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Professional scepticism videos

ICAEW’s Audit and Assurance Faculty has issued a set of online training videos examining professional scepticism and other key audit issues.

The videos feature short talks by:

  • Professional Oversight Board chairman, John Kellas, based upon audit inspection findings; and
  • ICAEW audit experts;

and are intended to help with training and reinforce best practice.

The ten short videos are designed to be relevant to auditors from all sizes of firm, at any stage in their careers, undertaking a wide variety of audit work. As well as prompting discussions of professional scepticism and its application, they look at audit planning, good documentation, training and development needs, personal qualities necessary in a good auditor and best practice for group audits. Responding to Audit Inspection Unit reports and findings, they are designed to be a helpful coaching and discussion tool for both firms and individual auditors.

Henry Irving, head of ICAEW’s Audit and Assurance Faculty said: ‘Professional scepticism is a key element of every audit, and although auditors are trained to apply it, it’s not necessarily easy to define. These videos examine how a properly sceptical attitude is developed and maintained and offer a great opportunity to discover some of the regulator’s concerns and explore ways to address them. We hope these videos, which are presented in easy-to-use bite-size chunks, will prove useful to auditors across the board and will become a valuable discussion tool as well as providing training materials.’

As well as looking at POB concerns, the videos discuss how ACA training and continuous professional development can help foster and develop a robust attitude and approach to audit. 

John Kellas said: ‘The POB recognises that auditors can and do perform good work, but there are important messages coming out of the AIU’s inspections of audits. In particular, we would like to see more positive evidence of appropriate professional scepticism on all audits. We look to the profession to promote best practice with the aim of ensuring consistently high standards of auditing. I was therefore pleased to be given this opportunity by ICAEW to relay some of the messages from audit inspections in this way. I hope the videos will help auditors at any stage of their careers to understand the regulatory perspective.’