Statement of Audit Quality Intent

June 2018

This is a time of accelerating evolution and tremendous opportunity. 

Our clients are evaluating and adjusting their business models and approaches to keep up with—and take advantage of— disruptive changes in the world of business, and so must we. As an audit firm, BDO USA, LLP1 continually refines our approach to serving clients with an eye on both external and internal factors. It is our intent and commitment to deliver high quality audits and provide our clients with deep insights and value.


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We recognize that we cannot deliver quality audits unless we have the trust of both those who oversee our work and those who rely on it. To build upon that trust, we are deliberate in both our commitment and actions, and strive to achieve the highest audit quality. 
 
With a focus on delivering the highest possible audit quality, we design and execute efficient, compliant audits that are (1) delivered by technically competent and thoughtful professionals, (2) are valued by our clients, and (3) can be relied on with confidence by capital markets.

Our Audit Quality Statement of Intent and the commitment we expect of our auditors are the foundation of all of our actions, supported by our exceptional people and the expressed tone of our leaders. This is what enables our focus on driving the evolution of the audit, our responsiveness to market needs, and our efforts to constantly move toward greater audit quality. It is this foundation that allows us to execute our audit engagements through the lens of a quality-centric and evaluative mindset.

This report is our opportunity to “open our books” for review. It lays out in detail how BDO is choosing to proactively work within our firm and with the profession, regulators, and other key stakeholders to carry out and deliver on our audit quality intent. 
 

Our Audit Quality Statement of Intent succinctly explains how we approach our audit engagements. But to truly appreciate the passion with which we pursue this goal, it is important to understand why we are so committed to audit quality. 

Put simply, we believe that audit quality is the cornerstone of trust in financial reporting and financial markets. 

Without trust, capital markets cannot function efficiently and innovation cannot thrive. In an era of rapid change and disruption across industries, trust is more important than ever.

We also believe that people will always be the core of audit quality. While technology and integrated processes can make an auditor more effective and efficient, the success of an audit depends on people who have high caliber skills, expertise, and judgment. People analyze data and identify risks. People gather all necessary insight to discuss, manage, and ultimately, make important judgments during the most challenging moments of an audit. Even as we continually look for ways to fully leverage cutting-edge tools to strengthen our ability to deliver audit quality, we do not discount the value added by well-developed and skilled people.

This Statement of Intent is part of who we are and represents our commitment to our clients and to our profession. It is the responsibility of every BDO auditor to demonstrate professional skepticism and to take an unbiased approach that focuses on evaluating the facts, seeking the truth, standing firm in the face of adversity, and bringing clients the right answers through the right services.

To fulfill our responsibilities as auditors and deliver on our intent every day, we embrace professional skepticism in everything we do and are ready to address every expectation of regulators, boards of directors, the auditing profession, and ultimately, ourselves. We are continually refining and improving our tools and guidance to enhance audit quality. We are also investing time, ideas, and resources to supporting the research and development of the “audit of the future.”
 
Beyond these ongoing actions, we make these seven commitments to our clients and other key stakeholders:
  1. We commit to assuming both individual and collective responsibility for every audit.
  2. We commit to leading in the field by making appropriate judgments in real time and supporting our people in their pursuit of audit quality. 
  3. We commit to continuous learning—our own and that of our clients— making time to pursue continuing education, explaining and guiding those with whom we work, and exploring with curiosity what we need to achieve.
  4. We commit to knowing and applying the professional standards and all firm guidance effectively in delivering our work. We do not “go it alone.” Instead, we use the guidelines and parameters BDO has painstakingly established.
  5. We commit to approaching every moment of our day with the mindset of an evaluator. As an evaluator, we seek out the facts, consider the applicable literature, evaluate the alternatives, and then present persuasive judgments.
  6. We commit to seeking and implementing change and not becoming attached to the status quo or old orthodoxies. Instead, we will transform what we do every day, in every way.
  7. We commit to involving others, both when it is required and when it is not. Collaboration strengthens our own judgments, helps us to find and seek the right answers, and makes us better professionals.
 
Audit quality is a never-ending pursuit. As our clients’ businesses and industries evolve and the nature of the audit adjusts in response, BDO’s focus on audit quality and the commitments we make will never waver.

The following sections of our report underscore how we live each of these commitments every day.
 
 

1 BDO is the U.S. member firm of BDO International Limited, a UK Company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms.