Singapore, 14 September 2021 – Mazars, the leading international audit, tax and advisory firm, today releases ‘The Future of Audit in APAC’ webinar report which explores the market expectations and realities of audit in the region.
As a supplement to the Mazars’ global study, ‘The Future of Audit: market view’, the report aims to shine a spotlight on the ways auditors can adapt to the inevitable changes in society and help organisations stay resilient. It draws upon the insights discussed during the Future of Audit in Asia-Pacific webinar on 9 September which attracted 393 participants from across the region.
Rick Chan, Managing Partner, Mazars in Singapore and APAC Audit Leader says: “Reinvention of audit is about to mark a turning point in the history of one of the oldest professions. Our inaugural Future of Audit in Asia-Pacific webinar aims to capture the diverse views of audit experts and seasoned executives to help businesses navigate the increasingly challenging APAC markets. It is great to hear from business leaders on their expectations surrounding audit and the professionals who deliver it, and how the service can evolve to support the fastest growing region.”
He adds: “We hope this webinar will help continue the conversation around audit reform and address current challenges in ways that work today and into the future.”
The webinar shed light on major issues concerning audit in APAC: the disconnect between what companies view as the ‘mission’ of auditors and the benefits of an audit, increasing support for broader audit services, companies expect technology to empower the diverse skillsets of auditors, rather than replace them; the most valued attributes of auditors, and the growing interest for audit reform.
During the webinar, Mazars also introduced a quantitative poll to glean key insights from industry users and decision makers in APAC and see how they compare to audit experiences around the globe.
Going beyond financial reporting
Non-financial reporting is gaining pace in APAC. According to the global report, 50% of APAC respondents say that non-financial reporting is very important compared to 62% in Europe.
Meanwhile, the poll reports that an overwhelming majority of webinar participants look forward to the additional services proposed by their statutory auditors (88%) with training services (IFRS trainings) and internal controls chosen as the most anticipated services.
These results reinforce the global findings that companies are becoming favourable to audit extending into areas of non-financial reporting. While the progress in these markets is not as rapid as their global counterparts, the role of auditors in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) oversight is becoming increasingly important with the rise of stakeholder expectations and regulatory demands.
Facing the future
In his keynote speech, Pascal Jauffret, Member of the Group Executive Board and Head of Mazars Asia-Pacific says: “There is a lot of excitement around the prospects of extending the scope of audit beyond financials and how Artificial Intelligence is disrupting the audit function. The webinar offers insights into how economic and regulatory changes affect the way we conduct business in Asia Pacific.”
He adds: “At Mazars, our DNA is to carry a different voice in the market, and we clearly see that a true audit revolution lies ahead.”
The panellists included Robinson Hua, Country Audit Leader, Mazars in China, Rose Megale, Country Audit Leader, Mazars in Australia and Soo Eng Lee, Country Audit Leader, Mazars in Malaysia.
Mazars experts were joined by Emmanuel Bordry, Head of Finance & Accounting – Asia Operations, Essilor, Josie Teaño, Managing Director, SVP, Philippines and Thailand, Publicis Groupe, and Dato’ Ken Low, Executive Chairman from Medi Lifestyle.
The webinar report findings underline the compelling need for a reimagined audit profession in APAC. Looking ahead, audit must continue its transformation by exploring the three powerful levers at its disposal: technology, human capital, and collective intelligence.