Description: As the CBC story says, last Wednesday the former Provincial Comptroller, Paul Martin, was packing up his old office at Chancery Place in Fredericton, and getting ready to move down the street where he will now serve as the Province of New Brunswick’s Auditor General. The move is not without some controversy, as accountants, auditing professors, and auditing students might well imagine. One would expect the move would be a difficult one in maintaining the appearance of indpendence. But Mr. Martin maintains that he will “take a hands-off approach to files he dealt with as a senior Finance Department official, in order to avoid any perceptions of a conflict of interest.”
Date: January 6, 2022
1) Are you aware who the auditor is at your university? If not, track down your university’s financial statements online and see who has prepared the independent auditor’s report.
2) Have a discussion in your class about how students define the role of the auditor general in your province. Look up the relevant legislation to see how your responses compare to what the auditor general’s act says.
3) In Chapter 2 of Wiley’s Auditing: A Practical Approach we can read about the five threats to independence. Mr. Martin’s comments indicate he will be taking a hands-off approach on files he has previously dealt with while working inside government. Which of the five threats do you believe he is addressing with this response?