Auditors Urged to Adhere to Professionalism

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Oluchi Chibuzor

Auditors in the country have been advised to discharge their duties in line with global practices because of the critical roles they play in detecting and deterring fraud in organisations.

The Country Leader, West Africa, Ernst & Young (EY), Henry Egbiki, made this call at an audit committee roundtable event organised by EY in Lagos yesterday, with the theme: “Change the Game to Drive Quality& Value.”

According to Egbiki, “It takes appointing people with proven records of competence to improve the quality of audit and financial reporting in the country.”

Earlier the Financial Services Leader, EY, Anthony Oputa, noted the importance of building a better working condition through information sharing, adding the reality was that, “if we want to build a better working world with information available to financial institutions then those who sit at top of governance, especially the audit committee members, need to be able to access information in real time and efficiency manner.”

According to him, this would help auditors in their task and guide them in the discharge of their responsibilities in line with global best practices.

In a presentation on Code of Corporate Governance and the Role of the Board, the Advisory Leader, EY/West Africa, Ben Afudego, said the onus was on audit committee members to display duty of care, loyalty and in compliance, which he described as key expectations of the board on corporate governance.

He said: “Corporate governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled, giving due consideration to all stakeholders of the company, to facilitate effective and prudent management for the protection of shareholders’ interest.

“Moral and ethical issues should be considered when making decisions relevant to the organisation; the board of directors should ensure the organisation complies with the relevant laws where it operates and directors should disclose material information in a timely and accurate manner,” he noted.

In a second presentation on audit committee oversight of financial reporting, Partner & Assurance Leader, EY, Jamiu Olakisan, said in line with the new Financial Reporting Council’s Code of Corporate Governance which became effective on January 15, 2019, auditors should align themselves with the best practices.

This he listed includes at least once a year holding of discussion with the head of the internal audit function and the external auditors without the presence of management; regular dialogue outside the scheduled meetings, including the pre-approval process; and auditors’ views on effectiveness of governance, among others.