Kathryn Gardner is Client Relationship Manager at RfM Preston and a key member of our Audit team. We asked Kathryn to give us an insight into the role and responsibilities of an auditor, and why some businesses choose to have an audit – even if they’re not obliged to.
“Although Audit is a specialist area” explains Kathryn, “Auditors actually need to be good generalists. We have to be qualified across all areas of accounting so that we can fully understand how the numbers have been arrived at.
“There is a misconception that audit is about pointing out where things are wrong – picking up on issues and passing judgement. But, whilst the auditor has a duty to highlight any accounting errors, we are also here to provide insights and add value to the business.
“We look at the finance function as a whole, analysing systems and processes to identify areas where there could be a better way of doing things. Any recommendation we make will ultimately lead to the finance function running more efficiently and improve accuracy.
“We also have a responsibility to identify any areas of risk. For example, where a client is perhaps risking a breach in compliance or not taking due care to protect the business or its customers against fraud.”
Why might a business choose to have an audit?
“The audit team at RfM carry out audits for businesses that are legally required to have them (see here for criteria for audit exemptions) and also organisations that choose to have them.
“There are several reasons why a business would choose to have an audit even though they are not legally required to do so. They may need an audit for the bank, for example, or if the owners of the business are not on-site or involved in the day-to-day operations.”
Who is involved in the process?
“In essence, the role of the auditor is to check that the accounts give a ‘true and fair’ view of the business’ financial position. As part of our process, we work with all members of staff involved in the financial management of the business and preparation of accounts.”
What makes us different?
“The RfM Audit team are committed to adding value for our clients through the auditing process, as well as providing the right level of guidance to support the finance team going forward.
“I like to think of our approach as ‘nurturing’; providing the advice and guidance that the finance team needs to improve systems and ensure accounting standards are met.”