It all begins with you the management team as you embark on the process of choosing an auditor for an audit engagement of your organization. Extra care has to be taken because the chosen Auditor shall be part and partial of the business and give business assurance and advisory year in and year out. At this point, management is fulfilling the stewardship function and being accountable by presenting credible financial reports to the various interested parties namely;
- Ownership of the entity say Shareholders and or Directors who are interested in the overall performance of the business and a clear understanding to ensure achievement of the Return on Investment (ROI)
- Suppliers or Creditors to the Entity who are interested in the safety of their continued supplies to the entity. They want to have an assurance that the entity can repay the short-term obligations as they fall due and that their continued dealings with the entity are not at risk.
- The Customers and many other consumers of the entity products will be interested in continued partnerships and mutual growth of the business.
- The government will be much interested in the overall economic growth of the Country, established enterprises yield several benefits both to the Government and its citizens in form of taxes and employment among others.
A rich and comprehensive audit report issued by a competent audit firm will answer many of the users’ interests. So the issue at hand is how to choose the Auditor for your business in Uganda, The suggestions below can be of great help when choosing the auditor for your business,
Reference to the provisions of the Law
What does the law say? It’s important that, at the time of searching for the Auditor to make use of the law. Section 167 Sub-section 1 through 11 of the Company’s Act 2012 guide the Appointment and remuneration of the Auditor. Sub Section 1 States ‘’Every company shall at each annual general meeting appoint an auditor to hold office from the conclusion of that annual general meeting, until the conclusion of the next, annual general meeting” I quote. This implies that it’s more mandatory for us to have audits of our Company (S) in that regard. So for whichever method management will employ to announce the need for the Auditor, the provisions of the law must be adhered to and this will lead you to the auditor of your choice.
The Hybrid Method
It’s now common practice for entities requiring Audit services to seek help and or guidance from the regulatory body of accountants. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda has done us well by thoroughly vetting all the practicing Accountants in the public interest, it recently unveiled a list of competent Auditors who are potentially available to provide audit services to our businesses countrywide. So by you writing to the institute expressing the need for Auditors you are on the right path because the body will reach out to all her registered auditors with the click of a button.
For this discussion, I called this the hybrid method because it will yield results and answer your needs for the Auditor in the shortest time and at a minimal cost most likely equivalent to internet usage. At the end of the day, you will have several Auditors knocking on your door expressing their interest to provide you with the audit service.
Now the game of selection
Having equipped ourselves with the law and the hybrid method concerning identifying Auditors as discussed above, it’s now time to zero in on one out of the many. You are choosing the best out of the best, it’s some kind of game that you need to play tactfully to have the best fit for your business.
Suggested below are some of the salient issues that you need to stand out for while choosing the auditor;
- The Financial Budget: This is a clear and straightforward aspect, the issue is, are you able to afford the average fees the auditor charges? You need to know your budget and the range of fees that fall within your means. The budget is instrumental in deciding whether to continue engaging the Auditor or not. It’s at the same time important for management to budget for and pay reasonable fees to auditors so as not to affect the quality of the assurance reports.
- Who you are: You the Auditee must know yourself and your business, for example. Are you engaged in civil works? Are you a not-for-profit entity? Are you in Agribusiness or engaged in manufacturing products? You need to select an auditor who has proven experience in auditing such entities who are similar to yours for ease and effective execution of the audit. It’s only the wealth of experience that makes the auditor competent and in charge of the job.
- Competence of the auditor: I will discuss this because of some entities that are highly regulated for example Financial and deposit-taking institutions, insurance players should be able to select and engage such Auditor who is accredited to audit such businesses that are specifically regulated by various Government bodies.
- Use of Technology: Gone are the days of manual audits, modern Auditors today are now embracing technology and data analytics to perform audits. The auditor should be able to carry out audits over online soft wares like Xero cloud-based Accounting software.
Based on the above discussions, I trust that selecting an auditor for your business will no longer pose any difficulties. All you need to do is comprehend and adhere to the aforementioned guidelines, and you will be able to secure an auditor for your assurance assignments.
For any further discussions and or suggestions regarding the above, kindly Contact the writer CPA Godfrey Mpaulo. Partner at Ronalds Partners Certified Public Accountants.