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Root of the problem

Root cause analysis can be an effective and efficient way for firms of all shapes and sizes to discover what’s behind problems and to support remediation.

Over the past year, readers may have noticed increased references to root cause analysis (RCA) in Audit & Beyond, from standard-setters such as the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and regulators such as the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). You can find our coverage of this using the links in the box, right.

Although RCA is established in many industries, its application to external audit is less usual and there is an absence of industry-specific practical guidance. Chris Cantwell, technical manager, audit regulation, says: “We aim to fill this gap and help firms with our paper Improving audit quality using root cause analysis – What, why, how, who and when?” 

Towards the end of 2016, Cantwell held a live video chat with some members of the working party behind the faculty’s RCA paper, Gill Spaul from Moore Stephens and Geoff Swales from PwC. They discussed highlights from the paper and offered pointers on key considerations, based on their experiences.

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