Is It Possible for Auditors to Meet Investors' Needs

The financial statements, submitted to the procedures of external audit of an entity, are among the many pieces of information investors consider when evaluating where to allocate resources. But press releases, company presentations, additional information in annual reports and non-accounting key performance indicators and financial metrics are also sources of information available to investors.

New audit metrics:

Auditors are not involved like many of these sources of investor information. There is a demand from other capital market participants for auditors to provide more real-time assurance of information that is outside the financial statements. These new metrics are becoming an ever-increasing percentage of the information mix that investors are relying on. So there is potentially an appetite for auditors to get involved in such a way that we can provide assurance that these numbers are being relied on by the markets.

Because of the stringent standards governing audit procedures, a collaborative process would be needed to expand auditor assurance. It is a process would have to involve regulators, auditors and investors.

Understanding investors of audited information would be one of the most important parts of the process. Once it is determined in standards, including professionals registered and certified in national and international bodies it may need to be amended to allow auditors to perform new or different procedures.

We want to work together to find out which of this information is directly within the purview of the external audit and would benefit auditors by performing some level of procedures and then telling the investing public what it is that we have done.

The role of technology in auditing:

Technology also has a key role to play in refreshing and updating the audit to make sure it stays abreast of investors' needs. The tools allow the examination of much larger volumes of data, which helps auditors focus on more important risks. Such innovation can enable higher quality and faster delivery and has the potential to reinvigorate talent.