L-R: David Bond (Assistant Auditor-General – Audit), Gary Emery (Deputy Auditor-General), Rod Whitehead (Auditor-General), Patty Johnson (Assistant Auditor-General – Corporate Support and Strategy), Jeff Tongs (Assistant Auditor-General – Audit), Stephen Morrison (Assistant Auditor-General – Audit)
The Audit Office employs around 45 staff located in our offices in Hobart and Launceston. The Office aims to have a staffing mix that not only has the right skills and values to meet our strategic objectives but is also reflective of the broad and diverse community we operate in. Our staff across the board come from a broad range of disciplines and experience in both public and private sector entities, in Australia and globally. Through our culture of growing and developing people, we encourage our staff to continually improve through gaining additional professional qualifications and accreditation.
The Audit Office has three units to provide its services to the Auditor-General:
- Financial Audit Services
- Performance Audit Services
- Corporate Support and Strategy
Financial Audit Services
The Financial Audit Services unit is managed by three Assistant Auditor-Generals, Audit and supported by the Senior Managers – Financial Audit.
Any audit assignment that relates to forming an opinion on the annual financial statements of Tasmanian State entities is a financial audit. In Tasmania there are approximately 170 State entities. These audits provide independent assurances to Parliament and the community that the information presented in the financial statements of the State entities is presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards.
Financial audits are conducted using a risk-based methodology that involves designing audit procedures to address identified entity and system risks. The financial audit methodology requires the extensive use of audit software during the planning, execution and finalisation phases, together with the use of data analysis techniques where appropriate. The methodology and techniques used ensure that the audits are conducted in the most efficient manner and that audit reports on financial statements are provided on a timely manner.
The outcome of a financial statement audit is an audit report which can be ‘unmodified’ (unqualified) or ‘modified’ (qualified). Audit reports can also include an emphasis of matter paragraph whereby the users’ attention is drawn to a matter included in the financial statements that is fundamental to the users’ understanding of those statements.
The Auditor-General will issue an unqualified audit report when they form the opinion that the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the affairs and transactions of the client. In the case of a qualified audit report, the Auditor-General forms the opinion that the financial statements are not free from material misstatement or he has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence.
Performance Audit Services
The Performance Audit Services unit is managed by the Assistant Auditor-General, Audit. The unit generally conducts performance and compliance audits.
A performance audit is an audit that deals with any aspects of an organisation’s effectiveness, economy, efficiency or compliance with relevant legislation.
A compliance audit seeks to confirm that specific legislation, directions and regulations have been adhered to by public sector agencies.
The audit process begins with the planning phase that identifies the issues to be examined, timing, objectives, approach to be used and the resources required.
The next stage of an audit involves the systematic gathering, analysis and testing of information. The information is evaluated to develop conclusions and make constructive recommendations as required.
The results of all audit reviews are discussed with, and formally communicated to, senior management of audit clients. The audit process culminates in the presentation of a Special Report to Parliament.
The Assistant Auditor-General is responsible to the Auditor-General for ensuring the Audit Office’s methodology for performance and compliance audits is complied with during the performance of all audits and complies with Australian Auditing Standards.
Corporate Support and Strategy
Managed by the Assistant Auditor General, Corporate Support and Strategy (CSS), the unit provides support and assistance to the Office in the corporate areas of human resources, finance, administration, facilities, contract management, information management and publications. CSS also manages the service level agreements with the Department of Justice (DoJ). DoJ provides the Office processing assistance and advice in relation to finance, information technology and human resources. However, all decisions are made by the Office.