There is more to auditing than looking at figures and drawing conclusion. A lot of non-figure factors are considered before giving opinion.
Apart from collaborative corruption, the next factor that is chiefly responsible for giving a non-qualified opinion where a qualified opinion should be given and vice-versa is the fact that many auditors and auditing firms lack the all important skill to successful auditing – understanding the language of figure and body language.
There is need for accountants who acts as auditors to develop their non-technical skills. This is made possible by sharpening their skills on psychological and criminological fields of studies.
There are situations that need the application of psychology and criminology to handle effectively and efficiently in order to produce result. Some Managers and Directors have notorious records of trying all their best to fool auditors at all times. They sharpen their criminal mind on a continuous basis. Hence, there is also an urgent need for auditors and accountants to keep pace with these managers and directors that have criminal tendencies.
The cases of WorldCom, Enron, Parmalat, Barings Bank, etc all provide further evidence that the traditional training given to accountants is not and will not be enough/ sufficient in handling the non-figure aspects of auditing.
I like the stand that ACCA took in their 2009/2010 theme. They recognized the new role that accountants are to play in this modern business environment. A critical analysis of that material reveals that accountants and auditors have more roles to play in the area of adding value to the overall business operation. This they do in different capacities – as advisors, management consultants, auditors, human resource managers, risk managers, business owners, systems consultants, etc.
The implication of this is that accountants have more reading and learning to do now than ever. They need to sharpen their technical and non-technical skills – street smartness included.
Auditing obviously has gone beyond the; show me era. The profession now demands that you don’t need to be showed a thing (evidence for assertions) before you find out the hidden truth regarding that issue yourself.
This presupposes that being an auditor in this modern age goes beyond paper qualification, a personal knowledge acquisition process has to be formulated and followed religiously so as to be relevant in auditing for the future.