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Audit Risk and Quality - Secondment - Senior Manager

Posted: 8 Jun 2021 Closes: 9 Jul 2021
London Competitive
Permanent & Full-time PwC_215825WD-int

Who we are looking for
As part of the Programme to Enhance Audit Quality (PEAQ), Audit Risk and Quality (ARQ) is seeking high performing individuals, on a secondment basis, to strengthen our quality support programme and quality monitoring activities.

ARQ is a national team currently operating out of hubs in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Under the PEAQ, we are continuing to expand the number of team members in these hubs. Applications from individuals based in other offices may also be considered. We are looking for engaged and enthusiastic individuals who are focused on, and experienced in, delivering high quality audits.

Secondees would join our technology-connected Risk & Quality team of 90 within ARQ, working closely with our experts in audit methodology, audit quality, NAAE methodology and audit risk management. Secondees to ARQ will work alongside, and be coached by, these experts. They will experience a broad range of activities and develop skills and expertise to enhance their career and progress in their business unit through the delivery of consistently high quality audits on their return.

A secondment to ARQ will help you develop an understanding of what high quality looks like, through widening your experience of the challenges faced by a broad range of audit teams. You will be a key part of the firm's commitment to delivering consistently high quality audits, developing problem solving and thought leadership skills, alongside improving your technical skills and knowledge.

The Detail
To develop high quality auditors, secondees into ARQ are involved in activities across the breadth of audit methodology, audit quality and audit risk management. We ask all secondees to commit to a portfolio of projects for the duration of their secondment, alongside other ad-hoc projects. All portfolios include one or more of the key activities below (in addition to working as part of the Consult team), based on the existing skill sets, goals and interests of the secondee.

As part of the PEAQ, ARQ is expanding the activity levels and support to the Audit practice. Activities the team undertake on 'live' audits include:
  • Higher Profile Client (HPC) programme - The HPC programme carries out real time reviews to support our audit teams in delivering consistently high quality audits. It requires interactions with senior members of client teams, providing challenge, support and coaching. Under the PEAQ our programme of HPC reviews is increasing in both scope and number.
  • Methodology and training - ARQ identifies emerging practical or technical difficulties, develops guidance and tools, and delivers core technical training to support the delivery of high quality audits. This includes the support and management of the Chief Auditor Network (CAN). Methodology and training directly influence the audit and NAAE activities that the practice carries out on a daily basis. This also involves consultation with the Compliance and Independence teams, widening your network of contacts across the business.
  • Risk management - Protecting the firm is central to the activities of ARQ, from contracting challenges to commercial decisions. Global, UK Firm and Audit risk management policies protect the firm from the risks of delivering substandard audits. High quality risk management is critical to the firm in the current regulatory and media-focused market, and fundamental to your development as an audit professional.
  • Engagement team support - All secondees to ARQ work alongside our experts in providing timely technical support to the practice through responding to consultations on Consult. Secondees will respond to queries covering a wide range of audit risk management issues and methodology challenges, broadening their own experiences and technical skills in doing so.

In addition to activities focused on current audit engagements, ARQ are also fundamental to protecting the firm, and the external perception of the quality of our audits, through:
  • Regulatory liaison- There is increased regulatory, political and media focus on both the quality of our audits, and the firm's procedures to support the delivery of high quality audits. Working alongside engagement teams and the firm's functions, ARQ supports the development of high quality responses to regulatory concerns on both individual inspections and the firm's procedures and controls.
  • Investigations - New audit enforcement and disciplinary procedures from our regulators have resulted in an increase in regulatory information requests and investigations. The Investigations Team works alongside PwC's Office of General Counsel ("OGC") to resolve Troublesome Practice Matters ("TPMs") which arise on either ongoing or completed audits. TPMs include FRC regulatory enquiries and enforcement actions, ICAEW enquiries and, in some cases, matters raised by clients and litigation. As part of the team, you will act as an internal expert providing advice on accounting and auditing related matters, working with OGC, who provide legal advice.
  • Quality control - Each year the firm undertakes a controls review process to ensure compliance with ISQC1, required to retain the firm's audit licence. ARQ works with the firm's functions, including IT, HC, Compliance, Independence and Partner Affairs, to understand the processes that support audit quality and test the firm's controls. Also forming part of the audit quality control framework, ARQ coordinates and moderates the Engagement Compliance Review (ECR) programme across all audit business units. Both activities are part of the PwC global requirements, and subject to global policies, procedures, oversight and reporting.
  • Continuous improvement - ARQ identifies quality issues and best practice examples resulting from a range of annual reviews (AQR, QAD, ECR, QMSE) and other areas such as Regulatory Investigations, performs root cause activities to identify the key causal themes, and ensures that appropriate actions are taken to rectify key causal factors. This enables ARQ and, in turn, the Audit practice to continuously improve the quality of Audits.

ARQ is also responsible for many other activities to support audit quality and our projects are continually evolving, as a result of discussions held at global, board and subcommittee meetings and in response to regulatory developments.

Support and coaching structures are in place in each project team, enabling new skills to be developed in a safe environment. Many of the projects are undertaken with exposure to senior individuals within the firm, including board members, the R&Q executive, large engagement teams or global colleagues.

Essential skills needed for the role:
  • ACA / ACCA / ICAS / International equivalent qualification.
  • A practical understanding of PwC audit processes and an ability to critically evaluate their application.
  • Good communication and influencing skills with both peers and senior individuals.
  • A willingness to challenge points of views and opinion, through presenting logical arguments.
  • Assertive, flexible, proactive, and self motivated with a desire for learning.
  • Experience of managing people, workload and individual tasks.

Desirable skills sought for the role:
  • Good IT skills and experience of using Aura.
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