Audit Quality

About us | Our structure

What do we do?

The Audit Quality Group are the office's technical experts, focused on ensuring that quality audits are carried out on behalf of the Auditor-General. They provide accounting and auditing advice to auditors, and conduct quality assurance reviews to check that professional standards are met. The are responsible for:

  • appointing auditors and monitoring fees charged for annual audits of public entities;
  • monitoring the independence of auditors;
  • setting the Auditor-General's auditing standards;
  • interpreting auditing and accounting standards;
  • developing auditing policies and accounting policies;
  • providing technical advice, training, and assistance;
  • leading work on performance measurement and reporting; and
  • carrying out quality assurance reviews of a sample of the products produced by the Office, including annual audits.

The group is involved in a lot of the Office's work (such as annual audits, performance audits, inquiries, good practice guides, reports to Parliament on annual audits, long-term plan audits, and research and development projects).

Group structure

Audit Quality Group structure

Auditor appointments

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

  • maintaining information on about 3500 entities, including about 2,400 schools;
  • maintaining information on auditors (about 150 appointed auditors, including about 60 auditors who audit only schools for the Auditor-General);
  • setting up audit arrangements for new public entities;
  • appointing auditors;
  • arranging reallocations of audits; and
  • monitoring the tenure of key members of the audit team, including the appointed auditor, on all but the small public sector audits, so that they can be rotated off the audit, usually after 6 years, for reasons of independence.

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 and auditing policy

Jacques Coetzee is responsible (while Sara Moonlight is on parental leave) for giving appointed auditors instructions, guidance, and advice on accounting and auditing issues:

  • co-ordinating the instructions and guidance to auditors on what to focus on each financial year;
  • advising auditors on the more difficult accounting issues they encounter when auditing public organisations;
  • advising auditors on public sector aspects of auditing;
  • advising auditors on independence and audit reporting matters and supporting the Office’s committees that deal with these matters;
  • developing and maintaining policy advice for auditors;
  • communicating with auditors on accounting and auditing matters;
  • maintaining the Auditors' Homepage; and
  • influencing the accounting and auditing standard-setting process both in New Zealand and internationally.

Audit improvement

Roy Glass is responsible for leading audit improvement projects relating to the annual audit and quality assurance:

  • amending, revising, or updating the Auditor-General's auditing standards;
  • monitoring developments in auditing and initiating research for consideration;
  • developing strategy relevant to the annual audit and quality assurance; and
  • building capability on auditing matters.

Performance reporting

This is a new role responsible for leading the work of the Office on performance measurement and reporting throughout the public sector:

  • leading policy on reporting and auditing of performance information;
  • monitoring and working through issues with developments in performance information;
  • leading and influencing improvements to help entities mature their measurement and management of performance; and
  • developing capability to improve the auditing of performance information.

Quality assurance

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

  • reviewing the work of appointed auditors (about 50 auditors each year);
  • reporting common findings to the appointed auditors;
  • identifying training issues; and
  • making sure that the results of the reviews feed into the auditor appointment process.

The quality assurance role aligns with quality control standards.

Schools sector

Jane Rogers is responsible for audits within the schools sector:

  • ongoing liaison with schools' auditors, including training;
  • developing the instructions and guidance for school auditors;
  • resolving technical issues that arise from school audits; and
  • managing relationships with stakeholders (such as the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Schools Trustees' Association).

Page last updated: 24 January 2020

page top