Poll: Audits Provide Valuable Business Insights But Not Everyone Acts on Them

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Mar 31, 2017

A Deloitte survey of over 300 C-suite executives and 100 audit committee members has found that while the majority think the financial audit provides valuable business insights, only about a third of companies actually leverage them into their business strategies. Specifically, 79 percent of C-suite executives and 91 percent of audit committee members agreed that financial statement audits of their company reveals things that they could be doing different or better. 

"Audit insights that may prompt companies to take action include: comments about the industry and market; comments on company processes and policies; and identification of company inefficiencies, redundancies, and risks," said the report. 

While audits are legally required, the poll found that 64 percent of C-suite executives and 65 percent of audit committee members generally viewed the financial statement audit not as an obligation but an opportunity to improve business performance. They also felt positively toward the quality of their financial statement audits, with 85 percent saying they are pleased with the audit's ability to deliver new and innovative insights, 83 percent highly rating an audit's ability to provide useful information that can improve company performance, and 83 percent saying that they feel the information provided during an audit is reliable. 

Despite this, however, the majority of companies don't really do anything with these insights: 31 percent of C-suite executives and 39 percent audit committee members say they regularly take advantage of the information they get from the financial statement audit, with the remainder saying they either occasionally, rarely or never actually do so. In fact, 45 percent of C-suite executives and 48 percent of audit committee members who do not always leverage this information said they do not have processes in place to do so, with a similar number saying they don't think it's a priority for company stakeholders. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.