On 12 July 2016 the ANAO held the ANAO CFO Forum - The Interim Results of the 2015–16 Financial Statement Audits. The forum was a follow-on from our first held in February, and as we approach year-end provided an opportunity to discuss ways to facilitate working together on achieving a timely and efficient financial statement preparation and audit process in 2015–16 and beyond.

Topics covered

The topics covered at the Forum included an overview of the ANAO’s forward work plan for 2016–17 and beyond; common control weaknesses identified during the interim phase of the financial statement audits of a number of significant General Government Sector entities; learnings from entities’ implementation of previous Machinery of Government changes; the 2015–16 Consolidated Financial Statements and entity supplementary reporting; and an update on the ANAO’s audit methodology.

The slides presented at the Forum are available to download (PDF) and a list of questions raised by Forum participants and corresponding answers are below.

The ANAO would like to thank those that attended the Forum. If you have any feedback you’d like to see incorporated in future Forums, please do not hesitate to contact Serena Buchanan, Executive Director on (02) 6203 7479.


The final phase of the financial statements audit of my entity has commenced – should I be providing my supplementary reporting pack to them at the same time as the financial statements?

Yes – given the supplementary reporting pack should be subject to the same assurance processes as the financial statements, building the supplementary pack into the financial statements audit process and providing the documents simultaneously will facilitate a more efficient audit process.

In regard to the reporting of key audit matters by the ANAO in the future, can we expect these to be aligned to the risks outlined in the audit strategy documents?

The purpose of reporting key audit matters is to talk about those areas of significant focus during the audit, providing greater transparency of the auditor’s process and judgements. We would expect that there would generally be some link between those higher areas of risk outlined in audit strategies and key audit matters, however that’s not to say that something else may arise during the course of the audit which the auditor determines more appropriate to report.

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has published a useful diagram which provides an overview of the process an auditor might undertake in identifying key audit matters for reporting. This can be found via the following link https://www.ifac.org/publications-resources/determining-and-communicating-key-audit-matters

In regard to the use of data analytics by the ANAO – is this something that will be at the coal face and of benefit to entities, or more audit focused?

The ANAO’s focus is on how data analytics might be used to assist in carrying out more efficient and effective audits. This might involve using tools for sampling or providing analysis of data outliers etc.

In some cases, it is possible that the information and analysis obtained from the use of those tools during the course of the audit could be of benefit to entities.