The interviews

Tim Copnell

Audit quality and value 

How does audit add value to the capital markets? While this has always been an issue for companies and their auditors, the financial crisis has brought the question into the full glare of the global public spotlight.
  • It's being said that the quality of the audit process has not changed recently, despite the fallout from the financial crisis. What are your views on this? Close Open
    Audit processes are tighter and more robust than they were before the governance and financial crises. But this is audit robustness rather than audit quality or audit service – these three things are not the same. Do the end users think they are getting something better than they had before? I'm less sure about this. When I speak to audit committee members I see them looking for added value rather than being concerned with the big black box of the auditing process: they want to know that the partner showed an understanding of the specific business environment, or gave good advice and insights on relevant issues.
  • How can you quantify the commercial value of the audit – both to the company being audited and to the wider capital market? Close Open
  • How can audit quality be ensured in an environment where delivery costs are rising but prices falling?Close Open
  • What would auditors do differently if unconstrained by regulation and able to deliver solely what the capital markets want?Close Open
  • Of all the parties that have an interest in an audit, which do you think feels most short-changed by the value it provides, and why? Are their concerns justified, and how can they be addressed? Close Open

Tim is the founder of the UK Audit Committee Institute – a body established to work with directors and help enhance their awareness, commitment, and ability to implement effective audit committee processes – and a member of the firm’s Global ACI Steering Group. He joined the firm’s audit practice in 1986 and subsequently worked in the Department of Professional Practice before taking on the mantle of Head of Corporate Governance. Tim is a past winner of the ‘Accountant of the Year’ award for his work with boards and audit committees.

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