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'external Public Auditors Have A Direct And Positive Influence On The Way Organizations And People In The Public Service Discharge Their Responsibilities' Discuss

1635 words - 7 pages

In this essay, I will concur with Public Audit Forum's statement that 'external public auditors have a direct and positive influence on the way organizations and people in the public service discharge their responsibilities'. However, it is important that we do not ignore the negative influences caused by the auditors. In this essay, I will first discuss the positive influences first before moving onto the counterpart, and finally conclude on why I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives.BackgroundThe public service sector includes the central and local government; public utilities accountable to parliament; other public bodies funded from taxation…and so on. To this day however, what is regarded as public sector fluctuates widely according to 'political fashion and historical accident'. Accounting for 40% of the GDP (mostly from tax) of the UK with some of the most important functions of the modern society, it is only logical that there is an audit system in place to make sure that the interests of different parties on the public sector are being met.Like audit elsewhere, a key objective of the public external auditor is to express an opinion on the accuracy of annual accounts and financial based on sufficient, relevant and reliable evidence. Audit risk and the coverage of the examination are carefully planned and the work carried out accurately and thoroughly. However, the use of public funds and resources imposes further special demands. Accountability to Parliament and the public needs to be to the highest standards, with full public reporting of the results and conclusions of the audit. Special importance attaches to the requirements of legality, regularity, propriety and the proper conduct of public business. The auditor's responsibilities extend beyond the accounts into wide-ranging examinations of the economic, efficient and effective use of resources of all kinds, and such methods of auditing will be discussed as follows. There are namely 2 types of audit: Traditional Audit and Performance Audit.Traditional AuditTraditional audit encompasses both 'financial audit' and 'compliance audit'. Financial audit involves verifying financial statements prepared by the management of the organization and may also include an examination of internal financial control systems. Compliance audit involves the examination of financial and budgetary operations with respect to adherence to legal or administrative rules and regulations.In carry out the work as listed, a traditional audit may identify and report on instances of wasteful expenditures, or instances of high risk due to poor financial controls or non-compliance with key requirements, typically through a management letter to the board of directors.Performance AuditThere is a general consensus about a broad meaning of performance audit: it is understood as being a form of audit that is focused on the efficiency and effectiveness, or value-for-money aspects of public activities...

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