Delivering high-quality audits consistently across the globe
We are a member of a global organization that is committed to globally consistent, high-quality audits sustained over time. Auditors at all EY member firms around the world use the same audit methodology and related tools, and they are evaluated against common internal quality objectives, regardless of their location.
The EY global organization’s Sustainable Audit Quality (SAQ) program continues to be the top focus for the Assurance practice at EY member firms around the world, and it reflects our commitment to conducting globally consistent high-quality audits over time.
Independent advice on audit quality
We believe in the power of diverse points of view in all aspects of our business. This includes harnessing the value of independent perspectives to help further strengthen audit quality, risk management and our Firm’s system of quality control. That’s why we are forming a three-member Independent Audit Quality Committee (IAQC) to provide the leaders of the US firm with insights, feedback and advice in delivering on our commitment and our responsibility to all our stakeholders in the public interest. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) leaders have also observed the benefits of independent, diverse thinking brought by outside leaders to support audit quality and the public interest.
Globally, EY’s Global Governance Council (GGC) is the governance body for Ernst & Young Global Ltd, EY’s global coordinating body. Since 2011, the GGC has included up to six independent non-executive directors. These independent non-executive directors also serve on a Public Interest Committee of the GGC, which is focused on all aspects of quality and risk across the EY global network, including audit quality. This integrated approach to global governance is a hallmark of EY’s commitment to globally consistent high-quality audits.
Transparency and engagement
We are committed to making our audits and audit quality initiatives more transparent by providing information in this report about how we conduct our audits and what we are doing to continue to enhance our system of quality control.
We are also taking proactive steps to successfully implement the most significant change in auditor reporting in decades. We have developed training and guidance for our professionals on identifying and communicating critical audit matters (CAMs) and are performing a dry run of reporting on CAMs before we are required to do so.
We are living in a transformative age. In response, we are providing our professionals with the guidance, training and tools they need to navigate the most significant changes in accounting standards, US income tax law and auditor reporting in decades. We are also proactively preparing them for a truly digital audit that uses data analytics and other emerging technologies in every phase of the audit.
Safeguarding the confidentiality of information we receive from the companies we audit is core to our information technology (IT) strategy and operating model.
We maintain a globally consistent and regionally based approach to information security that incorporates aspects of people, process and technology in how we protect information and technology assets. We invest heavily in protective and detective technologies, and we monitor our systems. One of the most important elements of our strategy is maintaining a security-aware culture.
Our multidisciplinary strategy
Industries are converging and business models are changing rapidly and becoming more complex. We are committed to a multidisciplinary model because it provides the structure, breadth and depth of technical skills and industry expertise necessary to deliver high-quality audits. Access to the additional resources available in a global multidisciplinary organization enhances the quality of our audits of complex businesses.
Specialists play an important role in the audit to help address the increasingly complex IT environments, technical tax matters and valuation issues.
IT specialists accounted for 10.1% of US public company audit hours. Tax and valuation specialists’ time represented 6.7% and 1.1% of total US public company audit hours, respectively. Total specialists’ involvement was consistent with last year.