How the pandemic is driving innovation in audit
Auditor General reflects on auditing during the COVID-19 pandemic with ACCA and INTOSAI
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) are working on producing a number of resources about the audit of emergency funding for COVID-19 [opens in new window].
The TAI Initiative, developed by the INTOSAI Development Initiative, focuses on the importance of Transparency, Accountability and Inclusiveness in auditing COVID-19 spending.
As part of this initiative several Auditor Generals have developed videos of their reflections on auditing during the pandemic.
In his video, Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for Wales talked about developing new ways of working, such as our COVID-19 learning project which involved using our unique position across the public sector in Wales to capture and share learning and good practice in real time. He spoke of how audit teams rose to the challenge and continued to produce quality audits, with a level of flexibility as everyone adapted to the situation on a work and personal level.
The Auditor General also talked about his ability to take a holistic view of the devolved public sector in Wales, which came to the fore in our report on the Test, Trace, Protect programme in Wales. Our report drew on information from local health boards, local authorities, the Welsh Government, Public Health Wales and the NHS Specialist Informatics Service.
Adrian explained how we’re all recovering from three crises at present – public health, economy and environment – and how looking forward, he emphasised the importance of focusing on the sustainable development principle in the Well-being of Future Generations Act as Wales looks to recover from the pandemic.
Reflecting on what we have learned from auditing in the pandemic, and the ways in which governance arrangements flexed in response to the pandemic, the Auditor General emphasised how the three strands of our ambitions in Audit Wales – to assure, explain and inspire – when working together will allow us to achieve the right balance between continuing to hold public bodies to account while also enhancing our ability to deliver new and innovative ways of working.
I was absolutely delighted to be asked to participate in this international initiative. As countries across the world grapple with the same challenges, we as audit institutions need to learn from one another and apply that shared good practice to support our respective societies recover from the devastating effects of this pandemic.
Accounting and Business Magazine (AB Magazine) – September 2021 issue
Adrian joined Stephen Boyle, Auditor General for Scotland for an AB Magazine piece discussing their COVID-19 rollercoaster rides.
The auditor generals touched on how they were in contact with all the bodies they audit, during the pandemic, and deadlines could, and were, flexed. But that quality wasn’t something that they could negotiate on.
For Audit Wales, Adrian explained how we developed a COVID-19 learning project that added value to the national effort during the pandemic by reporting on good practice in close to real time.
On working environments, Adrian explained how ‘it’s about finding the balance – we want to keep some of the flexibility but bring back some of the social and training environments.’