Independent auditors have been under fire from regulators and the public for over 15 years due to several global scandals and collapse of corporates. This is a very important profession to protect the interests of the shareholders and one that supports the growth of the capital markets, unhindered. So, had to find a love song for my 2017 Valentine’s Day message that could motivate auditors and reflect the way they would like to be appreciated when they try to help directors to do the right thing but don’t get appreciate for their efforts.
The song “You needed me” by Anne Murray is this year’s winner! The lyrics below would be a lovely message to hear from a member of the client board of directors who has benefited from an auditor performing his duty in compliance with the rules.
“I cried a tear, you wiped it dry ….(for some wrong doing)
I was confused, you cleared my mind….(did some wrong recording)
I sold my soul, you bought it back for me…(on fraudulent reporting)
And held me up and gave me dignity…(by rectifying the errors)
Somehow I needed you (changed from you needed me)
You gave me strength to stand alone again….(because of the audit)
To face the world out on my own again
You put me high upon a pedestal
So high that I could almost see eternity…”
If directors truthfully admit the assistance provided by auditors who ensure compliance with regulations and standards by companies, they should say that it gave them dignity and they were put on a pedestal rather than in the dog house by regulators. Though many don’t want to acknowledge this fact, when financial statements have been audited by an external auditor they are considered more reliable by investors, lenders, regulators and the public than those that have not. An audit also provides some assurance that your financial statements are free of material error and that you have not committed fraud or misreported facts while compiling the statements. With properly audited financial statements you can face the world confidently on your own, as you have nothing to hide.
When you hear Anne Murray sing this song, think of your auditor, next time!