What is a Supervisor To Do?

Oct 19th 2009
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A supervisor’s job is a difficult one, to say the least. Learning how to motivate others to accomplish work in accordance with applicable standards without wasting time is a full-time job!

For CPA firms, new professional standards are requiring more supervision and training from their supervisors. Here are a few of the additional responsibilities of a supervisor during these changing times, even on small audits:

a. The AICPA’s Conceptual Framework for Independence Standards and its Guide for Complying with Rules 102-505 are patterned after international standards. Supervisors must teach staff personnel how to apply these standards to engagements.
b. The risk assessment standards effective in 2007, and the ASB’s clarity project which includes revisions to these standards, require among other things obtaining a better understanding of our clients, documentation of the client’s accounting and internal control systems on all audits and better documentation of the risk of misstatements linked to audit responses. Supervisors must provide on-the-job training to teach staff personnel the “what, how and why” of all new requirements.
c. FASB and IASB are hard at work on numerous convergence projects. New and revised accounting standards, along with the transition to IFRSs, should be on all supervisors’ training list.
d. Compilation and review standards are being re-codified to align with international standards. Teaching staff personnel how to efficiently apply the new requirements on compilations and reviews will be an immediate priority for supervisors.
e. Increasingly, government regulations, audit laws and lenders policies require audited financial statements, even for small entities. Teaching staff personnel how to complete quality small audits efficiently may be a supervisor’s biggest challenge!

One might ask with tongue in cheek, “What does a supervisor do in his/her spare time?” If you are a supervisor, post a comment and let us know your secret for staying alive!


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