Here are frequently asked questions to give you more information about ASK KSA, the services we offer and what it is like working us. If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to, please contact us to learn more.
We offer practical advice and helpful solutions. We understand the technical requirements and the importance of meeting them but have a realistic approach in doing so. We provide an independent and unbiased view to help you save time and achieve peace of mind. Working with ASK KSA is like adding an experienced business advisor to your team.
We do not provide any assurance services to clients as our clients are the firms. By helping you be more effective and efficient, you can focus on your clients.
There are many situations where an independent advisor may be used.
One area is related to quality control requirements. Monitoring and cyclical file reviews are required by CSQC 1. It can be challenging to find a qualified professional to perform this task; an independent consultant provides an unbiased view and keeps your firm’s confidences.
Another motivation to use an advisor is the requirement for an engagement quality control review. SMPs do not always have another partner with the required expertise to provide the support you need. An experienced, independent advisor can provide the advice and guidance you required.
Another common reason is a knowledge or experience gap where your firm might encounter a situation that it cannot address on its own. This may due to limited familiarity of a process, a particular industry, or coming across a complex accounting or auditing situation. An independent advisor who has “been there, done that” can be a valuable resource. An experienced advisor has the capability to understand what is required to move to the next step in turn, providing quicker resolution of issues.
As an assurance partner of a national public accounting firm I acquired a strong technical background while at the same time, the soft skills required to deal with key decision makers. The clients included public, private and not-for-profit companies in many different industries. This diversified experience has provided the opportunity to encounter many different issues in all areas of business. We have dealt with, and resolve, many of unusual and complex issues related to both auditing and accounting as well as other operational matters. There are very few situations we have not encountered.
We definitely have had this experience and know these are not necessarily fun to experience. As an assurance partner with a national public accounting firm, I have personally been subject to many different reviews and inspections. I have had engagements that not only had to pass the practice inspections performed by CPA Manitoba but also internal firm reviews along with both CPAB and PCOAB inspections. The latter of which are the most challenging of all. I know what it is like to be in your shoes during one of these inspections; I also know what work needs to be performed and documented to minimize the risk of a significant deficiency.
Due to our experience and background in the public accounting arena, we have a wide network of resources upon which we can draw on when needed. This is also the benefit of an independent advisor. Any consultation can be on a no-names basis, and in most cases, that is most likely preferable.
If there is a question that needs to be researched and answered, we can consult with the Provincial CPA body, or others as required, on an anonymous basis to gain further insights to help your firm make better business decisions.
Consultation and documentation of such consultations is an easy way to address audit quality. Often because a firm does not know who to turn to, firms do not consult when a complex situation, such as a complicated accounting issue that requires a lot of judgment, is encountered. An experienced advisor can provide an unbiased view of the facts to assist the firm in arriving at an appropriate decision.
We understand the nature of public practice. A SMP often has small- to mid-sized clients that are less complex in nature. You have to follow the standards, yet we all know clients do not care what is documented in the engagement file, they just care about the valuable advice you can provide them. The challenge is meeting the standards to be effective but at the same time saving time to be efficient. We know that one of the answers lies in having a clear understanding of the standards and using tools and templates to meet the standards.
Often, we see SMPs completing checklists without a good understanding of why they are doing so. Nowhere do the standards say you have to complete a certain checklist, all they say is that you have to document that you have met the standards. We can provide training and best practice recommendations in your engagement approach.
The AASB and CPA Canada are addressing issues faced in auditing less complex entities (LCE) and as Kirsten is a member of a task force with both of these groups, she provide feedback on the challenges that SMPs face in auditing LCEs. Changes are coming.
When it comes to performing engagements, there is a standard approach that should be followed. Canadian Auditing and Other Standards have very specific requirements in the areas of planning, execution and completion to ensure the appropriate report is issued. Tailoring to the size of the engagement can always take place but the standards must still be met.
However, when it comes to our approach to assisting you, there is no standard approach. It is recognized that each situation is different and therefore our approach is always adapted to meet the individual circumstances. We ensure that we listen to you to understand your needs and deliver what you require.
We have a customized approach and are willing to work with you in whatever capacity you need. We are happy to talk to you to determine what specific service you require and we will work with you to meet your goals and objectives.
Our philosophy is to deliver value to our clients in all that we do. We are recognized for setting high standards without ever sacrificing quality. We also believe in building strong relationships to achieve results. And, we like to have fun along the way.