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July 11, 2017

Technology and public sector accountability takes centre stage at the Brazilian institute of auditors’ annual conference

By Stephanie Wix

The 7th Brazilian Conference on Accounting and Independent Auditing, organised by Brazil’s institute of auditors (IBRACON) brought together 800 participants in São Paulo on 26 and 27 June to discuss the impact of technological advances on audit and the role of audit with regards to transparency and ethics in the public and private sectors.

With the high level corruption scandals that have plagued the country in the last two years, it is little surprise that discussions at IBRACON’s annual conference would revolve around the fight against corruptions and strong public finance management.

IBRACON president Idésio Coelho set the tone in his opening speech saying: “One of the priorities, undoubtedly, is the preponderance of ethics and fairness in public spending and capital flows, as well as in the interaction between the private and the public sector. Indeed there is no development and there is no democracy when corruption prevails.”

Other themes developed in the conference were more traditionally linked to professional issues and included: compliance issues for accounting firms, implementation of international standards, and the new auditor’s report.

IBRACON surveyed the delegates through an online app on the themes at hand. According to the results, the majority, 64% expect a delayed adoption of IPSAS by Brazilian states and cities, with 43% saying it would be gradual and 7% opting for total adhesion. Fifty eight percent do not think that entities are prepared for new large standards such as IFRS 9, IFRS 15 and IFRS 16.

Of respondents 64% said that their audit firm uses external values frequently to evaluate compliance issues, with 30% saying it is sometimes used. Regulatory compliance for small to medium sized audit firms has not become a barrier to business development to 35% of respondents, and 40% said it sometimes has.

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