Video transcript: Differences in auditing

Transcript for a video featuring Audit New Zealand staff talking about the differences between auditing in South Africa and auditing in New Zealand.

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Title: Is there a difference between auditing in South Africa and auditing in New Zealand?

Anton Labuschagne (Audit Manager): 

I don’t find auditing particularly different in New Zealand than South Africa. We have the same international standards on auditing, and New Zealand does use IFRS [International Financial Reporting Standards], which is the same as South Africa.

Leon Pieterse (Audit Director):

It doesn’t matter where you are, because as long as you do your auditing under the international standards of auditing, there’s no real difference.

Anton Labuschagne:

And obviously every firm’s methodology has a slight tweak or interpretation on how to apply the standards.

Leon Pieterse:

We do audit non-financial performance reporting here, which I never did in South Africa, so that was a huge learning curve.

Clint Ramoo (Audit Director):

I suppose the big difference for me here is the auditing of service performance information, so that’s probably unique to New Zealand in some regards, so we issue an opinion on it. So that requires a really good understanding of your entity – more than just the financial statements.

Clarence Susan (Audit Director):

When I was back in South Africa, I worked in the private sector, I had my own accounting/auditing firm, and I thought that the switch over to the public sector would be quite hard. It’s very similar to auditing in the private sector. The big difference is the auditing of the non-financial performance reports.

The other thing that I considered moving from private to public was I thought it would be mundane, and you get used to it and you get bored quite easily. Now, after eight years, I can confess that no, it’s really challenging and really exciting, really interesting.

Anton Labuschagne:

In the public sector, we also have a look at stuff called waste and probity to make sure that our clients aren’t wasting taxpayers’ money.

Clint Ramoo:

The approach we take here, while we maintain our independence, is one of collaboration and working with our clients to achieve the end goal – and that is a good annual report that improves accountability.

Leon Pieterse:

What I do like is our focus on quality. The last, well, number of years, the improvements we keep making to the quality of our audits, that’s a really good plus and that’s typical of the organisation. 

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