Accountancy and finance body ICAEW, in association with the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), recently hosted the Middle East’s premiere of the ICAEW educational film ‘False Assurance’. The innovative and interactive tool aims to improve audit quality by shining a spotlight on the much scrutinized actions of accountants, auditors and company directors.

The event, held at the DFSA offices in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), brought together ICAEW members, DFSA Registered Auditors, corporate leaders, and other industry guests to enjoy a screening of ICAEW’s first educational film and discuss the modern challenges facing the accounting and auditing profession. The award-winning film, a case study about a fictitious company and its audit over a two-year period, was created to facilitate thought-provoking discussions about how accountants, auditors and company directors should act when faced with difficult situations.

Bryan Stirewalt, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “Auditors play an integral role in governance, risk management and regulatory compliance. As an independent regulator of one of the fastest growing capital markets in the world, we understand the need for innovative tools to develop critical judgement and shape ethical decision-making processes. ICAEW’s False Assurance film raises some thought-provoking questions and the ICAEW training programme is a valuable tool to improve corporate responsibility across the globe.”

Alex Frayn, the former chief financial officer of a fictitious company called D-Merton, tells the story of two turbulent years in the life of that company. He explains how D-Merton was brought to its knees by the actions of its executive directors, the lack of vigilance and courage by its board of directors and failure by the company’s auditors to identify and investigate red flag issues.

The hypothetical scenarios enable viewers to discuss difficult issues they might not feel comfortable to address in relation to their own work. False Assurance also provides an insight into the potentially dire consequences that may result from a decision to take the ‘easy way out’ of a dilemma.

Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: “After a series of high-profile scandals around the world, the reputation of the audit and accounting industry has taken a hit. As auditors worldwide are under intense scrutiny, it is important for us to continue to innovate and find new ways to support and train our network when it comes to audit quality. To enhance the credibility of financial reporting we need to improve audit quality and be prepared to think and act differently in the future. False Assurance, provides a modern and interactive way of exploring hot audit topics and supports organisations to continuously raise standards.”

The film was written by Duncan Wiggetts, Executive Director for Professional Standards at ICAEW, and has won a bronze award at the prestigious Brandon Hall Group awards. Using the film, a Big 4 accounting firm in the US produced a learning experience based on the topic of professional scepticism, and won in the Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development programme for the Learning and Development category.

 

Source: Mojo PR