CPA Australia has issues a guide to help existing and prospective shareholders understand the audits and half yearly reviews of listed companies.

The guide, A Guide to Understanding Auditing and Assurance: Listed Companies, gives an overview of what auditing and assurance mean, provides an understanding of the difference between an audit and a review, explains how to tell if an auditor’s report is "clean" or contains a qualification and what an auditor’s role is in respect to fraud and going concern.

It also includes an illustrative sample audit and review reports with plain language explanation and lays out a simple glossary of terminology used in auditing and assurance.

CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley said the guide is about "helping shareholders, including ‘mums and dads’ and younger investors, to understand the information contained in, and background to messages from their company’s auditor".

"Equipped with this knowledge, shareholders are more able to engage actively with their company and auditors throughout the year and at the annual general meeting," Malley says.

"The guide is an important financial literacy initiative, providing much-needed clarification around audits and half-year reviews as the half-year reporting season commences."

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Related link
CPA Australia: A Guide to Understanding Auditing and Assurance: Listed Companies