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Shine a light

Being sceptical is no longer enough. It must be reflected in firms’ cultures, policies, procedures, and audit reports. So the faculty is developing practical guidance that will help members meet the increasingly demanding professional requirements they face.

The ongoing debate about whether auditors are sufficiently sceptical has placed such a strong focus on soft skills that you could be forgiven for wondering why you put so much time, effort and hard work into acquiring and maintaining your extensive technical knowledge. Your technical excellence must now be accompanied by improved levels of professional scepticism that are informed by a diverse set of practical and interpersonal skills, and you must be able to demonstrate that you are applying all of these.

“Being sceptical should be a key element of every ISA audit because it is central to what an audit is all about,” says Martyn Jones, vice president of ICAEW.