It may seem obvious that auditors sell audit opinions. But that’s like saying top restaurants only sell calories.

, , ,

I was having an interesting discussion with a group of students on Friday about a previous blog entry concerning “truth and fairness”.

It’s important to remember that an auditor does not make an absolute promise of accuracy.

The existence of audit risk means that a competent auditor will occasionally issue an audit opinion that proves to be inappropriate; most frequently because an unqualified opinion has been given when a qualified opinion would have been more appropriate.

We stake our reputation as a profession on perceived failures being very rare.  This means that we need to make sure we’re using tools that are up to the task.

In order to state whether financial statements give a true and fair view, it is necessary to have a system of GAAP that adequately defines truth and fairness.  It appears that the spectacular failure of Lehman Brothers in the USA happened as a result of window dressing financial statements, but which complied with US GAAP.

In a highly globalised market for audit services, perhaps we need to more explicitly state true and fair as true and fair (EU) and true and fair (USA)?  This is attempted already within ISA 700 by stating “..true and fair view in accordance with…[insert system of GAAP]”.

However, reputational damage happens to the profession globally as a result of perceived weaknesses in one nation’s system of GAAP.

Maybe we need to amend the wording of the audit opinion to make this clearer?

How much do Big 4 partners earn?

The results for the UK KPMG partnership for the year to 30 September have been released and they must make pleasing reading for the partners.[..]

Those budget review meetings can get rather exciting...

Companies have a duty to look after their employees in the workplace but what about looking after them whilst they are in bed? An Australian[..]

You are (probably) a liar...

Here’s a nice ethical question for you – have you lied recently? My guess is that you have. Now before you get all righteous about[..]

Zooming in...

At the start of the year zoom calls were relatively uncommon. Now though, with the global pandemic, they are a common feature of business life[..]

I'll stick to that...

New product innovation is vital for lots of organisations. Sometimes though the idea for a new product can come from unusual places. VELCRO is a[..]

Out of this world advertising...

Getting professional photos taken for advertising can be expensive but this particular photo shoot for Estee Lauder is expensive. Very expensive in fact. 4 hours[..]

An Apple for 100 Companies..

Whilst a lot of companies around the world are struggling or going out of business due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some are doing very well.[..]