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Evolution or revolution?

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  • Publish date: 23 June 2014
  • Archived on: 23 June 2015

Panellists at the last Audit Quality Forum debated the role of auditors in making annual reports more reliable. Lesley Meall shares their perspectives.

Auditors should do more to make annual reports reliable: that was the provocation put to a panel of experts at the most recent meeting of the Audit Quality Forum (AQF). It’s an assertion that could prompt some auditors to throw their metaphorical toys out of their metaphorical prams, so it merits clarification.

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'We are not talking about doing existing audits better,' said Louise Sharp, a technical manager in the Audit & Assurance Faculty, although she isn’t discouraging this. 'We mean encouraging the development of new and innovative ways of making other information in annual reports more reliable, as this could then provide a launch pad for looking at the reliability of other forms of corporate reporting,' she explained.

This goes beyond financial statements and auditors’ reports on them. It’s about the bigger picture; working towards a world with more joined up reporting. As ICAEW highlights in The journey: Assuring all of the annual report? auditors can, in principle, report on anything...

This is an extract from an article in the July/August 2014 edition of Audit & Beyond, the magazine of the Audit and Assurance Faculty.

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