Audit standards in the UK have come into question over the last few years with different high profile scandals appearing more frequently in the news and audit firms receiving significant fines.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is intended to measure and compare the ability of audit firms to accurately audit the financial statements through Audit Quality Indicators (AQI). Firm audit committees will be able to make a more informed choice when selecting an auditor by being able to make comparisons between firms on AQIs beyond external inspection results, including between the largest firms and the challenger firms.
Useful metrics for AQI have been suggested by one of the UK’s largest pension funds with £37 billion in assets under management, to ensure an audit firm has the “right kind of culture in place”. This culture should support ethical principles and avoid groupthink, with auditors having enough time to do a good job.
With the AQIs, audit committees could make informed decisions when selecting the right auditor for their business assisted by using a range of different matrix from a wider data pool across a variety of providers. Bigger is not always better and given the opportunity, challenger firms will be able to prove this.
Pension audits are a specialist area of auditing. Even if an audit team are qualified with years of experience, have you asked what percentage of audits and pensions specifically or how many schemes does one team member manage?
At Assure UK we are bespoke pension auditors, we strive to keep our technical knowledge up to date while continuing to learn and develop with changes in technology that make us experts in our field. We make sure we hold ourselves to high ethical standards and keep professional scepticism at the forefront as we maintain strong client relationships.