PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND COMPETENCE
PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND COMPETENCE
Professional personnel of audit firms must possess professional skills and competence, continuously maintain, update and raise their knowledge so as to accomplish their assigned tasks.
1. Audit firms must maintain a process of recruiting professional personnel by planning the personnel needs, setting recruitment objectives and requirements on qualification as well as compatibility of persons who perform the recruiting function.
a/ Planning the needs of personnel in different posts and determining the recruitment objectives based on the existing number of clients, the projected growth rate and the number of personnel who may be laid off.
b/ To achieve the recruitment objectives, designing a recruitment program with the following contents:
– Identifying sources of potential personnel;
– Methods of contacting potential personnel;
– Methods of determining specific information on each potential personnel;
– Methods of attracting potential personnel and informing them of the firms;
– Methods of evaluating and selecting potential personnel so as to achieve the necessary number of applicants for selection.
c/ Informing the people related to the recruitment of the firms’ personnel needs and recruitment objectives.
d/ Assigning competent persons to decide on the recruitment.
e/ Checking the effectiveness of the recruitment program:
– Periodically evaluating the recruitment program to determine whether or not the firms have complied with policies and procedures for recruiting qualified personnel;
– Periodically reviewing the recruitment results to determine whether or not the firms have achieved personnel recruitment objectives and needs.
2. Establish criteria and guidelines for evaluating applicants for each post.
a/ Identifying the attributes to be sought in the applicants, for example: intelligence, integrity, honesty, dynamism and aptitude for the profession.
b/ Identifying achievements and experiences the firms require from applicants who are new graduates or experienced ones; for example:
– Academic background;
– Personal achievements;
– Work experiences;
– Personal interests.
c/ Making written guidelines for recruiting personnel in specific cases such as:
– Recruiting relatives of the firms’ personnel, persons who have close relationships with or relatives of clients;
– Re-recruiting former employees;
– Recruiting clients’ employees;
– Recruiting employees of competing firms.
d/ Gathering basic information on the applicants’ qualifications by appropriate means, such as:
– Job applications;
– Educational diplomas;
– Personal references;
– References of former agency (ies);
e/ Evaluating the qualifications of new personnel, including those employed not through normal recruitment procedures (for example: those joining the firms in the capacity of supervisors, through merger or acquisition or joint ventures) to determine whether they meet the firms’ requirements or not.
3. Inform the applicants and new personnel of the firms’ policies and procedures relevant to them.
a/ Using a brochure or other means to introduce the firms to applicants and new personnel;
b/ Preparing and distributing a manual describing the firms’ policies and procedures to all personnel;
c/ Conducting an professional orientation program for new personnel.
4. Establish guidelines and requirements for continued professional fostering and notify them to all personnel of the audit firms.
a/ Assigning a person or group the responsibility for the professional development of personnel;
b/ The firms’ training programs must be scrutinized by professionally qualified persons and they must set forth the training objectives and education and experience requirements;
c/ Setting forth orientations for the development of the firms and the profession for of new employees.
– Preparing materials on the orientation for the development of the firms and the profession in order to inform new employees of their professional responsibilities and opportunities;
– Assigning responsibility for conducting orientation workshops to introduce the professional responsibilities and the firms’ policies.
d/ Designing professional training and refresher programs for all personnel at each level in the firms:
– Taking into consideration compulsory regulations and voluntary guidelines of laws and professional organizations when designing professional training and refresher programs;
– Encouraging participation in professional training programs outside the firms, including the form of self-study;
– Encouraging participation in professional associations and determining whether the firms would pay the whole or part of expenses;
– Encouraging personnel to serve on professional boards of professional associations, write articles, books and participate in other professional activities.
e/ Periodically examining professional training programs and archiving dossiers on the training situation of the entire firms and each individual.
– Periodically reviewing the participation of each employee in the training program so as to determine his/her compliance with the firms’ requirements;
– Periodically examining the evaluation reports and other records regarding the advanced training programs to evaluate whether or not these programs are effective and have achieved the firms’ objectives. Considering the needs for new programs and for revision of on-going programs or elimination of ineffective training programs.
5. Provide in time all personnel with information on professional technical standards and materials containing the firms’ technical policies and procedures. Encourage them to engage in self-development activities.
a/ Providing all personnel with professional technical materials, even those on changes, including:
– National and international specialized materials on accounting and auditing;
– Documents on current laws in specific domains, for employees who take charge of such domains;
– Materials on the firms’ technical and professional policies and procedures.
b/ For training programs designed by the firms, preparing materials and selecting instructors:
– The programs should clearly state the objectives, requirements on participants’ education and experience;
– The training course instructors must firmly grasp the program content and teaching methods;
– Asking participants to evaluate training course contents, instructors and training conditions;
– The training program must spare time for instructors to test and evaluate training course contents, teaching methods and trainees;
– The training programs must be updated to accommodate new developments and renovations, and relevant evaluation reports;
– Archiving, and creating conditions for exploiting, professional and technical materials on the firms’ regulations relating to professional technical matters.
6. In order to train a contingent of experts in specialized domains and branches, the firms must:
a/ Organize on their own specialized training programs such as in banking auditing, computer-aided auditing, sampling methods…
b/ Encourage personnel to attend external training programs, workshops to raise their professional levels;
c/ Encourage personnel to participate in professional associations concerned with specialized domains and branches.
d/ Provide materials relating to the specialized domains and branches.
7. Audit firms must assign persons to see that all the firms’ auditors participate in annual fostering and refresher programs conducted by the Ministry of Finance or by organizations authorized by the Ministry of Finance.
8. Audit firms must establish criteria for each rank of employee in the forms:
a/ Regulations on responsibilities and qualifications for each rank of employees, including:
– Titles and responsibilities thereof;
– Criteria on qualification and experience (or seniority) for each title.
b/ Determining qualification criteria to be used as a basis for considering and evaluating the results of actual performance and capability of each rank, for example:
– Professional knowledge;
– Analytical and judgmental abilities;
– Communication skills;
– Training skills;
– Leadership methods;
– Client relations;
– Personal attitude and professional behavior (characters, intelligence, judgment and dynamism);
– Supervisory ability.
c/ Compiling a personal manual or other means to disseminate the firms’ advancement procedures and policies to all employees.
9. Evaluate the work performance results of all employees and notify them thereof.
a/ Gathering information on and evaluating the work performance results:
– Identifying evaluation responsibilities and requirements at each level, indicating who will make these evaluations and when the evaluation results will be presented;
– Guiding the evaluation objectives;
– Using standardized forms for evaluating work performance results by self-evaluation by employees according to such forms and review by persons with higher authority.
– Re-examining previous evaluations of each employee;
– Personnel evaluations must be done by different persons;
– Determining that evaluations are completed on schedule;
– Filing written evaluations in personal dossiers;
– Evaluations of leading officials must include consultations with their subordinates to determine whether these officials continue to have the qualifications to fulfill their responsibilities or not.
b/ Periodically informing all employees of their progress and career prospect, clearly stating:
– Performance results;
– Personal and career prospects;
– Advancement opportunities of each person.
c/ Periodically promoting personnel on the basis of the evaluation results.