Muscat: An inspection team of the Sultanate’s market regulator, Capital Market Authority (CMA), has started checkingthe accredited audit firms to ensure that they comply with international standards.
“We want to ensure that audits are handled by professionally qualified and experienced audit professionals,” Mohamed Said Al Abri, director general of issues and disclosures at CMA, told the Times of Oman.
“The CMA issues show cause notices to audit firms whenever our inspection teams discover deficiencies in the work of auditors or where the audits do not appear to have been conducted in accordance with the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) or where the audit opinions seems to have been issued without ensuring compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS),” he added.
The Sultanate has 17 audit firms accredited by the Capital Market Authority. Of this, 12 have international affiliations, while five others are local firms.
The market regulator stipulates that the audit firmsneed to have professionally qualified chartered accountants to conduct audits and at least three chartered accountants must have more than 10 years of auditing experience.
The CMA is striving to ensure that audit firms are staffed with adequate qualified and experienced professionals and comply with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
Also, the CMA strives to protect investors and other stakeholders by focusing on the quality and timing of disclosures, financial statements and objectivity and independence of auditors.
“We would also like to mention that most of the accredited audit firms have shown remarkable audit quality, objectivity and independence and they are playing an active role in investor protection and development of the capital market although few of them may need to improve. We will work together with them to achieve this objective,” added Al Abri.
The CMA also aims to protect and encourage auditors who conduct their work independently and objectively as per international standards without any fear or favour.