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Understanding what auditors are really saying

2 September, 2013

Money Week 2013: understanding what auditors are really saying

Global accounting body and investor advocate CPA Australia is doing its bit to improve Kiwis’ financial literacy during Money Week 2013 with today’s launch of a plain-English guide to understanding audit reports.

A guide to understanding auditing and assurance: NZ-issuer companies aims to help mum and dad, as well as younger, investors better understand what auditors are really saying about a company’s financial statements, and help them make informed investment decisions.

“Auditors are professional sceptics – they are trained to ask the tough questions,” says CPA Australia’s Country Manager for New Zealand, David Jenkins.

“Audit reports can provide a level of confidence about a company’s financial statements, and it’s important that investors understand what audit reports are really saying.

“We want to equip mum and dad investors, and younger investors to really engage with their financial decisions, rather than needing to depend exclusively on advisors and regulators,” says Mr Jenkins.

The key benefits for investors reading the guide are:

an overview of what auditing and assurance mean
how to tell if an auditor's report is ‘clean’ or contains a qualification
an explanation of an auditor's role in respect to fraud and going concern
an illustrative sample audit report with plain language explanation
a simple glossary of terminology used in auditing and assurance

Copies of the guide are available for free from CPA Australia’s website at:

CPA Australia is committed to New Zealand and actively works with government and regulatory bodies to continuously improve standards and confidence in the local accounting and finance sector. In October 2012 CPA Australia was accredited by the Financial Markets Authority in respect of the licensing and regulation of auditors of issuers in New Zealand.


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