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Audit and Assurance

DID YOU KNOW?

GCC countries have agreed on a framework for implementation of VAT under The Unified Agreement for Value Added Tax and are now rapidly introducing their own tax laws which mandates virtually all companies to maintain proper books of accounts as per International Accounting Standards, preferably International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) while most of them will also have to undertake a financial audit done by a duly licensed audit firm.

Our Approach

Business owners - Shareholders - Partners - Regulators - Authorities - Lenders - Lawyers - Investors

We tell you:

  • If the numbers being presented to you are actually correct.

  • If your management team is exercising appropriate controls to ensure there are no leakages, misappropriation of assets, your organization, its systems and people are fine-tuned to proactively spot any issues, address them timely and are ready for challenges that lie ahead.

We design policies and procedures to ensure that your organization is working in the most efficient and effective manner; any operational and financial deficiencies are highlighted saving time and costs.

We give you pragmatic solutions that can be actually implemented with minimal costs rather than overwhelming you with long reports, costly and impractical bookish ideas.

We ensure that you know the risks and challenges your organization is facing - operational, financial, technological, competitor, regulatory, etc.

We help you decide what risks you are comfortable with taking and what lies beyond your acceptable risk appetite, which needs to be addressed and brought to an acceptable level.

We identify hidden existing opportunities and those that lie ahead so you are ready to avail those, optimize your business performance and improve your profits.

We undertake your company's financial audit based on an extensive understanding of your business goals and needs, the type of industry you operate in and the latest protocols and guidelines.

We follow International Standards of Auditing and global best practices to offer quality audit and assurance services.

Qualified accountants who are trained with Big4 firms go through a rigorous continued professional training to stay up-to-date with latest pronouncements and changes in international audit and accounting standards and best practices.

ProdigyWay International's main focus is on transparency, independence, quality and advanced methodologies, tailored to build value for your organization while ensuring compliance with professional and regulatory standards.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AUDIT

A financial audit is the examination of the books of accounts of an organization with the purpose to give an independent opinion to the recipient of the audit report as to whether the books of accounts and associated disclosures give a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of the company and whether they are free from any material misstatements.

Companies prepare financial statements to know the exact state of their business, their results and financial standing. Audited financial statements provide independent assurance to a variety of stakeholders that they are prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards, including IFRS, US GAAP, etc. Stakeholders of audited Financial Statements generally include:

Owners / shareholders, lenders including banks, suppliers, customers, investors, regulators, government authorities.

The five phases of an audit

The entire audit process can be divided into the following stages:

This involves understanding the nature of the industry and business of the client to help determine the terms and conditions of the engagement including estimating time and resources' requirements and signing on Engagement Letters.

This stage involves conducting meetings with the management of the company, visiting key sites, reviewing board / management reports and going through its legal and incorporation documents to determine the overall broad-level risk involved in the engagement as well as in the individual areas of business.
In this stage, an audit team is assigned to the client based on initial Risk Assessment. An audit plan is finalized and audit programs are prepared for each business area and key management staff is identified for audit purposes.
In the execution stage, the audit team obtains books of accounts from the management, collects information and supporting documents to verify the numbers reported in the books of accounts, conducts tests of controls and substantive tests, obtains third-party corroborative information including bank and lawyer confirmations, prepare audit files, etc.

In the final stage of the audit, an audit opinion is prepared based on the results of the audit engagement. An audit opinion forms part of the Financial Statements and provides either:

An unqualified Opinion:

This opinion is given when an auditor is assured that the Financial Statements produced by the management are free from any material misstatements and give a true and fair view of the performance and position of the company.

Qualified Opinion:

This opinion is given where the auditor concludes that most matters have been dealt with adequately, with the few exceptions that could be related to limitation of scope or disagreement with the management with regards to accounting policies/principles.

Disclaimer of Opinion:

This type of opinion is provided when the auditor concludes that there was significant limitation in the scope of work whereby examination of the books could not be satisfactorily completed and hence it is not possible to provide any opinion. This does not mean admittance by the auditor of some financial wrongdoing in the company but simply shows inability to form any opinion on the Financial Statements with any certainty.

Adverse Opinion:

An adverse opinion is provided by the auditor to indicate that the company's Financial Statements do not provide true and fair view of the performance and position of the company and that they contain material misstatements.

SPECIAL PURPOSE AUDITS

What is it?

Special Purpose Audits (SPAs) are performed in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing 800 as well as The Independent Auditor's Report on Special Purpose Audit Engagements. This is issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) that is approved through the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

There are various reasons requiring SPA engagements:

  • Where Financial Statements are prepared, which are not in accordance with International Accounting and Reporting Standards such as IFRS, US GAAP, etc. Such Financial Statements may be required either by government authorities for tax returns, business owners or creditors requiring books to be prepared on cash basis.
  • Reports on one or more components of Financial Statements rather than the entire set of accounts such as Fixed Assets, Inventories, Sales, Receivables, Payables, etc.
  • Reports on compliance with contractual agreements

ProdigyWay International offers services in SPAs that include:

  • Systems audit
  • Controls Review
  • Governance Review
  • SOX
  • Fixed Assets Review
  • Inventory Management Review
  • Cash Management
  • Working Capital Management
  • Debtors and Ageing Analysis
  • Policies and Procedures Review
  • Review of compliance with contractual arrangements

RISK ASSURANCE

Risk is in the very nature of any business activity as no business can be created, let alone grow, without taking some form of risk - "No Risk, No Gain".

Taking risk though does not equate to making losses, in fact, it should be quite the opposite. Risk is unavoidable, in fact necessary, however, managing it is IMPERATIVE. While managed risk can keep your business on its path of success, risk that is not properly understood and left unmanaged can prove to be quite detrimental to your organization.

Business Risks that can result in an undesirable outcomes can be broadly categorized into:

Strategic Risk

Strategic risk is the possibility of business failure or significant losses mainly due to poor business planning or deficiency in its execution including failure to foresee changes in the business environment, adapt to such changes effectively, not staying up-to-date with changes in technology or with emergence of competition.

Legal and Compliance Risk

This type of risk arises mainly from either introduction of new laws and regulations affecting the business negatively, not being able to adapt one's business model to meet the new requirements successfully, or from failing to comply with the rules and regulations resulting in untoward actions from the authorities / regulators including fines, penalties and forfeitures.

Financial Risk

Financial Risk refers to the inability of the business to be able to meet its financial obligations including repayment of debt and related interest, meet working capital requirements, fund its growth initiatives, incur capital expenditure, etc. as a result of loss of revenue or poor financial planning.

Reputational Risk

Reputational Risk is faced by the organizations when its activities result in adverse outcomes especially negative publicity e.g. imposition of fines and penalties by authorities, products or services causing health hazards, unethical business practices, etc.

Operational Risk

Operational Risk is faced by organizations due to a myriad of possible reasons. It can be due to lack of policies and procedures, inadequate systems and resources, non-availability of competent staff, lack of proper infrastructure, etc.

At ProdigyWay International, we have in-depth knowledge of a large number of industries to identify not only the general risks faced by businesses but also risks that are specific to each industry, its products and services, geographic location, etc. We are able to leverage on our industry-specific knowledge to help businesses identify existing and potential risks, quantify them, put measures in place to avoid any negative outcomes and provide assurance that their Entity-Wide risk is within the risk appetite acceptable to the company.

"Risk Comes From Not Knowing What You're Doing" - Warren Buffett.

We follow a methodical approach in providing Risk Assurance which broadly comprises of the following stages:

  • Informing stakeholders what constitutes risks for their business and identifying both the existing as well as potential sources of risks for them.

  • Work with the stakeholders to identify and appoint risk owners - individuals within the organization who are trusted with different set of responsibilities and thus are in a position to be responsible for overall risk management (continuous monitoring and control) for different areas.

  • Work with the business owners / shareholders and top management to determine their risk appetite; risk that is acceptable and necessary for the growth of the business.

  • Define easy-to-use scientific basis for evaluating risks both in terms of their likelihood and impact.

  • Implement measures in place to help risk owners proactively identify risks, report them as necessary and put measures in place to always keep them within the approved risk appetite levels.

INTERNAL AUDIT

"Internal auditing is an objective, independent assurance and consultation activity that is designed to build value and improve the operations of an organization. It helps small and large SMEs and organizations accomplish its objectives and goals by bringing a disciplined, systematic approach to assess and improve the efficiency of governance, control and risk management processes".

- The Institute of Internal Auditors

STAGES

An Internal Audit assignment broadly involves the following stages:

01. Planning:

First step in the planning stage is to determine the risk levels associated with the organization which can be obtained using the organization's existing Risk Assessment Reports, if available, or carrying out a fresh Risk Assessment exercise which involves conducting preliminary meetings with key stakeholders and doing an initial, broad-level assessment of risks.

Post identification and measurement of risks, a detailed Audit Plan is prepared which identifies all the different areas, their associated risks and their rating in High, Medium and Low categories.

An Audit Plan also covers detailed timelines of the assignment, resource requirements, reporting templates, key staff members and stakeholders, reporting structure, key business locations, products and services, etc.

02. Fieldwork:

This stage involves conducting detailed tests covering both financial and operational areas of the business to determine the presence of controls and their effectiveness in being able to prevent, detect and report any issues - from financial misreporting, breach of company's policies and procedures, risks to company's assets, fraud, cost inefficiencies, missed opportunities, revenue leakages, failure to meet with laws and regulations, mismanagement of financial resources, etc.

"An Internal Control is generally defined as a process or method that is effected by an organization's management, Board of Directors, and other employees, which is designed to provide judicious assurance in regard to the accomplishment of goals and objectives in the following categories: (a) operational efficiency and effectiveness; (b) reliability and dependability of financial reporting; and (c) compliance in accordance with all the applicable regulations and laws".

- The Institute of Internal Auditors

03. Reporting:

Post completion of fieldwork, a draft report is prepared detailing list of issues identified, actual instances noted and their categorization in High, Medium and Low risks both in terms of their likelihood and financial impact as well as providing recommendations for their effective and timely resolution.

A draft report is presented to the management for their comments, corrective action plan to be put in place as well as a timeline for those action plans. A final report is then sent to the business owners / shareholders for dissemination onwards.

04. Follow up:

This stage completes the loop of the entire Internal Audit assignment whereby follow up audits are conducted to check the status of implementation of corrective action plan, test the actions implemented and report on their status.

At ProdigyWay International, our team of audit professionals have a number of years of experience in the field of Internal Audit. We follow the best practices that are internationally applied and help business owners / shareholders / top management deal with the risks in the most effective and efficient manner. We pride ourselves in having the foresight to identify both existing and potential risks and also in providing cost-effective and pragmatic solutions so risks are managed without becoming a financial burden for the organization.