Sunday, May 9

SC urges auditors to heighten vigilance, increase responsiveness


KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission’s (SC) Audit Oversight Board (AOB) has issued its Annual Inspection Report for 2019, and urged auditors to heighten vigilance and increase responsiveness to emerging issues, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AOB stressed that auditors and Audit Committees need to pay particular attention to certain areas of focus, especially when discharging their responsibilities in response to the pandemic, in order to consistently uphold audit quality.

These areas include going concern, asset impairment, subsequent events and group audits.

“As the audit regulator, the AOB is of the view that reliable audited financial statements remain the cornerstone of a trusted capital market.

“There is an even greater imperative for audit professionals to be cautious and highly sceptical when scrutinising disclosures and information relating to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly with regard to public interest entities,” said AOB chairman Datuk Gumuri Hussain in a statement.

The AOB Annual Inspection Report 2019 provides insights into the observations arising from the inspections conducted by the audit regulator.

A total of 43 firms and 337 auditors are currently registered with or recognised by the AOB.

In 2019, the AOB inspected six Major Audit Firms and seven Other Audit Firms, which collectively audited 72.6 per cent of the total number of public interest entities (PIEs).

For greater transparency, stronger accountability and the sustainability of audit, the AOB starting in 2021 will be mandating Annual Transparency Reporting by firms with more than 50 PIE audit clients, when they audit clients with collectively more than RM10 billion market capitalisation over two consecutive financial years.

Such firms are required to disclose their legal and governance structures, the steps undertaken to uphold audit quality, and their measurement of indicators for audit quality.

The AOB introduced this initiative in August 2019, but deferred implementation to 2021, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama