expanded to include reporting on risk and governance, a number of financial experts have urged as part of a new report.

A study by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which gathered information from roundtable discussion over 2010, showed that the scope of audits need to be widened.

Underlying business model assumptions and how achievable these are should be factors included as part of a business audit.

Other recommendations from the financial experts included more communication of audit findings between shareholders and investors, more reporting in real-time and increased emphasis on addressing liability issues.

Ian Welch, head of policy at ACCA, said that there is still a role for auditors within the financial services sector.

“[However], there was also a clear sense of frustration that more could be done to meet stakeholder needs and that the considerable work that goes into an audit should be better communicated.

He added: “And the fact that there had been some banking and corporate failures in which auditors had not apparently been able to provide any warnings to stakeholders of looming problems was a cause for concern.”

The report was based on discussions by financial experts held in Brussels, Zambia, Poland and Singapore during the year.

By Jim Ottewill

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