Case studies

IA Award win: not just any audit

Our audit of Marks & Spencer won The Investment Association’s Auditor Reporting Award

In November 2015, The Investment Association held its second Auditor Reporting Awards. The event celebrates excellence in auditor reporting, highlighting those enhanced audit reports that are the most informative and clear to investors. Over 100 submissions were received, with 35 reports shortlisted for 9 awards. We were delighted Deloitte won three ‘best in class’ awards:

  • FTSE 100 award for best Audit Report overall (Marks & Spencer Group plc);
  • Best Disclosure of Materiality in the FTSE 100 (Direct Line); and
  • Best Disclosure of Risks for other Premium Listed companies (Intermediate Capital Group).

The FTSE 100 award for best Audit Report category focused on reports that were bespoke, presenting granular detail in a succinct manner, with the primary purpose of providing valuable additional information in a visually engaging and clear way.

The 2015 Marks and Spencer audit report was applauded for its clarity of presentation and use of visuals, summaries and headings, which resulted in a report that was easy for a reader to navigate and understand. The report was recognised for going above and beyond international standard reporting requirements. In particular, the panel welcomed the detailed but focused way risks of material misstatement were articulated in our enhanced audit report. This helped the reader understand our specific judgement, rather than simply including generic or boilerplate wording. The audit report included findings for each area of risk, something that’s not a requirement of the international auditing standards, and explained clearly where there were changes in key risk areas year-on-year.

In addition, our audit report also used graphics and commentary to explain which areas of the Marks & Spencer group underwent a full audit; we gave extensive detail on the number of distribution centre and retail store visits we made in order to understand the company’s current trading performance. And, alongside this, we showed how we would rotate visits in future years and conduct alternative procedures on areas of the group not visited in a given year.

The quality and impact of our audit reporting is of critical importance to us and our focus remains on ensuring the enhanced report is relevant and insightful to users. We continue to challenge ourselves to learn from best practice, always exploring new ways of accurate and complete reporting.

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