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ASEAN audit regulators are in discussions with the World Bank on collaborative efforts to further raising the standard of audit quality in ASEAN. This was a key agenda item at the 6th Annual Meeting of the ASEAN Audit Regulators Group (AARG) which was held in Singapore on August 26, 2016.
Hosted by ACRA, the meeting was attended by over 100 participants. This included regulators from eight ASEAN countries, Hong Kong and China, as well as the regional and global leadership of the Global Public Policy Committee (GPPC) audit firms1. The AARG members comprise Singapore’s ACRA, Malaysia’s Audit Oversight Board (AOB), Indonesia’s Finance Professions Supervisory Center (PPPK) and Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Areas of collaboration between the AARG and the World Bank include capacity building workshops, and technical assistance catering to the differing capacity levels of ASEAN members. These initiatives would complement AARG’s on-going efforts to raise the standard of audit quality in ASEAN and achieve greater alignment in audit regulatory practices among members. The World Bank is seeking support from donors and other stakeholders for this planned collaboration.
Commenting on the proposed AARG-World Bank collaboration, Mr Kenneth Yap, Chief Executive, ACRA said:
This initiative bodes well for boosting the confidence in the ASEAN capital markets. The World Bank’s support is timely as the AARG seeks to speak with a unified voice to promote a high quality audit regime applied consistently across ASEAN.”
Mr Jarett Decker, Head of World Bank’s Centre for Financial Reporting Reform, added:
The AARG has done exemplary work to promote regional knowledge sharing in the challenging area of audit regulation. We seek to support its efforts to raise audit quality and strengthen financial reporting throughout the ASEAN region.”
Since its formation in 2011, AARG’s efforts to enhance audit quality in the region include engaging audit firms on joint initiatives to address common inspection findings and to promote the value of audits. At the 6th AARG meeting, there was a healthy dialogue on how regulators and audit firms can forge an even more productive relationship in light of key upcoming trends and developments in the global audit landscape. This includes the use of data analytics to improve audit effectiveness, the use of audit quality indicators (AQIs) by audit committees to select auditors and the delivery of insightful reporting by auditors when the enhanced auditor reporting standards take effect in 2017.