An audit is typically the detailed evaluation of a company’s financial statements, operational procedures, and policies to ensure that everything complies with the state laws and evaluates the company’s overall financial health. While for public companies, an audit is mandatory so that the investors and shareholders alike can get a clear and unbiased view of the company’s standings.
Benefits of having an external audit
Most companies have an internal audit team responsible for reviewing business operations regularly and highlighting incompetence in the processes & discrepancies in the financial statements. Companies often resort to a third-party audit firm to get an external audit as that is more reliable, unbiased, and objective.
It helps identify the areas of strength and weaknesses and highlights any potential risks and discrepancies in the financial statements. An audit is essential for those seeking investments from banks and other entities. An audit strengthens the confidence of potential investors in the company and ensures financial transparency.
An external audit also helps streamline the processes and internal systems and controls and provides credibility.
Countless international auditing firms are operating which lend their review services to large- and small-scale companies. Since the auditors and audit companies are chiefly responsible for reviewing and streamlining operations of a company and are usually not related to the company in any way, they must follow a set of ethics.
What are auditing ethics?
Auditors usually have complete access to a company’s financial data as well as operational guidelines. It makes them crucial to the company but also puts a hefty responsibility on them. Auditors need to carry out the audit without bias and report without malicious omission of facts. For all of this to happen, auditors are bound to follow a pre-defined set of ethics.
The auditing ethics secure the company’s rights being audited and make sure that the audit process happens correctly. Many global bodies of Certified Public Accountants have published lists of auditing ethics that act as a beacon for auditing procedures. Keeping these guidelines in mind, auditing companies formulate operational strategies for their auditors to ensure no regulations are compromised.
Here are some basic auditing ethics that are important for a smooth and unbiased auditing process.
Auditors must be independent: This is the essential purpose of having an external audit. The auditors must be independent and should not be associated with the company or the owners/management of the company being audited. Relationship with the company owner or direct or indirect involvement of order in the company’s operations can cause faulty or biased judgment, killing an external audit’s whole purpose. The auditor must be independent by fact and by appearance to ensure an impartial evaluation of a business. One of the critical reasons external auditors are hired is that self-review can also cloud judgment. Suppose the accountant or finance head of a company is doing the audit himself. In that case, he will likely mask information or compile unrealistic results in the book to hide his shortcoming, if any.
Precision & timeliness: Most auditing SOPs bind auditors to carry out and complete the audit in a timely manner with due diligence and accuracy. Taking longer than expected can raise questions on the credibility of the audit and can also have an adverse impact on the company’s financial standings undergoing the audit as it can delay loans and investments.
Academics & professional competence: You cannot just select anybody to do the audit of your company. It is essential to have certified public accountants on board with the necessary academic background and enough experience to lead the audit for a proper external audit. It is crucial for an external audit; otherwise, the audit is useless and renders no credibility to the organization.
Confidentiality: Since auditors get excess information vital to any business, every auditor must ensure client confidentiality, and no information carries to any irrelevant resource. You must provide the sealed audit report to relevant authorities only, and no data or information leakage must happen even through word of mouth.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.