Audit companies can help firms make it through rough times

Share of services provided in the advisory segment increasing.

Audit companies provide a range of advisory services that help companies increase their performance and profitability. Audit companies provide a range of advisory services that help companies increase their performance and profitability. (Source: Photo: Sme)

Audit companies operate far beyond the accounting universe. They also offer clients services that can help companies during the deceleration of economic growth, not just to keep them afloat but even improve their processes and increase productivity or profitability. The Slovak Spectator spoke with Vladimír Mochnal, audit manager of VGD Slovakia, Ivana Mazániková, audit partner at KPMG in Slovakia, Štefan Čupil, risk assurance leader at PwC Slovakia, and Peter Longauer, partner in charge, audit and assurance, at Deloitte. We discussed trends in services provided by audit companies as well as the latest legislative changes impacting audit companies.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): What services provided by audit companies are the most used among Slovak firms? Does this match the trends in other countries?

Vladimír Mochnal (VM): Today audit companies offer numerous activities that can be utilised by companies. Their objective is to deliver added value to a service required by law – namely, the performance of an audit. Companies especially utilise the services of the tax department. This includes the consulting service, used mainly because of frequent legislative changes. However, lately there has been mostly an expansion of services that largely support special departments focused on consulting during mergers and other optimisation models. This of course also copies the trend from abroad, where consulting during the special restructuring projects of various companies gained an important role.

Ivana Mazániková (IM): The main portion of KPMG in Slovakia’s revenue comes from the audit and assurance segment followed by advisory and tax service lines. The most popular audit services are naturally the auditing of financial statements, a review of financial statements, etc.

The global trend in recent years has been that this portion is gradually switching from the audit in favour of the advisory segment. But that does not change the fact that the audit and assurance services remain the main driver and core business for audit companies. Based on reported data this segment still generates the biggest revenue share for the Big 4 companies as well as for other audit companies, e.g. the US auditing services market.

Peter Longauer (PL): We are a multidisciplinary firm and as such we provide advisory services in addition to core auditing services. Based on our experience on the Slovak market, the services of audit firms that are very popular with Slovak companies include taxation advisory, financial advisory, IT implementation projects assistance, risk and regulatory and data analytics.

TSS: Which services offered by audit companies can help companies increase their performance or profitability or escape the impacts of the economic slowdown or even a recession?

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