Just in time for the busy season, or at least for Philippine-based external auditors from the Big Four (or Five) or even smaller firms, here’s an article dedicated to my auditor friends and colleagues.
Having been in the audit for almost 6 years, I was able to draw some conclusions about the types of client attitudes toward auditors:
- Auditors are like plagues. The auditors are just there to bug them, a hindrance to their normal course of business. They (the client management) are necessarily infallible. They’re doing things right and are not often amenable to auditors’ proposals;
- Auditors are like watchdogs, usually sent by the head office, to watch over their shoulders, to make sure they do their jobs right. They are always wary the next step they make may get them electrocuted. This is the same type of attitude usually manifested by non-accounting staff (e.g. production personnel during inventory counts) who are not totally aware of the significance of the presence of the auditor, even though the accounting personnel are of different attitude;
- Auditors are like a helping-hand in the organization’s effort to achieve a common company objective. This of course is the ideal attitude. The fact is, this is the role of the auditor in carrying out the audit engagement, although only a few client personnel acknowledge (and thus appreciate) the fact.
Now that I’m already on the other side of the fence, being part of the client management subject of the audit, the experience has therefore made me easily adapt to the third (and ideal) attitude. In fact, being aware of their usual predicaments, I even extend better cooperation and assistance to afford the field auditors smooth execution of their audit plan. After all, we are driving towards a common company objective, that is — a fairly presented financial statements.