FMA research showing reasonable levels of confidence in audit quality among directors, managers and auditors, but less certainty and an expectation gap among investors, was unveiled at a CA ANZ-organised event yesterday [Monday] which brought together audit managing partners and other leaders in the profession.
The half-day gathering discussed the audit environment in New Zealand and challenges facing the audit profession and regulators internationally.
CA ANZ Reporting and Assurance Leader Amir Ghandar said the event's focus was on recent global developments, public and investor expectations, and what they mean for the audit profession in New Zealand and the future of auditing.
"The FMA research, and our own, show there is work to do both in building understanding of audit, but also in taking hold of the opportunities for the audit product to evolve as the risks and expectations of business and capital markets evolve."
Participants at the event discussed the importance of working collaboratively toward educating stakeholders and fostering a constructive conversation on auditing and integrity in business and the markets more broadly, including with policy makers.
The discussion emphasised the need for accountability for high-quality financial reporting and integrity across the financial reporting supply chain, including managers and directors.
Recent CA ANZ-ACCA research to gauge understanding and expectations of audit in New Zealand and Australia shows public confusion over what an audit is, alongside high expectations. The expectation gap, between what the public and markets expect auditors do, and what they really do and are required to do, was also apparent in the FMA's research.
"A collaborative effort involving the profession, regulators such as the FMA, and CA ANZ is required to close that gap," Ghandar said.
"This is a chance to work together so that the audit profession can continue to deliver on stakeholder trust in the face of evolving audit roles and regulation."