5 tips for maintaining audit quality today and in the future

October 13, 2021

Published: Journal of Accountancy

The global pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to public company auditors as well as the clients and the public they serve.

“Audit teams have risen to the challenge and evolved,” Kelly Grier, CPA, US chair and managing partner and Americas managing partner for EY, said Wednesday during a webcast sponsored by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the US Chamber of Commerce.

With the pandemic still posing risks and the 20th anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) approaching next year, experts shared insights on what will drive audit quality in the future.

Leading with purpose

Strong, coordinated regulatory standards and independent oversight will continue to inspire confidence in audit quality in the future, said Grier, who chairs the board of governors for the CAQ, which is affiliated with the AICPA. She said leaders need to continue promoting the values of independence, professional skepticism, and personal integrity.

Wes Bricker, CPA, PwC’s vice chair–US Trust Solutions co-leader, said one of SOX’s important accomplishments was to reinforce the importance of tone at the top and culture by reinforcing the roles of the audit committee and management, and requiring certifications on the accuracy of financial reports and the effectiveness of the control system.

The rise of remote work during the pandemic has important ramifications for leadership and culture, Bricker said.



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