Message from the Chair
The financial crisis of 2008-2009 is leading to many changes to the financial system to promote greater stability and reduce systemic risk. Regulators, policymakers and standard setters in Europe, the United States and elsewhere are considering what changes may be needed to improve confidence in the financial system. Because of its important role in the capital markets, the audit is part of this review. Inevitably, Canada will feel the impact of these events taking place beyond our borders.
Canada, which survived the financial crisis without major consequences relative to other countries, has long been envied around the world. This is due to our strong financial system, our commitment to regulatory oversight and an effective auditing regime that includes strong audit firms, high-quality accounting and auditing standards, and audit committee best practices. For this reason, Canada is in a unique position to contribute to the international debates around audit quality.
I am delighted to be part of the Enhancing Audit Quality initiative of the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA). The process they have designed for obtaining the perspectives of Canadian stakeholders to provide an informed viewpoint on international initiatives will focus on audit quality – the ultimate goal of any changes.
By bringing together the key players, and formulating well-constructed views through a transparent consultation process in the key areas of the role of audit committees, auditor reporting model and auditor independence, we will achieve our main objectives, which are three-fold:
- to provide useful input to Canadian standard setters, regulators and others as they consider, through their normal due processes, potential changes in Canada;
- to support the views of Canadians engaged in discussions internationally about enhancing audit quality; and
- to set an appropriate context for further work to enhance audit quality in the future.
Over the coming months, we look forward to engaging a broad range of Canadian perspectives on the many issues affecting audit quality and to sharing the results of our consultation with all those with a stake in the future of audit.
David Brown, C.M., Q.C.