Making your reporting go smoothly

Audit New Zealand’s one-day update summary and presentations. Eighty delegates representing a wide range of entities from throughout the South Island were welcomed to the Sudima Hotel at Christchurch Airport on 30 June.

Audit Director Bede Kearney welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers in the morning session.

The first session was given by Stephen Walker, Executive Director of Audit New Zealand. Stephen's session set the scene for the day, with an overview of the practices being developed to improve public reporting (PDF, 590kB). (See summary of key points).

The next session was a combined presentation from Scott Tobin, Audit Director and Brendan Kearney of Orion New Zealand. Scott’s presentation, Less is better – simplifying the annual report (PDF, 177kB), included examples of good practice that we’ve been seeing. Brendan then took us through Orion’s journey to improve its annual report (PDF, 100kB). Both made the point that this is an iterative process.

Stephen Lewis, Director Technical, then gave us a financial reporting update (PDF, 192kB). Stephen covered - The transition to IPSAS:

  • revenue from non-exchange transactions
  • grant expenditure
  • new standards
  • improving disclosures

Lyn Provost, Controller and Auditor-General, then gave the keynote address: Improving performance, improving public trust (PDF, 69kB). She emphasised that simplifying annual reporting is a contribution to improving public trust. Lyn recommended her recent report, Reflections from our audits: Governance and accountability. She said that if you only read one of her reports this year, this is the one to read - it summarises many of the reports produced throughout the year. All delegates received a copy.

After lunch and the opportunity to catch-up with colleagues from throughout the region, Mike Scott, Assistant Auditor-General, Performance Audit Group, gave an interesting session on: Improving accountability through performance reporting and handling complaints. Learnings from the Auditor-General’s recent reports. His presentation included two videos form staff talking about recent reports and findings.

Martin Richardson, Director, Audit Support, Specialist Audit and Assurance Services, gave an overview of the Broader Audit Risks programme (PDF, 1.7MB) which generated a useful discussion on risk and the management of risk in the public sector and throughout wider New Zealand business practice.

The final session of the day was: Transparency, corruption, fraud and bribery – latest results and why they matter/why we should care (PDF, 875kB). We were fortunate to have Suzanne Snively, Chair, Transparency International New Zealand to deliver this session and explain the way the indexes are reached and complied. As one delegate commented:

Having an address by someone like Suzanne Snively to give some context to the why of financial reporting is an excellent way to wrap up the day.

The day was briefly summarised by Stephen Walker, who thanked everyone for attending and invited feedback on the update.