The world is changing. The financial crisis emphasised the extent to which financial systems are connected globally. This interconnectedness not only brings greater prosperity, but also greater concentrations of systemic risk.
As the crisis led to a lack of public trust, it is not surprising that audit is expected to be a major part of the solution. In practice, to achieve this, audit and auditors need to change in order to respond to the challenges of this interconnected world and greater public expectations.
With changes occurring in the audit environment; the requirements of what audit brings; as well as in the auditors themselves, what does this mean for the future of Audit?
The future of audit was discussed at a series of jointly hosted (Grant Thornton and ACCA) roundtables in China, the EU, Singapore, South Africa, the UAE, the UK and Ukraine. These locations having been chosen to cover a range of business environments with differing characteristics.
“We heard views from investors, companies, regulators and banks. While audit remains valued the world over, there was a striking message. Jurisdictions with a long history of audit said the future was in assurance on a broad range of data; which contrasted with those with a shorter audit history who want a stable body of rules to enable them to maximise benefits. The implication for global rule makers being that one pace of development will not suit all.”
Nick Jeffrey - Director - public policy, Grant Thornton
From strong audit traditions to the digital age, the results of those discussions, some of which might be surprising, are detailed in this report.
To discuss any of the areas and implications raised in this report talk to your local Grant Thornton firm or contact Nick Jeffrey, Director, Public Policy at Grant Thornton International.
Continuing the conversation
This report is now prompting all sorts of interest with different stakeholders that have a common interest in building more robust and efficient markets that are fit for the future. A summary of where the report was recently discussed and the outcomes from these conversations can be found here: Fit for the future: Robust and efficient markets.
Below, at the Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin 2016 conference, Sue Almond, head of audit and assurance at Grant Thornton UK, looks at how audit can become more relevant and some of the broad challenges faced by the audit profession.