In a joint statement on Wednesday, the regulators and audit firms said the initiative was announced at the two-day Asean Audit Regulators Group’s (AARG) 5th annual Audit Inspection Workshop held in Kuala Lumpur from Feb 21-22.
The AARG comprises Malaysia’s Audit Oversight Board (AOB), Indonesia’s Finance Professions Supervisory Centre, Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, and Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Big Four audit firms involved are Deloitte Touch Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The statement said audits played a crucial role in upholding the reliability of financial statements and investors’ confidence in capital markets.
“This new initiative saw the Big Four audit firms in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand agree to work towards achieving a reduction of 25% in the number of listed companies’ audits with inspection finding(s),” it said.
It said the initiative also complemented a similar initiative by the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators in March 2016 to achieve a targeted reduction in audit inspection findings globally.
AOB executive chairman, Datuk Gumuri Hussain, said this initiative would instil a sustainable culture of audit quality across audit firms which result in enhancing the confidence in the capital market and the quality and reliability of audited financial statements.
“The collaboration is an imperative step to foster a consistently aligned and strong audit regulation in the Asean region,” he said.
The workshop also marked the first collaboration between the World Bank and AARG to achieve greater alignment in audit regulatory practices among Asean members. - Bernama
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