You hold a practising certificate with audit qualification from ACCA. You join a network arrangement with other accountants because it promised clients and support – as well as discounted professional indemnity insurance, group advertising, and full technical backup.
For your part, you paid a joining fee and pay an annual charge based on your turnover. You also have to meet the network’s conditions to undertake all work for a fixed fee and be available 24/7. The network advertises as a one-stop shop able to undertake a full range of accounting and auditing services.
The director of the network approaches you and asks you, for the good of the network, to sign off the audit report on a set of accounts prepared by another member of the network who does not hold an audit qualification. He says, “It’s only a matter of putting your signature to the report, because the client is known to the network.”
WHAT DO YOU DO?
In all circumstances, the membership regulations of ACCA and the standards of the jurisdiction in which you practice take precedence over the requirements of any network you may be a member of.
You must therefore comply with all the relevant Auditing and Ethical Standards and the Rulebook in full. You cannot rely on the fact that “the client is known to the network”.
If you agree to do the work, you will need to undertake a full audit, as you would do if the client had been referred from any other source. Only then can you put your signature to the report.