Posts Tagged “audit jobs”

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.


According to a recent survey, there has been an increase in the average working week of risk professionals. The number of auditors who say they regualry work more than 50 hour week has significantly grown. However it is not all bad new as they are very well paid for their overtime.

More than 40 per cent of risk professionals reported working 50 or more hours a week in 2014, a year-on-year rise of 11 per cent since 2013.

Typically the ordinary working week for risk professionals also increased, from 45.5 hours to 45.9 hours. However, only one in ten respondents said they worked regular overtime – considerably fewer than in HR (46 per cent), change management (41 per cent) or compliance (33 per cent). Similarly, only 16 per cent of risk specialists work over the weekend at least once a fortnight, compared with an average of 22 per cent across the wider financial services market.

Risk professionals are seemingly more incentivised by increased pay and benefits than other factors.

Nearly 70 per cent said remuneration is “very important” to job satisfaction, above both work-life balance (57 per cent) and status and responsibility (21 per cent). Only a quarter said that an interesting workload was “very important”, far fewer than professionals in marketing (71 per cent), HR (54 per cent) or procurement and supply chain (52 per cent).

Around a third of risk professionals said they would leave their jobs because of a disappointing salary review, a larger number than in compliance (24 per cent), financial services (21 per cent) or change management (9 per cent).


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Recent numbers reported that Euro zone employment levels are once again rising which in turn is adding further hope that EU recovery is well underway. Figures released by the EU statistics office show that the 18 countries in the Eurozone reported a marginal increase of 0.1 percent quarter on quarter in the 3 months to March which is also a growth rate of 0.2% up for the year.

Within  Germany specifically , the euro zone  employment numbers demonstrated a slightly larger increase of  0.3 percent on the quarter and 0.8 percent on the year.

Other countries however such as Portugal are unfortunatley still showing negative trends in terms of the labour markets.

Troubled Greece as also slowed its annual fall to 0.5 percent from 2.6 percent in the last quarter of 2013 which again is giving some additional signs of condifence that the worst may well be behind them.

Amid the good news and talk of recovery the other side is that there are still some 18 million people in the region who are without employment- a figure that governments are working what seems like tirelessly to reduce.

Separately, data showed that net trade made a positive contribution to growth in April as the trade surplus increased to 15.7 billion euros ($21.38 billion), from 14.0 billion in the same period of 2013.

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The FRC is going to be analysing the audits of banks and building societies over this year. Attempts have been made to improve the quality of auditing of banks and building societies since the start of the financial crisis but these have been insufficient. As a result the FRC is planning to conduct a formal review of banks and building societies audits.

Within the FRCs draft plan & budget for 2014/25 they plan on conducting a formal review of bank audits in the second quarter of this year as soon as this year’s annual reports have been completed. This is in order to find out why progress in improving their quality has been so slow.

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The UK Competition Commission has put on hold its audit reform consultation process. The delay could last up to six months.

The delay is because of recent developments at a European level. The Commission had been aiming to be at the informal consultation stage but this stage won’t begin for the next four to six months.

Talks over the EU 10 year audit rotation have been on-going for some time and only recently were put on hold because of disagreements over the package of legislative measures. Read more in our previous blog Talks over the EU 10 year audit rotation have been put on hold

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PWC has acquired global consultancy firm Booz & Co. The deal will boost PWC’s revenues and increase their global workforce.

Booz & Co. currently have around 3,000 staff including 130 partners worldwide.

Before the deal could go through it had to first be approved by a partner vote. This happened in December of last year and the result was the acquisition received the approval needed.

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Grant Thornton has strengthened its financial services tax team with the appointment of EY’s Richard Milnes as partner.

Previous to his post at EY, Milnes also worked in in international tax for Shell and as head of tax planning for Lloyds TSB before moving to a front office tax structuring and transactional role at Lloyds.

Milnes is to be based at Grant Thornton’s London office.

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Finally a framework of EU audit reform was preliminarily agreed yesterday. A last minute deal was reached between politicians saving the reform from more setbacks.

The framework of EU audit reform was preliminarily agreed yesterday during the final discussion between the Lithuanian EU Council presidency and the European Parliament, which will see companies forced to change their auditors every ten years, with the possibility of audit tenures extended if certain criteria are met. It is still subject to a final agreement by member states later in the week. The European Parliament is optimistic that the majority of member states will approve the audit reform.

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Talks on the European Union imposing mandatory audit rotation on auditors have been put on hold by British MEP, Sajjad Karim. The negotiations are to get companies to change their auditors every ten years. These negotiations have now been placed on hold because of disagreements over the package of legislative measures.

The proposed changes are intended to improve the competition between audit companies, encourage rivalry between audit firms, and to reduce the concentration of the audit services being provided by the Big Four accountancy firms of PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY. Many feel that the Big 4 firms dominate the audit sector.

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Following the merger of BDO and PKF this year, the firm hope to raise their revenue next year. PKF’s financial planning division did not integrate with BDO.

BDO’s revenues grew by 10% to £312m in ‘12/13. This figure also included three months of trading with PKF.

Pre-merger revenue figures for the two firms in ‘11/12 saw a combined income of £384m. Now that the merger is complete the firm hopes to reach the £384m figure next year.

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