The Asean Audit Regulators Group (AARG) has reassured its commitment to raise the bar in audit quality amid the challenges facing the region today. The virtual plenary meeting was held on July 25, 2022 hosted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
It brought together more than 200 participants, comprised of regulators, auditors and business leaders from Asean to foster closer collaboration towards promoting audit quality across the region.
Observers of the event included the secretariat of the International Forum of Independent Auditors Regulators and the World Bank.
During the meeting, attendees shared and discussed recent regulatory updates and developments, emerging business trends, including regional issues. Group discussions focused on issues such as environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) policy developments; Accounting and ESG audit implications; the Singapore Audit Adjustment Study; and dialogue with the control committees of listed companies.
“Despite growing uncertainties, auditors, audit committees and regulators play a vital role in ensuring that investors and creditors receive high-quality financial reports that enable them to make informed decisions,” said the chairman. of SEC Emilio Aquino, “recognizing that public trust is the cornerstone of equitable and efficient capital formation and maintaining high public trust remains an ongoing challenge for all of us. It requires a significant transformation of corporate culture and society auditing, internal controls and processes and ethical responses “.
Aquino added that auditing firms are seen as vital stakeholders in economic development and nation building and act as independent capital market administrators, deemed vital for maintaining the reliability and accuracy of financial and non-financial information.
The AARG has made joint efforts to improve audit quality in the Asean region. This includes engaging audit firms in joint initiatives to address common inspection findings, updates impacting audit quality, promoting the value of audits, and sharing updates on audit regulatory developments in their respective jurisdictions to raise the level of audit quality and promote uniformity of audit standards across the region.
In addition to the SEC, the group is also composed of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore, the Audit Oversight Board of Malaysia, the Finance Professions Supervisory Center of Indonesia, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand.