To strengthen SMP competitiveness and enhance audit quality and compliance, MIA and MICPA have been conducting a series of joint workshops on the Audit Guide for Practitioners (AGP) and illustrative Audit Working Papers (IAWP). While the workshops are geared to auditors at all levels, SMPs would benefit more if partners attend and demonstrate tone from the top and support of audit quality.

Reporting by the Mia SMP department

The audit profession continues to evolve to meet the emerging needs of stakeholders, requirements of regulatory bodies, advancements in technology, and business innovations, amongst others. As such, it is important that the small and medium practices (SMPs) practitioners keep abreast and comply with these regulatory changes by attending seminars and workshops.

In spite of the changing landscape, one thing that will always remain constant for an auditor is his ultimate role in expressing an opinion on whether the financial statements show a “true and fair view” in all material aspects.

Strengthening SMPs through AGP and IAWP Workshops

To enhance SMP competitiveness, MIA working jointly with MICPA through our SMP department is always striving to improve audit quality. One highly effective initiative was to conduct joint workshops on the Audit Guide for Practitioners (AGP) and illustrative Audit Working Papers (IAWP).

The AGP is a revised edition of an earlier version published by MICPA, revised to meet the requirements of the Clarified International Standards on Auditing (ISAs). The IAWP provides samples and work programmes for SMPs to adopt to comply with the audit documentation requirements of the ISAs.

This two-day workshop on AGP and IAWP served as an important and effective avenue for SMPs to gain a better understanding on the practical aspects of auditing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which meets the requirements of the Clarified International Standards of Auditing. The workshop was facilitated by subject matter experts who combined technical expertise with a pragmatic and hands-on approach and covered the following areas (see Chart 1).

For the past ten (10) months, beginning in August 2017 up to end May 2018, MIA has run 21 workshops in Kuala Lumpur and 17 in the Regional offices and smaller towns, including Tawau, Kota Bahru and Ipoh. In total almost 1,500 auditors attended the workshop.

More Workshops in Future

Going forward, MIA together with MICPA will  continue to conduct future editions of this workshop to reach out to more SMPs and help them to enhance their Audit Quality. The Institute hopes that all SMPs will benefit from this workshop and ultimately, improve the rating of the MIA Practice Review Programme. By improving ratings, we bolster assurance and public trust, and this contributes to the global positive perception of our Malaysian profession and the country as a whole.

SMP Audit Partners: Benefiting from the AGP and IAWP Workshops

A total of 502 Audit Partners from SMPs have attended and benefitted from the AGP and IAWP workshops so far. The following are testimonials from participants of the workshops, all but one of whom are audit partners who rated the workshops as being highly relevant and useful, especially in setting the tone from the top. MIA would like to thank them for their participation and feedback.

Founder and Partner of SMP, Kuala Lumpur

“The workshop is definitely a comprehensive refresher for partners in SMPs like me. The AGP and IAWP are two good guides and references for us in our future audit in meeting the requirements of Clarified ISAs. We will then be more confident in facing the MIA Practice Review too.

Partners and experienced auditors should attend this workshop to enhance the audit quality of the firm, as the key to an efficient audit is to have the correct “Tone at the Top”.

Peter Lim, Founder and Partner of TK Lim & Co, Kuala Lumpur

“The workshop on the AGP and IAWP is highly recommended for audit assurance partners of Small and Medium Practices (SMPs) to enhance the competency and quality on the performance of audit work.

As a partner, I must say that much can be learnt from the workshop and I wanted to ensure that my staff will also learn from me to increase their competency level and be able to discharge their duties to the firm’s expectations.

The tone from the top is definitely an important factor contributing to audit quality. In this regard, I strongly encourage audit assurance partners of SMPs to attend together with their audit staff.”

Billy Kang, Partner of Billy Kang & Co., Kota Bahru

”It is commendable that MIA came up with this training. Together with my key audit staff, we attended this training. My staff found it insightful and (it provided) practicable suggestions for our SME environment. Personally, I found it refreshing to walk through the basics of auditing and incorporate new approaches to auditing.

The audit manual provided as the training material certainly eases the ’pain’ of having to re-design the new approaches to the audit procedures. Moving forward, I would encourage all SMPs to participate in this programme to enhance our quality.”

Nurnajaha Rais, Manager of Saniza & Associate, Penang

“The course was comprehensive and the speaker explained (the material) step by step. It was easy to understand, providing   hands-on application of the working papers in an audit.”

Partner of a two-partner SMP, Kuching

“We are glad that MIA has taken the initiative to assist SMPs in upgrading the standard and quality of AWP.  Overall, the workshop was good and refreshing.

The cost of training is very reasonable, making it affordable for all our partners and most of our staff to attend.  The two manuals, though not complete, are good for future reference. We are adopting some of the specimen audit letters with modifications and we hope more specimens can be included in the future manual.”

Datuk Lai Vai Ming @ Lai Kheng Ming, partner of V.M Lai & Co., Sandakan

“This workshop has been helpful in our constant changes and updating of audit documentation and should be conducted on an annual basis to widen our knowledge.”

Rizduan Johari, Partner from Rizduan Johari & Co, Johor Bahru

“The whole content of the course and materials provided to us were very good and very comprehensive. I salute the presenter who has shared his knowledge on the Audit Guide for Practitioners and Illustrative Audit Working Paper.  However, based on my observation, the presenter mostly gave examples that emphasised public-listed companies which apply mainly to medium-sized practitioners under the AOB or the Big Four and these may not be relevant for small practitioners like me.”

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