Auditee response to our work

Our audits continue to be well regarded

Overall CFO performance index for financial audits remains at 78
Overall performance index for performance audits 71, compared to 70 last year

Surveying our auditees

Each year, we measure our auditees’ satisfaction with our services through a survey. The survey results and feedback provide valuable information on our performance.

We use an independent research company to conduct the survey and clients have the option of responding anonymously.

In 2016–17, for our financial audit clients, we invited 232 agency Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and 162 Audit and Risk Committee Chairs (ARC Chairs) to participate. The response rates were similar to last year, with responses from 75 per cent of CFOs and 72 per cent of ARC Chairs.

For our performance audit auditees, we invited 31 agency contacts to respond to the survey and received a response rate of 74 per cent, again similar to last year.

 

Overall performance indices remain steady

The overall CFO performance index for financial audits remained the same as last year at 78. ARC Chairs’ satisfaction increased slightly from 84 last year to 86. The overall performance index for performance audits was 71, compared to 70 last year.

 

Satisfaction with audit process

Financial audit satisfaction improves across key measures

The CFO performance index for our audit process increased slightly from 80 to 82. CFOs were particularly positive about our auditors:

  • communicating effectively, up to 96 per cent from 94
  • adequately understanding their organisation, up to 92 per cent from 87
  • meeting agreed deadlines, up to 92 per cent from 86
  • conducting themselves professionally during the audit, up to 100 per cent from 97
  • using their organisation’s staff members’ time efficiently, up to 88 per cent from 78.

CFOs were less positive about our auditors:

  • being responsive to their needs, down to 88 per cent from 92.
  • being promptly informed of significant issues identified during the audit, down slightly from 92 per cent to 90.

ARC Chairs’ ratings of our audit process were up from last year. Ninety-seven per cent of ARC Chairs agreed that we promptly informed them of significant issues, up from 90 last year.

The percentage of ARC Chairs who agreed our auditors met agreed deadlines increased from 94 per cent to 99.

Satisfaction with audit process %
Financial audit clients (CFO only)

Satisfaction with the performance audit process stable

The audit process performance index for performance audits was 72, similar to last year’s 73.

Seventy-eight per cent of auditees agreed that our auditors had the professional skills and knowledge required to conduct the audit, up from 72. Auditees in agreement that our auditors met agreed deadlines increased from 79 per cent to 82.

Areas for improvement include promptly informing our auditees of significant issues as they arise during the audit, down from 79 per cent to 72, and our auditors adequately understanding their organisation, down from 55 per cent to a five-year low of 39.

Satisfaction with audit process %
Performance audit clients 

Satisfaction with audit reporting

Financial audit results steady
The CFO performance index for audit reporting remained at 81. CFOs were particularly positive about our:
  • management letters communicating the audit findings clearly, improved from 94 per cent to 97
  • audit opinions being issued in a timely manner, improved from 95 per cent to 98
  • reports presenting audit findings in a balanced and fair manner, up from 84 per cent to 89
  • the reports’ media release being fair, up from 77 per cent to 91.

CFOs were less positive about our management letters containing ‘no surprises’, down from 90 per cent to 86.

ARC Chairs were positive about our management letters, with 96 per cent agreeing they were issued in a timely manner, up from 94. Ninety-nine per cent of ARC Chairs agreed that management letters communicated the audit findings and issues clearly, up slightly from last year’s 97.

Satisfaction with audit reporting %
Financial audit clients (CFO only)

Performance audit reporting satisfaction down slightly

The performance index for performance audit reporting decreased from 74 in 2016 to 71.

Positively, the number of auditees who agreed the tabled audit report was factually accurate improved from 69 per cent to 74, and agreement the report was balanced and fair improved significantly from 59 per cent to 70. Ninety-one per cent of auditees agreed they were provided with adequate opportunities to comment on the audit findings and issues, in line with 93 per cent last year.

However, the percentage of auditees who felt the report contained ‘no surprises’, declined from 97 per cent to 87. Similarly, there was a fall in the number of auditees who agreed the reports’ media release was balanced and fair, down to 57 per cent from 62.

Satisfaction with audit reporting %
Performance audit clients

Satisfaction with audit value

Financial audit value remains steady

Our CFO performance index for financial audit value remained steady at 73 in comparison to 74 in 2016. CFOs continue to value the assurance obtained from the audit of their statutory financial statements, increased to 98 per cent from 93. They also value our recommendations to improve financial management, which increased to 87 per cent from 84. Areas for improvement include CFOs agreeing our financial audit services provide value for money, down from 70 per cent to 64. Those who agreed our fees are reasonable relative to the scale, complexity and financial risk of their operations decreased, to 62 per cent from 68.

Our financial audit services providing value for money also decreased with ARC Chairs, with 75 per cent agreeing, down from 82 last year. However, ARC Chairs continue to value our recommendations to improve financial management, improved from 96 per cent in 2016 to 100 per cent this year.

Satisfaction with audit value %
Financial audit clients (CFO only)

Performance audit value improves

The audit value performance index for performance audits improved from 65 in 2016, to 69. Fifty-seven per cent of respondents agreed that the timing of the performance audit was appropriate, which is equal to the 2016 result, while 74 per cent agreed that the audit provided a balanced assessment of the management of the activity, up from 55 per cent. When it came to respondents agreeing that the audit will help improve the performance of the audited activity, there was a significant increase in the results, from 53 per cent in 2016 to 70 per cent this year.

Satisfaction with audit value %
Performance audit clients

In line with other audit offices

We have been comparing our auditee satisfaction with other Australian audit offices since 2005. In 2017, our financial and performance audit report results were benchmarked against recent results from the audit offices in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, and the Australian National Audit Office.

Our results are in line with other audit offices for our financial audit auditees. The overall performance index for the Audit Office is 80, compared to 79 across all offices. We are also in line with the other audit offices on audit process, with the Audit Office index at 79 and the average 77, and audit value, with the Audit Office index at 81 and the average 83. The Audit Office is slightly ahead of the other audit offices when it comes to audit reporting, with our performance index at 81 compared to the average of 78. Our results are also in line with other audit offices for our performance audit auditees, with the overall performance index for Audit Office performance audits 72 compared to 73 across all offices.

 

The year ahead

In 2017–18, we will:

  • in our ‘Influencing for Impact’ strategic initiative, develop a strategy for better engaging with our external stakeholders, including our auditees. This aims to ensure we deliver audits that are of a high quality, are valued, and lead to improved public sector reporting and performance
  • in our ‘Reporting Process’ strategic initiative, we will implement efficient tools and processes to publish high quality reports. This aims to ensure our reports clearly communicate to our auditees the issues our audits are finding, why they are important and what we are recommending.

For more information on our strategic initiatives see the year ahead.