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Top marks for audit staff

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Two-thirds of respondents to the survey have ranked their audit firm 8-out-of-10 or above for the quality of staff they’ve provided for their engagement. Seventy-six per cent of finance directors who have filled out our survey have marked their auditors at least 7-out-of-10 for the preparedness of staff.

But not everyone’s happy; one FD remarked: “We are part of a US listed group. Thus locally I have no influence on the auditor we use. We are charged £90,000 locally. We see the partner for one hour annually. At the close out meeting, he turned up without a tie, shirt crushed, and insisted on looking at his texts while his manager was speaking.”

As the comment also suggests, a regular gripe about audit firms is that they cost the earth for little payback. Several other FDs noted the lack of value for money, one saying their audit firm is “way too expensive for our needs”.

Still, 69 per cent of respondents handed their auditors a 7 or higher for value for money.

The comments section of the survey also reveals a number of FDs have been pleasantly surprised by an improvement in service levels from their auditor. One wrote: “There has been a year on year improvement. The relationship is on a strong footing and is underpinned by an increasing understanding of the requirements and process by both the company and the auditors.”

You can still vote for this year’s FDs’ Excellence Awards. We want to hear how the banks, audit firms, law firms and technology providers are servicing the nation’s finance professionals. If you’re an FD, CFO, company secretary, financial controller or finance manager, cast your vote here.Related articlesYoung FD of the YearMost FDs wouldn’t recommend their bankWinners of the 2008 FDs’ Excellence Awards

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