Professor Elizabeth Gammie, of Aberdeen Business School, conducts research into the competencies required by professional accountants.

AuditorsShe has recently been working with Barac (University of Pretoria), Howieson (University of Adelaide) & Staden (University of South Africa) on a study of the competencies of auditors for the global business environment, commissioned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in 2013.

The study explored the views of key audit stakeholders from Australia, South Africa and the UK.  Interviews were focused on six significant public companies from different sectors in each country and involved the audit engagement partners, the Chief Financial Officer, the Audit Committee Chair and the internal auditors.  Additionally, individuals who had some oversight, public policy or educative role with regard to audit in each of the three countries were also interviewed.  Questions focussed on the current and future role and responsibilities of the auditor, what capabilities auditors need to perform their role now and in the future, how recruitment models should be adapted to ensure that those recruited can meet the demands today and in the future and how should training and development programmes be changed to ensure that auditors are appropriately trained to perform their roles today and in the future. The report concludes with a “proposed strategy to ensure that auditors of today and tomorrow have the necessary capabilities and associated competencies to deliver high quality public interest audits”. 

Barac, Gammie, Howieson & van Staden (2016) The Capability and Competency Requirements of Auditors in Today’s Complex Global Business Environment was published in March 2016.