In case there sub-standard’s audits performance along with adequate assurance might not be reliably determined, the major stakeholders are prone to certain consequential uncetainities and they also encompass auditors. The current report is focussed on carrying out stakeholder evaluation of an ASX listed company. Considering same, Wesfarmers Limited is taken into account that is positioned as a renowned Australian retailer with a workforce of 217,000 employees (Wesfarmers.com.au. 2018). Relied on stakeholder analysis, the effect on each group might be analysed in case the material misstatements re not disclosed or identified in a better manner. The second part of the paper will focus on analysing the independence along with whistleblowing concepts in accordance with APES 110. The third part will focus on the lessons that can be learned by the auditors from analysing the case of Enron Scandal along with evaluating behaviour of Arthur Anderson. Finally, the report will also focus on researching audit quality along with steps to be considered by the auditor after evaluating G Med craft statement.
The following group of stakeholders are attained by Wesfarmers Limited along with carrying out detailed evaluation associate with the material misstatement:
Auditor independence indicates the external auditors’ independence and it is characterised by the integrity within audit procedure along with objective approach. Such concept requires the auditors to carry their work in an effective manner and in objective way. The whistleblowing along with auditor independence concepts are considerable attributes of the profession along with inevitable aspects of accounting ethics that governs the accounting profession (Apesb.org.au. 2018).
Considering the concept of auditor independence it can be recognised that an auditor might indicate misstatements along with breaches within the financial statements at the discovery time. For this reason, this important feature of professional along with ethical audit commitment is indicated as independence commitment. There might be direct along with positive effect of the independence commitment on the whistleblowing intentions along with external auditors. Considering same, Hosseini and Mahesh (2016) explained that whistleblowing can be considered as policies that facilitate the staff in reporting certain unethical violations in case they reveal the same within companies. A whistle-blower is considered to be an individual explaining any activity or information that is deemed to be incorrect, unethical or illegal within a public and private company. This facilitates in increasing loyalty along with developing a commitment sense within the company along with the job description.
The “Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB)” has offered the “APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants” document. Based on the “APES 110 Section 210.111”, the accounting auditor that is nominated is required to attain necessary permission from the consumer for communicating with previous auditor. In case the permission is denied by the consumers, the nomination must be generally declined (Ma’Ayan and Carmeli 2016). In a situation, the consumer attains attain permission, the auditor which is nominated can ask the last auditors in writing for all the needed information so that the decision based on nomination can be taken. It has been introduced in order to safeguard the whistle-blowers working under the government along with reporting misconduct associated with the agency. This has facilitated in making sure of the freedom of speech of the contractors and the workers in certain situations (Gala et al. 2018). The whistle-blowers have the right to fill the complaints those they perceive to be the considerable breaches evidences of the following in compliance with “APES 110 Section 100.1”:
The Enron collapse is considered to be one of the major corporate international collapses. There are numerous causes for the auditors to attain learning from such collapse and these are explained under briefly:
It is observed that Enron Company accounts for significant for any efficient capital market. The auditor within Enron, Anderson indicated its downfalls served as representative of the overall profession. In addition, the auditor is considered to have unusually culpable over the Enron that is shedding inclining documents other than the investigators (Bepari and Mollik 2016). Such audit failure took place because of a set of business associations those have been increased by interest conflicts along with perverse investiture. In addition, the shareholders of a company employ the auditors those are liable to report to the former. The accounting companies are associated within frequent consulting services selling to the audit clients and along with that the external auditors are employed within the top management positions or the internal auditors. For this reason, it turns out to be important for the companies to bring in the fear of individual audit personnel of losing an audit assignment that is profitable. Other than such background, the audit quality is deemed to suffer (Lee and Fargher 2017).
In such scenario, the most vital change might be to attain audit responsibilities away from the private accounting companies and offer it to the government. Conversely, this change can turn out to be important and in this scenario, the risk might be present with respect to audit quality. Moreover, it is important for the government agency might manage in dealing ith the mistakes along with conflicts those are dealt by most of the private companies. Considering such scenario, it is important to make sure that selection of auditors does not exist in the control of the organizational leaders. Rather than that, the government agency might employ the auditors relied on the list offered by the company that can conduct incurring the audit fees.
Conversely, it is important to develop complex statutory regulation related with audit profession including the disciplinary powers (Onodugo 2015). The auditors have also succeeded in dealing with the self-regulation fiction by means of professional authority along with peer review that needs to be dominated. Conversely, a ban requires being included within the accounting companies offering consulting along with services to the audit consumers. On more idea is a compulsory rotation over the four years of audit partners for avoiding the auditors to turn out to be committed to their consumers. The more feasible peer review takes place at the time companies is considered within the predecessor books. The “Australian Securities and Investments Commission” must be banned as the practice of these companies to appoint internal auditors along with managers from the external audit companies.
One of the major issues that must be considered by the auditors from analysing the Enron Scandal serves as the concern associated with the accounting standards. The behaviour of the companies have made sure that in certain areas, particularly the treatment of dodges within the balance sheet, the accounting standards of US those are increasingly negligent and they are highly prescriptive leading to sight loss of the broader principles. The prior attempts which the Financial Accounting Standards Board was used in enhancing the standards that has resulted to vociferous lobbying. This increases the requirement for regulatory authority to use certain meticulous standards through making sure of effective principles rather than highly detailed rules and it might result in abiding by the internationally agreed standards.
It has been revealed by the Fiasco of Enron that there is lack of efficient governance within large multinational companies. Over the years, all types of checks and balances is developed in order to make sure that the leaders of the companies acting as shareholders agents are actually conducting the same. Conversely, the Chief Executives attain the power to set these checks along with holding highest stock options as possible. For this reason, there is an increased requirement of realigning the system in order to function more within the function more within the shareholders interests. The company require non-executive directors makes sure that suitable payment though devoting vital attention within the job, independent remuneration along with audit committees and associate internal auditors as well as job segregation of the chairperson and chief executive (Caratti, Pinto, Scully and Perrin 2018). For this reason, the auditors along with the companies require offering better audit and governance in carrying out effective business operations.
Enron is the second largest accounting company in which Arthur Anderson and it carries out audit operations within the company, the individual is responsible to make sure of the company’s financial statements accuracy along with internal bookkeeping. The investors employed such reports of Anderson for undertaking certain investment decisions as they perceived that such reports were accurate and devoid of any interest conflicts. Conversely, there exist an interest conflict, Andersen was an effective business partner of Enron and few of its executives came under Enron’s employment. However, the individual asked Enron to ensure their partnerships prior to verification of the financial statements later. Moreover, in March 2002, Andersen was held guilty of the gradually exploiting the company’s audit documents. This indicates that the auditor did not professionally and ethically act as it has attained millions in the form of consulting and audit fees.
In a situation there is no internationally considered definition of audit quality, quality external audit service might be taken into account a consideration to audit having a better professional sceptism degree conducted in compliance with the important standards. Certain other important elements might encompass insight of nature, sector knowledge along with valuable insights degree along with observations taking place from audit ability or process in order to coordinate services suitable from various international locations (Albeksh 2016). Greg Med craft indicated that there are chances where Australia can face incidents such as of Enron unless the four large accounting companies considerably improve their auditing standards. The person has also explained that in case corporate accounts are not effectively audited there can be increased danger warning regarding next financial crisis.
In a scenario, the explained concern is not addressed in an immediate manner there can be certain incidents related with corporate collapses such as Enron in Australia. For making sure the same, the auditors are required to conduct their jobs in an effective manner through attaining assurance that the financial reports are devoid of material misstatements. As explained within “APES 110 Section 2”, the auditors are required to ensure that the financial statements offer true and fair analysis of the material aspects. Med craft has focussed on the fact that the major reason behind such collapse of Enron was the audit failure that took place in the financial crisis (Albeksh 2017). For this reason, in order to offer suitable financial information to several stakeholders in the company the auditors are required to be accountable for carrying out financial statements audit. Within the news article, it has been recognised that ASIC has gathered major audit samples for 18 months till December 2016 conducted by PwC, Delloite, Ernt and Young and KMPG. From them 23% did not offer suitable assurance on the financial statement accuracy or that does not include any material misstatements. This signified that the auditors are devoid of professional scepticism and they are not able to deal with challenging conditions. For this reason, it is not a better sign and such situation might get worse in future.
For example, the Enron collapse in the year 2002 was because of accounting fraud along with that such decline resulted in downfall of its auditor Arthur Anderson and because of its association ith the fraud (Ball and Wells 2015). In Australia, asset value was written by Nine Entertainment Company and Seven West Media after concerns are increased by ASIC considering valuations in the 2016 annual reports. As per Medcraft, ASIC has conducted 7000 surveillances along with several investigations above thousands banned in more than 600 companies, imprisoned more than 80 individuals and returned $ 1.3 billion to all investors within past six years. On the other hand, the individual has handed more than a list of unfinished busineses to the federal government. Conversely, criminal charges are required to be indicated on them other than the civil charges (Purwanto, Hanjani and Kusumadewi 2018). Such recommendations have been offered by both the financial system inquiry and government. Conversely, criminal charges are required to be impacted on them other than the civil charges and in order to attain audit quality is important to deal with independence threats or lower the same by means of safeguards implementation. From Medcrafts statements, it is clear that to the time the companies include only few individuals possessing the needed knowledge and experience to carry out duties of audit partners, rotating them cannot make sure suitable safeguard as explained within “APES 110 Section 290.155”. In situation where the independent regulator has offered an exemption from the specific rotation within specific jurisdictions it turns out to be likely for an individual to stay as a major audit partner for over seven years. Conversely, there is existence of alternative safeguards such as independent external review.
In addition, “APES 110 Section 100.1” indicates that an auditor is needed to work so that the best interests of public might be assured. Therefore, member accountability is to fulfil the needs of an employer, client along with alignment with the code of assurance of the best public interests (Wilson, McNellis and Latham 2018). In accordance with “APES 110 Section 100.2 (c)” safeguards are important to be implemented in a way that the threats can be decreased or they can be decreased to an acceptable margin. More specifically, safeguards are implemented at the time it is evaluated that the threats are more than desired level in case there is no compliance conducted with vital auditing principles.
Relied on Medcraft statement, it might be stated that it is likely to deal with another financial crisis in case the Australian auditors maintain professional competence along with the due care. In this maintainice, the auditors are required to attain desired skills level and knowledge which might assist in holding competent associations along with the consumers along with the audit companies. As per the “APES 110 Section 100.5(d)”, the auditors are needed to sustain the information confidentiality taking place from business along with professional associations (Roy and Saha 2018). In addition, the auditors must not disclose such confidential information to the third parties devoid of suitable approval from the important party unless important. Lastly, they are required not to disclose this confidential information to the third parties devoid of attaining power approval and they are required to abide by necessary guidelines and regulations in order to deal with actions having the potential of discrediting such profession.
The paper focussed on analysing the independence along with whistleblowing concepts in accordance with APES 110. In a situation there is no internationally considered definition of audit quality, quality external audit service might be taken into account a consideration to audit having a better professional sceptism degree conducted in compliance with the important standards. As per the “APES 110 Section 100.5(d)”, the auditors are needed to sustain the information confidentiality taking place from business along with professional associations.
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Wesfarmers.com.au., 2018. [online] Available at: https://www.wesfarmers.com.au/docs/default-source/reports/wes18-044-2018-annual-report.pdf?sfvrsn=4 [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].
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