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Audit Firms: Their Role in your Business


Hiring an external audit firm for your business’s auditing needs is a critical step in validating your company finances for the benefit of shareholders, creditors and other stakeholders. To successfully grow your business and attract new investors, it is essential to perform an external audit to impart confidence in the accuracy of the financial information that you present.

What is an external audit?

An external audit is a process by which an independent body examines the financial statements of any organisation. A common misconception is that audit firms complete the role of finalising your business’s financial statements when in actuality, their role is to validate the authenticity of these statements, although some accounting firms do offer services that fulfil both these roles should your business require it. Auditors are responsible for providing assurance that your financial statements can be relied on.

In most situations, an external audit will be necessary as a legal requirement.

An external auditor’s responsibility

The external auditor is an independent professional, registered with both IRBA and SAICA.  The role of an external auditor is to express an opinion on the financial statements that are subject to audit.  In addition, the external auditor ensures that the company in question complies with all relevant legal and compliance requirements.

The audit firm conducting your business’s external audit has a responsibility to maintain independence – it is this foundation of independence that ensures the audit opinion expressed can be relied on by relevant stakeholders. 

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