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The audit: if it’s all the same with you, we’ll do the same with you. Thanks.

In reading this post, please keep its age in mind.

There’s no differential auditing in Australia. Never mind your size, form, or complexity, if you want an audit by a member of the accounting profession in Australia (a professional accountant), there’s only one process that they will (or, more accurately, should) go through to get you the audit report that you need for your AGM.


Yes, the content will differ depending on your size, form, or complexity, but not the process. But because it is a risk-based approach, here are a set of steps, some questions they must ask you, some things about which they must be satisfied before they begin, some letters they need from you, and some things they must tick off irrespective of who you are. This is because the principle adopted by the standard setters is that ‘Audit is an audit’.


Why raise this? Two reasons: 1. to explain to you why the audit fee, the paperwork, and the number of touch points with the auditor may be more than you think justified for an organisation like yours; and 2. the opposite scenario: to alert you to the fact that, if there are indications that your auditor doesn’t follow the full process (e.g. a tiny audit fee, very little contact, and just a report at the end), then perhaps you should be worried about the quality of the product.


So, don’t ask for an audit based on anything other than….an audit. For, with apologies to Gertrude Stein, ‘Audit is an audit is an audit’.