What’s going on with the big boys?

Last week I published an article in our portal by Graham Hambly the editor of PQ magazine wherein he reported that the FRC had reviewed the work of the seven largest audit firms and the result was 33% of their audits didn’t meet expected standards.

Take a moment ant let that sink in.

One third of the work of these firms was not up to standard, I’ll repeat that in case it hasn’t sunk in, one third. What do you expect would happen if following your annual review your employer said one third of your work wasn’t up to standard? You know full well what would happen.

But what impact if anything at all does it have on us small practices? Well it’s fair to say that as we beaver away suffering at the hands of unreceptive clients, maybe against fee pressure and most definitely at the hands of an indifferent revenue service that is targeting our clients on the vague assumption that we acquiesce to whatever they want or that our systems aren’t robust enough to spot money laundering irregularities let alone tax code breeches we rile against such accusations.

We stand out ground and wonder why are they questioning me? Well when the FRC are saying as Graham points out “Auditors are still not challenging, or standing up to management” is it no wonder the HMRC feel we are definitely doing the same?

What about our clients? What do they make of all this well many think nothing at all yet the public outpourings and reports get picked up by the public and of course by our clients. They may not understand the complexities of an Audit but they understand 33% failing and not standing up to management so when they put forward transactions that we are not al all happy about it’s in the back of their mind isn’t it.

To be an Auditor is basically to reach the pinnacle of our profession and that brings a huge weight of expectation and a 33% fail rate is not what we expect nor what we should tolerate for our colleagues no matter how hard their job because they are making our job that bit harder.

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