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HI6026 Audit, Assurance And Compliance For Australian Security Exchange

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Question:

Recognizing the nature of the company, what’s the company’s market overview? Who (if anyone) regulates the client? What’s the company’s business strategy?

 

Answer:

Introduction

Auditing is the process to examine the financial statements of the business entities in order to find out any material missstements in them. While auditing the statements, the responsibility of the auditors is to take into consideration the major risks of material misstatements and to take necessary steps to reduce them. On the other hand, Australian Security Exchange (ASX) has provided the companies with eight principles in order to implement effective corporate governance mechanism (asx.com.au 2018). All the ASX listed companies are needed to comply with these principles of ASX corporate governance (ASX CGC). The objective of this report is to analyze the compliance of ASX CGC principles and risk assessment process of one of the ASX listed companies. For this report, CSR Limited is chosen. CSR Limited is an Australian company involves in the production of building products and materials. The main business objective of CSR Limited is to serve he customers of Australia and New Zealand by maintaining a low cost manufacturing facility along with strong distribution network (csr.com.au 2018).

 

ASX Corporate Governance Principles

In the year 2003, ASX introduced the Corporate Governance Council Principles and Recommendations in order to make the companies put focus on the corporate governance practices in the companies. The same aspect can be seen in CSR Limited as the company is also needed to comply with the standards of ASX CGC. The following discussion shows the implementation of ASX CGC principles by CSR Limited:

Principle 1: As per this principle, companies should establish and disclose roles and responsibility of board and management and how the company measure and monitor their performance (asx.com.au 2018).

The above discussion shows  that CSR Limited has set the roles and responsibilities of their board. In addition, the company uses balanced scorecard of annual key performance indicators to monitor and measure their performance (csr.com.au 2018).   

Principle 2: The companies should have boards of appropriate size, skills, commitment and composition in order to discharge duties (asx.com.au 2018). As per 2017 Annual Report of CSR Limited, the company has six members in board and the company has provided the required skill sets for them (csr.com.au 2018). 

Apart from this, CSR Limited also discloses the qualification, skills and experience of their directors in order to promote corporate governance in the company (csr.com.au 2018).  

Principle 3: Companies are required to act in the most ethical and responsible way. In CSR Limited, the presence of an effective framework of policies related to values and code of ethics can be seen. As per this code of ethics, it is required for the directors, executives and other employees to ac in the ethical manner (asx.com.au 2018).

The company has endorsed a code of business conduct and ethics that is available in the website of the organization and all the employees of the company are needed to follow these code of ethics. All the employees, directors and major contractors of CSR Limited are needed to sign a certificate of compliance with the code of conducts (csr.com.au 2018).

Principle 4: Companies should have formal process for verifying and safeguarding the corporate reporting integrity (asx.com.au 2018). It can be seen that CSR limited follows the needed principles like Corporations Act 2001, Australian Accounting Standard, Australian Accounting Standard Board (AASB), IASB and IFRS to maintain the integrity of corporate reporting. All these aspects ensure the true and fair representation of the accounting statements of CSR Limited. Apart from this, the business unit financial managers are required to meet the representatives of corporate finance team in order to gain understanding about all the financial aspects of the company so that the integrity of financial reporting can be maintained (csr.com.au 2018).  

Principle 5: Companies should make timely and balanced disclosure of all the necessary information (Tricker and Tricker 2015). It needs to be mentioned that CSR Limited has employed a long established framework in order to provide relevant and timely information to all the stakeholders (csr.com.au 2018).

Principle 6: Companies are required to respect the right of the shareholders by providing them with all the required information (Young and Thyil 2014). In this context, it needs to be mentioned that the continuous disclosure framework of CSR Limited ensures that timely delivery of required information to their shareholders. Due to this, the shareholders of CSR Limited become able to gain access to the required financial information at the time of investment decision-making (csr.com.au 2018).  

Principle 7: Companies are required to establish effective risk management framework in order to mitigate the risks (Kim and Lu 2013). CSR Limited has adopted effective policies and procedures in order  to monitor their business risks. Three major factors in the risk management framework of CSR Limited are Risk & Audit Committee, Workplace Health, Safety & Environment Committee and Senior Management Team (csr.com.au 2018).

Principle 8: The companies are required to pay fair rumination to their directors in order to attract and retain them for the overall benefit of the organizations (Gitman, Juchau and Flanagan 2015). At the same time, companies are required to align the interest of the company with the shareholders interest. It needs to be mentioned that CSR Limited has a well-crafted remuneration framework for their directors in order to attract and retain them. As per this framework, the remuneration structure of CSR Limited consists of two parts; they are fixed remuneration and short and long term initiatives (csr.com.au 2018). 

 

Risk Assessment

Nature and Market Overview

CSR Limited is a major Australian business entity operates in the building material industry of Australia. The main business operation of CSR Limited is the production of heat insulation materials for business. In addition, the company also produces different building materials like fiber cement sheeting, aerated concrete products, bricks and other products for building (csr.com.au 2018). Construction material industry is a major industry of Australia having $356 billion as revenue and 0.4% recent growth can be seen in this industry. The total number of employment in this industry is 990,000 having 328,500 businesses. It needs to be mentioned that divergent of demands has affected the overall performance of this industry. However, it can be seen that the profit margin of this industry is wide that aids in the greater profitability of the companies operating in this industry (abs.gov.au 201).  

Regulatory Authority and Strategy

CSR Limited has to comply with some of the major regulation while conducting their business operations. For doing business, some of the major regulations that CSR Limited has to comply with are Fair Trading Law, Australian Consumer Law and the regulations of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. In addition, CSR Limited also complies with the regulation of Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC). For the purpose of financial reporting, CSR Limited complies with the regulations of Corporations Act 2001, Australian Accenting Standards, Australian Accounting Standard Board (AASB), International Accounting Standard Board (IASB) and International Financial Reporting Standards (austrade.gov.au 2018).

In the business operations of CSR Limited, the presence of five major business strategies can be seen. The first strategy is to strengthen and invest in the business and people. The second strategy is to deliver smarter, faster and easier building solutions. The third strategy is to influence design and adapt changing way of business. The fourth strategy is to bring improvement in comfort, quality and efficiency of buildings. The fifth strategy is to create a positive effect on the customers about CSR Limited (csr.com.au 2018).  

 

Relevant Risks

In the 2017 Annual Report, CSR Limited has mentioned about some of the major business risks that the company faces while conducting the business operation. CSR Limited faces currency risk due to the fluctuation in global US dollar price and currency (csr.com.au 2018). The effect of some of the major competitive forces like domestic and international suppliers and new technology can be seen on CSR Limited that creates the risk of the replacement existing building methods (csr.com.au 2018). In CSR Limited, risk can be seen in digital services used by the construction companies as the lack of digital presence can affect the company’s revenue (csr.com.au 2018). The next risk is related to energy and climate change and for this, the company has to comply with government regulations in order to reduce the effects of their business operations on the environment (csr.com.au 2018). Non-compliance with these emulations can create material effect in the business of CSR Limited. Apart from all these, CSR Limited is exposed to three major financial risk; they are credit risk, liquidity risk and market risk. Credit risk occurs in case the customers of financial instruments fail in their contractual obligations (csr.com.au 2018). In CSR Limited, liquidity risk arises in case the company does not have sufficient funds for meeting the financial obligation when they are due. CSR Limited faces market risk when the company is exposed to the commodity prices of aluminum that arise from the sales of contract basis (csr.com.au 2018). These are the major risks in CSR Limited.

Steps to Reduce Risks

After the identification of major business and audit risks, it is required to develop procedures for the mitigation of those risks. It can be observed that CSR Limited has formed risk committee and audit committee for the mitigation of these risks. The risk and audit committee reviews the financial reporting system, internal control and risk management system for the development of risk management strategies. For the mitigation of credit risk, CSR Limited has established a policy for credit approval under which the company analyzes the new customers for examining their credit worthiness (csr.com.au 2018). For the reduction of credit risk related to derivatives, the company has established counterparty credit risk policy. After that, for the mitigation of liquidity risk, CSR Limited uses to maintain sufficient cash and bank balances and reserve borrowings facilities while continuously monitoring the forecast and actual cash flows (csr.com.au 2018). For the reduction in market risk, CSR Limited has adopted the hedging strategy. After that, for the reduction of the audit risk, the company is required to apply analytical procedures (auasb.gov.au 2018). Thus, the strategy of CSR Limited is to apply the process of Account Balance Comparison method that will allow the company to compare the trial balance amounts with adjusted trial balance (William Jr, Glover and Prawitt 2016). After that, the auditors can adopt the policy of ratio analysis in order to compare the current year’s ratio with prior years. Apart from this, the auditors of CSR Limited can also take up regression analysis for reducing the overall audit risk (Leung et al. 2014).  

 

Conclusion

The above discussion shows that CSR Limited complies with all the eight corporate governance principles of ASX with the implementation of different strategies like development of effective board, correct remuneration structure, code of ethics, timely disclosure, recognition and management of risk and many others. The above discussion also states that the company operates in the construction material industry of Australia and operates under the Australian regulations. After that, the above discussion also shows the presence of some of the major risks in the business operations of CSR Limited; they are liquidity risk, credit risk, market risk, currency risk, digital innovation risk and others. For this reason, CSR Limited has adopted some of the major analytical procedures like hedging, ratio analysis, comparison of financial statements and others for the mitigation of these business as well as audit risk. 

 

References

Abs.gov.au. (2018). Building and Construction - Australian Bureau of Statistics. [online] Available at: https://www.abs.gov.au/building-and-construction [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Asx.com.au. (2018). Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations. [online] Available at: https://www.asx.com.au/documents/asx-compliance/cgc-principles-and-recommendations-3rd-edn.pdf [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Auasb.gov.au. (2018). Auditing Standard ASA 520 Analytical Procedures. [online] Available at: https://www.auasb.gov.au/admin/file/content102/c3/ASA_520_27-10-09.pdf [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Austrade.gov.au. (2018). Australian business and environment laws - Austrade . [online] Available at: https://www.austrade.gov.au/International/Invest/Guide-to-investing/Running-a-business/Understanding-Australian-business-regulation/Australian-business-and-environment-laws [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Corporate. (2018). About Us | CSR . [online] Available at: https://www.csr.com.au/about-us [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Corporate. (2018). Corporate Governance | CSR. [online] Available at: https://www.csr.com.au/investor-relations-and-news/corporate-governance [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Corporate. (2018). Investor Relations and News | CSR. [online] Available at: https://www.csr.com.au/investor-relations-and-news [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Csr.com.au. (2018). CORPORATE GOVERNANCE STATEMENT. [online] Available at: https://www.csr.com.au/-/media/corporate/files/corporate_governance_statement_2017.pdf?la=en&hash=5C86D1B6E13887FB345AC8D2C1F4B0E25C993EDD [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Gitman, L.J., Juchau, R. and Flanagan, J., 2015. Principles of managerial finance. Pearson Higher Education AU.

Kim, E.H. and Lu, Y., 2013. Corporate governance reforms around the world and cross-border acquisitions. Journal of Corporate Finance, 22, pp.236-253.

Leung, P., Coram, P., Cooper, B.J. and Richardson, P., 2014. Modern Auditing and Assurance Services 6e. Wiley.

Tricker, R.B. and Tricker, R.I., 2015. Corporate governance: Principles, policies, and practices. Oxford University Press, USA.

William Jr, M., Glover, S. and Prawitt, D., 2016. Auditing and assurance services: A systematic approach. McGraw-Hill Education.

Young, S. and Thyil, V., 2014. Corporate social responsibility and corporate governance: Role of context in international settings. Journal of Business Ethics, 122(1), pp.1-24.

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