Chapter 3

Professional Auditors and Advisers

In This Chapter

arrow Cutting the deck for a fair deal: Why audits are needed

arrow Interpreting the auditor’s report

arrow Knowing what auditors catch and don’t catch

arrow Growing beyond audits: Professional accountancy practices as advisers and consultants

arrow Questioning the independence of auditors

If we’d written this chapter 50 years ago, we’d have talked almost ­exclusively about the role of the professional chartered or certified accountant as the auditor of the financial statements and footnotes presented in a business’s annual financial report to its owners and lenders. Back then, in the ‘good old days’, audits were a professional accountancy firm’s bread‐and‐butter service – audit fees were a large share of these firms’ annual revenue. Audits were the core function that accountants performed then. In addition to audits, accountants provided accounting and tax advice to their clients, and that was pretty much all they did.

Today, accountants do a lot more ...

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