Elisabeth Maxwell UK Executive member. Head of Clients and Markets, Audit
19th November 2019

Elisabeth’s Story

In this blog, Elisabeth Maxwell, Head of Clients and Markets at Mazars, shares her views on traits of a successful auditor….

Be Curious…  

What do I love most about being an auditor?  It’s our responsibility not to automatically believe what we’re being told!  If something doesn’t feel like it adds up, despite what the numbers are telling you – ask yourself and others why. Think of the bigger picture.  Numbers are crucial to an audit of course, but it’s often the story behind the numbers that are key to a successful audit and that’s what makes the job so interesting.  The methods to analyse numbers may change – be it via automation or emerging technologies – but being naturally curious and asking questions will always be at the core of our profession. 

Be Bold… 

Try not to let the fear take over! Tough messages will need to be delivered sometimes and it’s important to stand your ground, which can be hard to do especially if you’re new to audit, or if you’re faced with a scenario you haven’t encountered before. Colleagues and clients will thank you for your candour in the long run, even if some messages can be difficult to hear in the first instance. Your instinct and the facts combined are a powerful audit tool. 

Be Brave… 

Audit is under the spotlight and this is an opportunity to be brave and think about what our profession means to society as a whole. Our research shows that fewer than 1 in 5 people trust the current audit system and Mazars is determined to lead the turnaround, restoring trust, emphasising quality and building resilience. A strong audit sector underpins the surety of capital markets, the UK’s commercial reputation on the international stage and trust in the companies in which all of our pensions are invested. 

Be Future Focussed…. 

As the world changes and our profession adapts accordingly, auditors will continue to play a major role in shaping the biggest conversation of our time around climate change and sustainability. Fast forward ten years and more advancements in AI, Audit technologies and automation will make the role of an auditor look very different. We’ll focus far less on figures and more on environmental and societal impact. We have a crucial role to play in helping transform businesses to operate responsibly and I’m proud to be part of that.

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