Three webinars were held between 8 June and 10 June 2021 under STAREP regional program and these were attended by about 40 participants each day.
The overall aim of the experience exchange webinars was to learn from Slovenian experience related to the establishment of an independent public oversight function, entry requirements and registration of auditors and audit firms; monitoring of continuing professional development; quality assurance inspections and enforcement procedures, as well as cooperation with foreign audit regulators.
The Agency for Public Oversight of Auditing (APOA), an IFIAR member, is directly responsible for the public oversight of the audit profession and audit regulation in Slovenia. According to the Slovenian Auditing Act, which transposes the provisions of the European Union acquis communautaire in the field of audit, the APOA is responsible for: (i) the adoption of auditing rules (e. g. auditing standards, ethical professional standards, audit quality control standards); (ii) providing training for obtaining the professional title of certified auditor and continuing professional development of certified auditors; (iii) registration and licensing of statutory auditors and audit firms; and (iv) inspections and enforcement procedures against audit firms, statutory auditors and appraisals.
As participating countries are in the process of implementing or reforming similar public oversight and quality assurance functions, they face challenges akin to those that presented in Slovenia at the first stage of their reforms. Respectively, the interest to the workshop was high, and the participants raised a lot of questions, which were answered by the presenters. Informative presentations and direct interaction with experienced staff from the APOA helped participants to gain valuable experience, to better understand possible challenges and effective solutions.
The first series of webinars on this topic were delivered in cooperation with the French Audit Oversight institution H3C, an independent regulatory authority for the audit profession in France.