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Accounting and Auditing Policy

About us | Our structure

What do we do?

The Accounting and Auditing Policy team are the office's technical experts. They provide auditing advice and support and conduct quality assurance reviews to check that professional standards are followed. They are responsible for:

  • appointing auditors and monitoring fees charged for annual audits of public entities
  • developing auditing policies and accounting policies
  • setting and interpreting standards for auditing and accounting
  • providing technical advice and assistance
  • quality assurance.

The team is involved in much of the organisation's work (for example, annual audits, performance audits, inquiries, good practice guides, reports to Parliament on annual audits, Long-term Plan audits, and research and development projects).

Team structure

Accounting and Auditing Policy team structure

Auditor appointments

Murray Powell manages the processes for appointment contracts of all appointed auditors:

  • maintaining information on about 4000 entities, including about 2,500 schools
  • maintaining information on auditors (about 160 appointed auditors, including about 60 schools-only auditors)
  • setting up audit arrangements for new public entities
  • reappointing auditors
  • arranging reallocations of audits
  • monitoring the 6-year rule (for reasons of independence, key members of the audit team including the appointed auditor need to rotate off all but the small public sector audits).

His role also involves monitoring the audit fees charged to all entities, and where necessary moderating the resolution of audit fee proposals and/or disputes between appointed auditors and entities.

Accounting policy

Sara Moonlight, is responsible for giving appointed auditors direction and guidance on accounting issues:

  • ensuring entities comply with generally accepted accounting practice (gaap)
  • dealing with the more difficult issues where gaap is less clear
  • maintaining the Auditors' Homepage
  • co-ordinating the 'audit briefs' that instruct and guide auditors on what to focus on each financial year
  • producing our newsletter for auditors (the Watchdog)
  • influencing the standard setting process in both New Zealand and internationally.

Auditing policy

Roy Glass is the ‘gatekeeper' of the Auditor-General's auditing standards. His work is based on the New Zealand auditing standards, and focuses on:

  • the public sector aspects of auditing policy
  • maintaining the Auditor-General's auditing standards
  • independence issues.

Roy is also involved in standard-setting in New Zealand and internationally.

Quality assurance

Nick Johnston is responsible for quality assurance over the various products produced by the organisation, including annual audits performed by appointed auditors:

  • reviewing the work of appointed auditors (approximately 45 auditors each year)
  • reporting common findings to the appointed auditors
  • identifying training issues
  • making sure the results of the reviews feed into the auditor appointment process.

The quality assurance role aligns with quality control standards.

Schools

Jane Rogers is responsible for audits within the schools sector:

  • ongoing liaison with schools' auditors, including training
  • developing the schools' audit brief (instructions and guidance for school auditors on what to focus on during the audit)
  • resolving technical issues that arise from school audits
  • managing relationships with stakeholders (for example, the Ministry of Education, and the Schools Trustees' Association).

Page last updated: 3 February 2016

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Todd Beardsworth, Assistant Auditor-General, Accounting and Auditing Policy.

Todd Beardsworth
Assistant Auditor-General, Accounting and Auditing Policy