“The purpose of communicating key audit matters is to enhance the communicative value of the auditor’s audit report by providing greater transparency about the audit that was performed.” To provide “additional information to Intended users of the financial statements, to assist them in understanding those matters, that, in the auditor’s professional judgment, were of most significance in the audit.”*
In continuity with our study published in March 2016 “Mazars Benchmark on key audit matters” we analysed the Key Audit Matters related to the FTSE (UK) and AMX/AEX (Netherlands) companies for the year-end 2017/2018 using the same methodology.
The context has changed since the prior publication as there is now a wider range of countries including Key Audit Matters in their audit reports post implementation of ISA 701 (applicable for periods-ending after 15 December 2016).
Consequently, this second publication approaches the Key Audit Matters topic from a different angle, aiming to compare the results across different countries. We have chosen to compare the UK, the Netherlands, France as well as a combination of nine other countries (listed on page 19).
The Benchmark will highlight the following statistics:
The most common Key Audit Matter topics
The number of Key Audit Matters per audit report
Other findings from the first-year application (France and ACCA’s study)
A subject related to public interest
When acting as auditors, our role is mainly to protect the public interest, in performing an audit with excellence, leading to the issuance of an independent auditors’ report with an opinion on a company’s financial statements. As both the public interest and the services delivered to our clients are fundamentally part of our core values, we strongly believe that it is our duty to explain the concepts behind audit reports. We trust that sharing the results of our studies demonstrate our transparency, and our commitment towards the public interest, enhancing knowledge and a better understanding of Key Audit Matters among stakeholders and the audit community.
*ISA 701, Communicationg KeyAudit Matters in the Independent Auditor's Report
To find out more information on KAM's executive summary and benchmarks, download below:
Executive summary Key Audit Matters Mazars.pdf
Overview of the new auditor’s audit report
The auditor’s report is the final output of the audit process. Many users of the financial statements and stakeholders have called to have a more informative and relevant auditor’s report. There has been increasing criticism over standardised wording and a request for audit reports to be more transparent and tailored to individual clients.