Sarbanes-Oxley

One of the biggest issues every successful company face in today’s business world is the prevention of fraudulent activities committed by employees. Over a decade ago the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) Compliance was introduced which requires that all publicly held companies must establish internal controls and procedures for financial reporting to reduce the possibility of corporate fraud. However with increasing new technologies is this enough to protect companies in 2017?

In a recent study conducted by one of the Big4- on average global companies lost over 5% of revenue to fraudulent actions- the majority of this done by current employees. The reason for this was due to lack of internal controls and no risk management in place. Furthermore the cost to strengthen such internal controls is a considerable investment whether it be in hiring new staff such as internal auditors or specialist fraud and forensic audit professionals. However the cost of such professionals is far less than the loss of earnings suffered by companies due to fraudulent activities conducted by employees.

Companies must also face the costly burden of implementing new software such as Governance Risk and Compliance packages. Combine this with the cost of hiring new talent in the IT Audit arena to process, analyse test and review these controls.

Using new technologies such as the cloud has allowed companies to analyse risk management procedures which look for unusual patterns such as access frequencies, duplicate payments, and splitting invoices
These cloud tools automate controls that uncover these types of preventable risks, but they can also help companies develop a road-map for identifying strategic risks.
It is vital that organisations continue to develop their internal controls, invest in technology and most importantly specialized fraud and forensic audit professionals to mitigate the increasing number of preventable risks which untimely leads to higher profit margins.

Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have known that in 2014 PwC’s total fee income was £2.539bn, some £224m ahead of Deloitte (£2.315bn) according to the Financial Reporting Council’s 2014 Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession.

PwC also earned the highest fee income from audit (£571m) and from non-audit work for audit clients (£332m). This compares with Deloitte’s audit fee income of £486m.

Third-placed KPMG had total fee income of £1.874bn of which audit contributed £438m. Therefore, the research shows that mentioned two firms were well ahead of their Big Four firm rivals.

Meanwhile, EY earned £1.868bn, including £341m from audit services. Compared to the mid-tier firms and even if the next three largest firms (Grant Thornton, BDO and Baker Tilly) were to merge, the combined total of their fee income would still be £727m less than EY’s.

However, during 2014 the mid-tier saw a major boost to their overall fee income which on average grew by 15.1% compared to the Big Four’s 4.3%. Their audit fee income rose by 9.5% (Big Four 0.1). Their non-audit work for non-audit clients also grew on average by 18.7% compared to the Big Four’s 6.3%.

The Financial Reporting Council’s statistics show that all the firms’ audit fee income is shrinking as a percentage of overall fee income. This is more gradual among the Big Four where the percentage has gone down from 24% in 2010 to 21% in 2014. In the same period the mid-tier firms have seen their audit percentage drop from 34% to 28%.

 

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Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have known that The Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at advancing internal auditing and accounting practices globally.

The main part of the collaboration is a one-time challenge exam open to ACCA members toward receiving the IIA’s Certified Internal Auditor, or CIA, certification.

The CIA certificate, launched in 1973, identifies the individual as a committed and competent professional and provides recognition and status among peers and principal stakeholders.

Recently, IIA president and CEO Richard F. Chambers said “We are eager to make the challenge exam available to qualified ACCA members because earning the CIA represents an important level of achievement for internal audit practitioners,” He also added: “The rigorous requirements for ACCA membership reflect the high standards of professional attainment that we expect of all of our CIA certificate holders.”

The ACCA certification identify members as qualified accountants and show their commitment to high ethical standards, professional values, and lifelong learning. To get the ACCA is mandatory to pass ACCA qualification exams and a professional ethics module, a three-year practical experience requirement and more.

We have also learnt that ACCA-member recipients of the CIA will have to meet continuing professional education requirements beginning in January 2017 to retain the certification.

Finally, has been known that the organizations will help build awareness of respective initiatives and programs, including the ACCA’s recognition of the IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

 

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Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have known that KPMG retains audit crown in latest Adviser Rankings in terms of overall stock market client numbers with 404 accounts, according to the latest research from Adviser Rankings.

According to the Corporate Advisers Rankings Guide, in the latest quarterly BDO retained the lead on London’s junior market by client numbers – ahead of KPMG, by just one client, while BDO managed to ease on to the podium through the collective worth of its clients.

Both Smith & Williamson and Crowe Clark Whitehill made solid additions to their rosters, in eighth and tenth place, respectively.

Regarding to the largest audit companies, PwC remained the largest auditor of FTSE 100 businesses with 39 clients, nearly double that of Deloitte, which moved into third position.

Finally, in the industrials sector, Welbeck Associates entered the rankings in joint 11th position with three clients while in oil & gas Nexia Smith & Williamson retain 8th position with five clients, after a gain of one.

 

For jobs with some of the leading international consulting firms across the world as well as tier one multinationals, please contact Audit International on 0041 4350 830 95 or else email your current cv to info@www.audit-international.com

Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have known that the global leader firm providing audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax, and related services to select clients Deloitte, has promoted 75 new partners and added 35 new equity partners in the largest ever annual intake to the firm’s UK partnership.

Taking into account that nearly a third of the newly promoted partners are female (ten of whom were equity partners) at the minute, 17% of all Deloitte’s partners are women, up from 15% in 2014. The firm, has made a commitment that 25% of its partners will be female by 2020. A quarter of its executives and board members are female.

Chief executive and senior partner at Deloitte UK David Sproul, announced the launch of a new ‘return-to-work’ scheme which aims to attract more senior female leaders back into the workforce. Mr Sproul declared: “It is positive that this year, a higher proportion of our new partners are women” He also said:  “We are committed to continuing to do more to create more opportunities in Deloitte for women at a senior level.”

Mentioned ‘return-to-work’ scheme will run from September to December. It will offer a 12-week paid internship to women who have been out of the workforce for between three and six years. In the first year, it will be open to Deloitte alumni and the ambition is for 80% of participants to take up longer-term roles with the firm at the end of their internship.

At the beginning of the year, Deloitte’s US arm appointed Cathy Englebert as its first female chief executive. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants hailed the appointment as a “momentous occasion for the profession”.

 

For jobs with some of the leading international consulting firms across the world as well as tier one multinationals, please contact Audit International on 0041 4350 830 95 or else email your current cv to info@www.audit-international.com

Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have learned that the board members of the IFRS Foundation, responsible for the governance and oversight of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), have appointed a brace of new members to the body’s interpretations committee and reappointed a pair of current members for a second term.

The vice president of the Korea Accounting Association and board member of the Korea Accounting Standards Board (KASB) Jongsoo Han, together with Robert Uhl, a US-based partner and national director of Accounting Standards and Communications at Deloitte in the US, have both been appointed for a three-year term, kicking off on 1 July 2015.

Sandra Peters, head of financial reporting policy at the CFA Institute in the US and John O’Grady, EY assurance partner at in the Asia-Pacific region, have both been reappointed to serve a second three-year term on the interpretations committee, also starting in July 2015.

Recently, the chair of the trustee nominating committee, declared regarding this fact: “The IFRS Interpretations Committee plays an important role in the maintenance of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), encouraging consistent application of the standards and providing authoritative guidance where required. She also added: “We are pleased that Jongsoo and Robert have accepted their appointments to the Interpretations Committee and that John and Sandra have agreed to serve a second term.”

 

For jobs with some of the leading international consulting firms across the world as well as tier one multinationals, please contact Audit International on 0041 4350 830 95 or else email your current cv to info@www.audit-international.com

Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have learned more than 50% of accountancy firms are planning to diversify their range of services. In the other hand no more than 30% of firms expect to maintain the same services they provide to clients in 5 years’ time.

The most popular prospective service, with more than a third of firms planning to provide it in the future are HR and management consultancy. Meanwhile, a quarter aim to offer financial advice to private clients or investments and pensions.

Among all firms, 15% expect to provide client legal services.  Of those surveyed, 13% aim to offer property valuation and 9% commercial legal advice e.g. contracts or employment law.

While the majority (59%) expect to increase their specialism in particular industry sectors, for example manufacturing, retail etc, almost 72% plan to increase their specialization in particular services they already provide, for instance audit and tax.

Mentioned survey has been conducted by Case Ware. Shez Hamill, sales and marketing director of the firm concluded: “The research demonstrates that many of the firms in the Top 100 have a clear strategy of broadening the range of services they offer into other professional areas such as property, law and consulting. They are firmly following the path set by the Big Four, of accountancy firms becoming much broader business advisory practices.”

 

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Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have learned the professional services firm PwC has named Stephen O’Hearn as its global insurance leader. He substitutes David Law, who retires in June.

Previously, Mr. O’Hearn led PwC’s insurance practice in New York. However, currently he leads PwC’s insurance practice across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, commonly known as EMEA region, from his office placed in Zurich. O’Hearn is a member of the board of directors of the International Insurance Society as well.

Recently, Mr. O’Hearn declared: “It has been a pleasure to have worked closely with David over many years. He also added regarding his colleague: “His leadership has been key to the development of PwC’s global insurance practice. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this practice”

Looking at the future he said: “These are exciting times for insurers as they capitalize on innovative technologies to serve the needs of families and businesses. We look forward to supporting the efforts of the insurance industry globally.”

PwC’s outgoing global insurance leader, David Law, said: “It has been a privilege to serve as the leader of PwC’s global insurance practice. I am very proud of our team and the part we have played in helping our clients face the many challenges and opportunities the insurance industry brings”

Regarding his successor he concluded: “Stephen has a wealth of experience and I have every confidence that under his leadership, the practice will continue to go from strength to strength.”

 

For jobs with some of the leading international consulting firms across the world as well as tier one multinationals, please contact Audit International on 0041 4350 830 95 or else email your current cv to info@www.audit-international.com

Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have learned that Auditors in the UK are responding positively, and in some cases quite innovatively, to the UK’s new auditor reporting requirements. This is the main conclusion of a recent UK Financial Reporting Council report “Extended auditor’s reports: A review of experience in the first year”.

Mentioned report studied 153 audit reports between July and September 2014 that were issued under the new regulations. These regulations sought to make auditor reports more meaningful and less boilerplate, requiring auditors to describe assessed risks of material misstatement, explain their application of materiality and describe the scope of the audit.

Among all reports studied, 63 were for FTSE100 companies and 147 were by the 4 largest audit firms. The range of innovations have included the use of diagrams and graphs, the relocation of the audit opinion and more detailed analysis of risks. The innovations, as well as a few areas where improvement is still needed, especially the provision of entity specific disclosures, are set out in the media release.

The IAASB released similar audit report reforms by earlier this year, reflecting significant calls from stakeholders worldwide for audit reports to be more useful and communicative and these have an implementation date of December 2016. A range of resources, known collectively as the Auditor Reporting toolkit have been published by the IAASB to help practitioners become familiar with the new requirements. They include an “At a glance” summary and an accompanying presentation supporting the new and revised standards.

Analogous reforms are also being considered by the US PCAOB and have been implemented in the EU, with the European Federation of Accountants (FEE) recently issuing a report demonstrating how the EU and new IAASB requirements align.

 

For jobs with some of the leading international consulting firms across the world as well as tier one multinationals, please contact Audit International on 0041 4350 830 95 or else email your current cv to info@www.audit-international.com

Audit International, the leading specialists in Internal and External Audit Recruitment across Europe, the US and Asia have learned “The Big Four” controlled two thirds of global accounting market share in 2014 with a combined $120.2bn in fee income. Recently published figures show that all of the Big Four have increased fee income. In 2013 Deloitte reported fee income of $32.4bn, just ahead of PwC with $32bn. EY came in third with $25.9bn, followed by KPMG with $23.4bn.

According to recent publications, Deloitte retains its lead over PwC with £22.53bn in global income. It is the first time the global accounting network has retained number one spot in consecutive years, beating rival PwC by $248m. However, Price Waterhouse Coopers, is yet to see the impact of the acquisition of global consultancy Booz & Co, which was finalised in the last few months of its 2014 financial year.

As long as the gap between the top two firms has narrowed, the gap between them and third ranked EY has been increasing – from $1.9bn in 2004 to $6.5bn in 2014. EY reported fee income of $27.3bn and fourth ranked KPMG $24.8bn in 2014. Furthermore, the gap between the Big Four and the nearest competitor, BDO, has widened by over $7bn in the past decade from $10.6bn in 2004 to $17.8bn in 2014, according to the survey of global accounting firms conducted by International Accounting Bulletin (IAB).

Altogether 52 top international accounting networks and associations earned a combined $181.7bn in fees in 2014, up 6% year-on-year. In the past few years advisory and strategic acquisitions have driven mentioned growth. Recently published report shows that since 2004 the Big Four combined have increased their advisory revenues by over $33bn while audit and accounting revenues increased by $14bn and tax work revenues by $10.2bn in the same time period. Previously mentioned M&A was one of the main drivers of growth for the largest firms, with deals such as the PwC acquisition of Booz & Co., EY’s acquisition of The Parthenon Group as well as its merger with KPMG Denmark, and KPMG’s many consultancy and analytics business acquisitions in the US and Europe.

 

For jobs with some of the leading international consulting firms across the world as well as tier one multinationals, please contact Audit International on 0041 4350 830 95 or else email your current cv to info@www.audit-international.com