AuditFutures creates a safe space for dialogue and experimentation through both its public events and bespoke sessions that provide platforms where innovators from academia, policy and public practice can find ideas that have the potential to drive systemic change and develops solutions for wider impact. By taking an action-research approach, the intent is to create a community of practice to improve the way the profession work on specific issues.This is what, at its best, the profession does so well – supporting a collaborative approach to innovation and problem-solving, which in turn allows competition to work better.
An extended illustration of this was in November when AuditFutures convened a workshop of a broad range of people from 14 firms of varying sizes including three of the largest firms, to learn how the audit profession can do things better.
The session discussed the practical areas where all firms could perform better and could collaborate instead of competing. At times of renewed attention to improving audit quality and fostering market competition, there are fresh leadership opportunities for firms to learn from one another and to share knowledge and experience. The aim of the workshop was to explore how firms can collaborate better and share learning and knowledge by starting the conversation around three practical areas:
Below is the visual summary of the discussions which were under the Chatham House Rule and we captured visually the key points discussed.
As a result of this sharing and co-operation, four new challenging projects have emerged:
A fundamental aspect of AuditFutures is to invite diverse and divergent perspectives to work together to find solutions. No single organisation can tackle the wider systemic issues that society is facing today so AuditFutures works to build partnerships and collaborations. We believe that having an outside view will surface innovative ideas and perspectives. This can stimulate the debate beyond everyone’s comfort zone and can generate creative solutions. Our approach combines cross-sector and multi-disciplinary work that reflects the position and ambition of the profession.
A recent example of our work is the Futures Firms project, a collaboration with more than twenty accounting firms to explore together what the firm of the future might look like by de-constructing the elements of the firm and considering the whole firm as part of a broader community and profession ecosystem. The project has, through the use of a research tool and workshops, created a helpful Future Firms Framework which will help challenge the existing compartmentalisation of knowledge within a firm and also could help to identify how firms might identify areas for collaboration instead of competition.
We will explore how best to develop the four projects outline above by forming the Audit Collaboratory – an active group of firms, committed to genuine collaboration in the public interest.
We invite you to join the Audit Collaboratory!get in touch