Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Audit manager - not to demotivate a diligent staff

What would you, as a manager do when you encoutered a staff who possess good attitude, have an eyes into details, diligent, have been working late - but this staff over audited one area.

How would you handle this closed matter or convey the message to him/her - i.e. this area has been over audited and in fact you dont have to spend so much hours.

Would you tell the staff directly straight into his/her face? Would you find another chance to talk to him/her to educate that some of the procedues can be passes on to client?

Objectively, the message should be conveyed immediately and clearly. However, one should take note of the likely impact of this message. Would your message demotivate your staff? Would your message discourage the staff?

Managing a staff and motivating staff are a long term matter - depending on the character of your staff- manager always try to balance out to strike for the best outcome. Perhaps, the message should be conveyed at the end of the audit engagement for the staff to take note next year. Would it be too late to do so?

Managing people is tough huh? But, not uninteresting .

Friday, March 20, 2015

Why would audit manager has exposure on different industries

It's common to hear from accounting world that audit manager has a relative wide exposure on different industries. How is that so?

As what we understand, an audit manager are given a portfolio of audit clients for him / her to serve throughout the year. Depending on the audit requirements and different audit timeline, the audit manager may serve different audit client and different period of time. To illustrate, for instance: an audit manager maybe handling the audit issue of clients who are having December year-end in January to March period. For listed companies with quarterly announcement requirement, audit manager may have to review their audit client's announcement on a quarterly basis.

Due to different service requirement, an audit manager may handle quite a number of client's audit matters within a day. This has put pressure on audit manager to have multi-tasking skill and always on top of the audit matters to ensure that the audit is progressing on track or to avoid any last many surprises.

The intensity of the daily activities and the opportunities to be exposed to different clients ( who are likely in different industries) have pushed the audit manager to be trained in different aspects, including: accounting knowledge, industry knowledge, capability to handle multi-task and mentality to handle pressure.

There's in fact a joke to say that the auditor aged faster ?

Of course, the headcount turnover in audit is relatively high compared to other industries. One may leave to pursue a different lifestyle or another priority of life.

What about you  - are you still in auditing line?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A mandatory skill required for an audit manager

What are the key skills that are mandatory for manager in this rapidly changing world ? What makes one a good / outstanding audit manager? What are the key skill required?

Technical skill
Administrative skill
Communication skill
Managing skill
etc etc

If you only have a choice of one, what would you want to have as an audit manager?

If you ask founder, the answer would be articulation skill. The economy is changing rapidly, and the accounting standard is changing from year to year to keep up with the change of economy or financial statement user's expectation.

The accounting standard is become more and more complex. The audience of your financial statement user might not have accounting knowledge. A good audit manager should possess the skill of articulating accounting concept / framework to layman on the street.

Without a good articulation skill, nobody is able to understand the essence of the accounting standard / principle - and hence, the financial statement users would not be able to appreciate the value of the accounting. One would appreciate a piece of work he/ she understand where the value lies.

If you are an audit senior / audit assistant - please try to put in thought on how to explain profound accounting concept in a layman term. It's not easy, but worth to invest the time.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Singapore & Malaysia - accounting graduate - should you start your career from audit firm or commercial

If you are an accounting graduate in Singapore or Malaysia, more often that not , you maybe asking if you should start your career in audit or commercial firm (note: for those accounting graduate, who intend to pursue non-accounting field, it is different set of stories / analysis).

There are pros and cons that one would have heard about having a career in audit, as summarized below:

- Exposure to different industries and client
- Steep learning curve to build up career foundation
- Favorable increment and promotion
- Exposure in different aspect of financial accounting, including: tax
- Opportunity to deal with different client

- Extensive working hours
- Tight dateline
- Health

Above are the pros and cons one should expect from audit. Different personnel has different priority at different stage of life - it's important for one to weigh the key considerations that matters in determining the career. Of course, for youngster, we recommend them to start from audit.

No doubt, commercial do provide pros that may be listed above - e.g. you start with a finance department in commercial, who is a big conglomerate. However, through our observation, more often than not, the financial controllers/ finance managers/ chief financial officer of most of the listed entities had some background in audit.

The exposure in audit allows one to gain different insight of the business. Our comments could be bias, as we are auditor.

Any blog reader who want to share with us your thought or other side of the stories?