The audit profession has been living with talk of audit reform since the last global recession in 2008 but with the Kingman, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) and the Brydon reviews complete and under consideration, the shape of what audit reform will look like is starting to become a little clearer.
Add to this the end game with respect to Brexit, that brings with it further changes on how the auditor is governed as well as increased business risks and audit risks for consideration, as the transition period comes to an end and the real impact of Brexit is felt by organisations, in both the UK and Ireland.
Covid brings more change for the auditor in the form of the challenges posed through remote working, the impact of Covid on obtaining sufficient appropriate audit evidence and the significant business risks and audit risks surrounding going concern, liquidity, asset and stock valuation etc.
Finally as cyberattacks become big business, the auditor has to increase their in-house capability to consider the impact on the audit or rely on auditors experts, which brings with it, its own challenges.
If we had been discussing the developments in auditing in a world without the pandemic, Brexit and cybercrime we would likely be focusing on the impact of the 4th industrial revolution, where the message was increasingly moving towards “the replacement of the auditor by digital technologies”. In the wake of recent events, while technology will support the auditor in navigating the challenges, as well as posing its own challenges, what is striking is the constant referral to auditor judgement and professional scepticism, the two things that cannot be replaced by machines.
ChristineNangle, BBS, FCAis the Head of the Department of Accountancy, Finance and Professional StudiesatTU Dublin (Tallaght Campus). Christine qualified as a professional accountant following her professional training with Deloitte and subsequently worked in industry, including 8 years with Coca-Cola Hellenic, where she was Head of Internal Audit and subsequently Commercial Finance Manager. Christine spent two years with an accounting software development company and more recently was the Head of Finance of TU Dublin (Tallaght campus).
Christine commenced lecturing in the University, in an associate capacity, where she specialised in Auditing and International Financial Reporting teaching predominantly on the Level 7 and 8 programmes, over a 13year period. Christine co-authored External Auditing and Assurance,which is the main study text for Cap 2and FAE, ICAI students. Christine is an Executive Committee Member of theof theBritish Accounting and Finance Associations, Auditing Special Interest Groupand an elected member of the Chartered Accountants Leinster Society.