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Perceptions of progress

Our virtual roundtable on the future of audit and assurance highlighted some important emerging developments. Lesley Meall takes a look at some different perspectives.

Over the past 21 years of the Audit & Assurance Faculty there have been some significant developments affecting the audit profession. They include the introduction of International Standards on Auditing, Ethical Standards for Auditors, the global financial crisis, scandals such as Enron and WorldCom, International Financial Reporting Standards, new UK GAAP and a series of increases in UK audit thresholds.

Predicting what may change over the next 21 years is a tall order; it is hard enough to look a few years ahead. However, when Audit & Beyond asked those in and around audit for their perspectives on the biggest recent and upcoming developments, some themes loomed larger than others. There seemed to be consensus among academics, auditors, investors, regulators and standard-setters on areas where the most significant recent developments have been and where the most exciting emerging developments are likely to be.

Their lists of mixed blessings included changes in stakeholders’ demands of corporate reporting, developing new skill sets for auditors and audit teams, extended auditors reports, rising audit thresholds, disruptive technologies, trust in audit and corporate reporting, consequences of market, legal and regulatory interference and more.

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