How to Choose an Auditor

In choosing an auditor to perform the annual audit of the recipient's financial statements, the recipient should consider the following:

  • The auditor must be licensed in the province or territory where the recipient is located to issue audit opinions on financial statements.  Each province or territory's public accounting licensing body maintains a list of registered, licensed auditors.
  • Auditors cannot prepare the financial statements that they will be auditing.  The financial statements must be prepared by the recipient or by a separate contractor.
  • The auditor must be independent of the recipient, which means that they must not have a vested interest in the recipient's operations.
  • The auditor should be located within a reasonably close proximity to the recipient's offices to foster easier access and communication.
  • Establish your needs and criteria for assessing potential auditors in terms of qualifications, experience with similar organizations and timing.
  • Ask potential auditors about their availability to complete the audit when required.  Ask how long the audit will take to conduct and the timing of the auditor's work on site in your offices.
  • The recipient should consider how much the audit is going to cost.  Larger auditing firms tend to charge higher fees than smaller independent auditing firms.  Consider more than just cost in the decision.  Look for an auditor that can provide the best service and value for money.
  • Ask potential auditors about their experience with clients of a similar nature and size as the recipient.  This experience will help keep auditing fees down.
  • Obtain referrals for auditors from other organizations or communities. Ask about their level of satisfaction with the completed audit and services provided.
  • Ask potential auditors about additional services they can provide to you.  For instance, if they detect gaps in accounting controls, can they assist you by providing practical recommendations for improvement?