Auditors play a critical role in maintaining confidence and trust in our businesses, capital markets and public institutions.
CA ANZ again urges the Federal Government to respond to the inquiry into the Regulation of Auditing in Australia’s 10 Recommendations. That inquiry, which started in 2019, looked deeply at audits in Australia, received more than 100 submissions, held several days of hearings and a received plethora of other evidence. The Inquiry examined audit regulation, quality, independence, the market and other related matters – and ultimately put forward clear bipartisan conclusions and 10 recommendations.
ASIC’s oversight role and statutory powers on reporting and audit are Australia’s main regulatory defence serving to ensure we have reliable information in the capital markets. We share concerns at the extent of apparent cutbacks in ASIC’s audit and reporting oversight, and we have raised this with ASIC.
We acknowledge the stated objectives of ASIC’s recent restructure in streamlining enforcement and faster decision-making, but remain concerned about the removal of a dedicated Financial Reporting & Audit Team and chief accountant.
It is in the best interest of the auditing and accounting professions to have a strong and very well-funded regulator as its purpose is very much aligned in the public interest to ensure the reliability, efficiency, and attractiveness of Australia’s capital market is assured. Government needs to ensure that this funding is long term and reflects the proportionality of other regulated capital markets.
Surveys of market participants show a high level of confidence in auditors and audited financial reports, however we recognise maintaining this demands rigorous diligence, a course of continuous improvement and a focus on the risks. To that end the profession, directors and auditors have made efforts toward addressing the spirit of the recommendations made by the Parliament’s audit inquiry such as strengthening independence standards, the role of governance and professional scepticism.
However, a Federal Government response and appropriate consultation and scoping are needed to realise the package of reforms identified through this extensive inquiry process.
About Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand represents more than 135,000 financial professionals, supporting them to make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. Chartered Accountants are known as Difference Makers. The depth and breadth of their expertise helps them to see the big picture and chart the best course of action.
For more information contact:
Daniel Webster, Public Affairs Manager New Zealand
M +64 27 282 6253
Gillian Bowen, Public Affairs Manager Australia
M +61 411 485 421