The audit profession is at a tipping point. Without significant innovation in its business model, staff recruitment strategies and audit execution processes, the audit profession may not remain relevant in the 21st century. The number of claims against auditors has significantly increased over the past twenty years due to the spate of corporate and audit failures early in the 21st century (Enron, Worldcom, Parmalat, etc.). Regulation to monitor professional and ethical standards has increased, leading audit firms to feel under even more financial pressure. In addition, the investor community is calling for greater insight and foresight from auditors. These challenges, coupled with the unlimited liability regime of auditors still applicable in many jurisdictions, are making audit firms and regulators nervous as to the systemic risk of another one of the Big 4 failing.
And yet, the audit profession is in place to protect businesses, their wider stakeholder groups, including clients and investors, and society at large. Therefore, this book asks the important question about the profession’s future and engages a broad readership in the discussion of audit failure and reform.
Intended to help readers to get up to speed with the issues and possible solutions quickly, this book assists directors, investors, business people and regulators, especially those with a non-financial background, to gain a greater understanding of the challenges and threats being faced by the audit profession, which in turn could disrupt the capital market and affect businesses across the globe. The book outlines the critical success factors needed for a sustainable audit profession.