Performance Objectives 1
Describe an occasion on which you had to demonstrate ethical behavior?
Professional ethics, values and judgments is an integral part of the Audit. In this regard, I may narrate an instance when I was conducting an audit of a listed client dealing in manufacturing industry.
While I was preparing financial statements of the client, it came to my notice that there was a major violation of the local’s regulatory law. The client will face heavy plenty in this regard and I have all the information regarding this case. Due to which the market position of the client was Unpredictable. One of my relatives who was also interested in the client, approached me to know about the inside factual position.
At this point of time, I was pressed between my relative and my professional ethics. So I decided to stick to the professional ethics and did not care for the relationship and decided not to leak any information to anybody including my relatives. I also approached my manager and inform him about the situation and my decision. Manager appreciated my act.
What did you learn from this experience and how will it influence your future behavior in the workplace?
This experience transpired me that how easily ethical threats can affect my professional career. My belief further strengthens that I should always hold the ethics while performing my professional duties. Rather I should learn more about the different aspects of the profession ethics, for that I should deeply go through the code of ethics regularly and implement in my working in letter and spirit.
It also helped me to realize that going through the code of ethical conduct periodically would be a good idea to strengthen the ethical behavior. I decided for my future life that I will never deviate from the ethical code of conduct.
What would have been the impact had you not behaved ethically in this situation?
The repercussions for not acting ethically would have very critical effects on the financial position of the client. Disclosing the confidential information, may have led my client to lose its market image. In this way the share price of the client will affect badly in the stock exchange and misperception and distrust in the new shareholders who are going to the invest in the company.
At any time, a probe may highlight the negligence conduct on my part, which my result in me and my firm to face potential lawsuits and thus compromised credibility.
Performance Objective 2
Describe how in your role you have contributed toward effective governance, provide at least two example s.
Followings two examples will show how I contributed towards effective governance.
Example No. 1
Violation of local labor laws,
While auditing one of my clients, I observed that there was a serious violation in the implementation of government instructions of upgrading the pay structure of labours.
Recently govt. of Punjab issued a circular to upgrade the minimum wage of the workers but it came to our knowledge that the client is making payment as per pervious notification and they have not adopted the new minimum payment ceiling as yet.
I brought the matter in to the knowledge of the client. The client has no reason for not implementing the latest orders.
Non-compliance of safety and health measures,
During my audit of Quality Health Safety and Environment (QHSE) of a client, it was found the followings discrepancies,
‘ Fire extinguisher date was found expired.
‘ Instructions to operate the fire extinguisher were not clearly portrait alongside the fire extinguisher.
‘ Some people did not know the working of the fire extinguisher.
I pinpointed the matters and discussed them with my immediate senior who, after in consultation with the senior manager, decided to include both the matters in the letter of weaknesses. This letter was presented to the audit committee for their perusal and further action.
In what ways did you make sure you acted in the best interests of all concerned?
I brought to the notice of my manager. Accordingly the matter was discussed between the Audit Manager and the client. The same points were also incorporated in the Draft Audit Report.
In this way our firm’s responsibility for pointing out the discrepancies as good governance was also carried out.
What negative impact(s) would have resulted if you had not acted in the way you did?
If these points were not highlighted than in:
‘ Two effects were neutralized by pointing out and conforming the law:
‘ The client could have been penalized by the Labour Authorities.
‘ Secondly the labour who was deprived of the additional pay will get there due share
Firstly, in the absence of new fire extinguishers, the expired ones would not work at the time of fire, causing heavy losses due to fire.
Secondly, in the absence of trained persons, the fire instruments could not be operated properly. Thus resulting in heavy loss due to fire in spite of presence of fire extinguishers.
Performance Objective 3
What experience have you had in dealing with non-financial risk?
We carry out the work of the client as per KPMG Audit Methodology (KAM) for internal auditing. This is actually a modified form of the COSO framework, an amended according to the local environment. It includes Control Matrices, such as objectives, sub process controls and their associated financial / Non-financial risks.
After carrying out many assignments, it has been inferred that Non-Financial risks were a routine activity, such as, Planning, Budgeting Forecasting, Procurement, Production and Order to cash.
In view of the above, the internal audit report delivered to the client, risk for each observation is brought to the notice of the client for taking the mitigation measures.
Using an experience in your workplace explain how have you ensured that the risk was correctly dealt with?
During audit of one of my client it was found that there was violation of the govt. instructions regarding the treatment of the waste water.
As per Environmental protection Agency (EPA) rules, every production units throwing waste water has to be treated before throwing into natural water body. The client had no arrangement for the treatment of waste water.
The recommendation was brought to the client in the ‘letter of weaknesses’ and it was emphasized to do the needful on priority basis. Later, I came to know that CFO of the company was quite concerned about the highlighted risk and took adequate measures for necessary compliance.
How did your organization benefit from your actions?
By pointing out such discrepancies of non-financial risk, the high ups of my firm appreciated my work and my manager’s supervision. Resulting in the satisfaction of the client and renewing the contract with my firm. The clientage was also increased due to the creditability of the firm.
Performance Objective 4
What have you learned about how you work as an individual?
As a trainee in KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co. a chartered accountancy firm my skills and expertise were enhanced. It changed my way of thinking as a professional. As a trainee I have been able to learn the dedication in the work, punctuality, sincerity and commitment to the work. And this has helped me in my professional life.
I have observed that t work as a professional; it requires lot of effort and a specific mindset to deal with certain situation effectively. Also, my professional and interpersonal skills developed over the period of time while performing audit one has to deal with different persons and needs a good interpersonal skills to communicate and convey the required point to the client. I have been able to win good relationship not only with clients but also with my colleagues and seniors.
How have you changed your behavior or approach in the workplace as a result of what you have learned?
The main area of improvement while dealing with the client to get the required information was an art of interpersonal skill and communication skills. At the same time, I have to be patient and focused on my work, as there is always a room for improvement.
My training also imparted me a lesson to shoulder responsibility and be confident in whatever you do. Also, I have realized that criticism helped me to identify and rectify my shortcomings and play a major role in my personal development.
How has this helped improve work outputs or business results in your area?
This has helped me to improve my work outputs in the following ways:-
‘ Now, work is done in a more systematic, thorough and comprehensive way and thus I am able to meet the dead lines in a better way.
‘ My interaction with the clients improved significantly which helped in building up client trust and making good relationship.
‘ After this experience, my senior management has more confidence in me and entrusted, difficult assignments, which were not possible to complete before this experience.
‘ The work is now properly managed, precisely performed and completed in time.
Performance Objective 5
Describe situations where you have effectively demonstrated each of the forms of communication mentioned?
First of all, a ‘kick off meeting’ is conducted with the client. The details of assignment are discussed verbally. After understanding the work the client is informed about the methodology which will be adopted for completing the assignment. The necessary documents required to carry out the work, are also brought to the notice of the client.
After collecting the necessary documents personally or through emails, a presentation on power point is prepared for the client, in which, general understanding of the company, its operations, environment in which it operates, its competitors and stakeholders and finally an overview of the major key risk areas is given.
A hot discussion took place, during the presentation among the participants including my manager and the client.
What did you do to help communicate effectively?
In order to communicate effectively, I proceeded as given below:-
‘ I had a meeting with my manager, who explained as to what were the pre requisite of the presentation.
‘ Once the objectives were known, I listed down all the sources from where the requisite information can be obtained. I collected all the necessary information from different sources.
‘ While preparing the presentation, I used the technology available such as, telecommunication, emails and interactive meetings.
‘ Because, it was a two way communication, so to ensure that, whatever information was given to me, it was understood properly.
‘ I also consulted the work done during the previous years.
It proved to be very effective, as, I was able to point out common mistakes and shortcomings in the presentation.
How have your communication skills helped you to improve your performance elsewhere?
These communications skills helped me everywhere to improve my performance because:-
‘ It came to my understanding that how to maintain an effective and efficient communication with my managers and with the clients.
‘ It helped to improve my communication and interpersonal skills.
‘ It also boosted my morale in preparing and conducting the presentation.
‘ It gave me a chance to improve my personal skill as I had to deal so many people.
‘ It also gave me the self-confidence to deal with higher management and to learn from their experience.
Performance Objective 6
Describe your experience of using information technology
All the work I have done in my firm is carried out using information technology:-
‘ All the letters, Draft observations and documentation is done using Microsoft Word.
‘ All the spread sheets such as Final Accounts, Trail Balance, ledgers etc. are prepared using Microsoft Excel.
‘ All the presentations and Final reports presented to the clients are in the form of Microsoft Power point.
‘ The information collected is mainly through internet via email and lotus.
‘ Different software is used for extracting reports such as E-Audit, ERP, QuickBooks and Tally etc.
‘ For my clients, I use MS Visio for preparing data flow charts, especially at planning phase for understanding the key process and business activities.
All the above software’s is used by us in the firm are officially purchased and authenticate by the concerned companies.
How have you applied your IT skills to improve your personal performance?
IT skills were used in number of ways to improve my personal performance, such as:-
‘ I can extract different information from different sources quickly and efficiently.
‘ Using IT I can generate different reports according to the requirement very easily and precisely.
‘ I present my data, through IT, in forms such as pie diagram, Bar chart, Line chart, graphs and Column charts etc.
In this way information is communicated to the manager and the client in a better understandable ways.
How has your IT skills and associated improved performance benefited the wider organization?
IT skills and associated improved performance helped me and my organization in the following ways:-
‘ A Laptop of the latest model is given to me by firm, so that I can perform my duties skillfully and efficiently.
‘ As, I always shared my IT knowledge with my colleagues and my counterparts, it helped my organization to improve the overall working of the organization.
‘ Because I have a better knowledge of the information technology tools and applications so I was in an appropriate position to train my juniors.
‘ Above all, use of information technology not only helped me to improve my personal performance but also helped my organization overall performance.
Performance Objective 7
Describe how you have managed the ongoing (business as usual) activities in your role
As a trainee in KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co. I have been working at different positions, from junior level to semi-senior level and now as a senior. At each level there were different responsibilities.
When as a junior I have to scrutinize the Purchase Orders, regarding the authorization by signing of the respective authority, comparative statements, Purchase requisition etc. Also I learned different processes, identify risk in it.
While as a semi-senior my areas of responsibility increased because not only I have to carry out my own work but also I was involved in planning and finalization of the process reports.
As a senior, I have to manage all my activities. I have meetings with my manager about the final requirements of the client by evaluation of the risks there mitigation measures and how to achieve the objectives. After identifying the objectives, I planned the work by breaking down the work in different activities keeping in mind the deadline of the client.
Explain where you have recommended your own approach to managing ongoing activities to others and why
While I was working in as a semi senior, I was involved in audit of a process. My senior was transferred to another client and the replacement was not filled timely. My manager asked me to work as a senior on the process.
As I was next in charge after manager, I took over and planned keeping in view the deadline. I allocated the different tasks to the juniors accordingly and after completing all the work n time I submitted a draft report to the manager for finalizing and further discussion with the client. Manager made minor changes in the report and that was submitted to the client along with the necessary annexures. I was happy to know that the report was accepted by the client and recommendations given in the report were implemented.
How does you approach to managing your activities contribute to organisation performance?
By managing activities in an effective manner, I was in a better position in the eyes of my manager and at seniors. Meeting the deadline of the client by this procedure enhanced the confidence of the client on my organization. Secondly any additional burden was not imposed on the organization by delaying the work.
This confidence of the client resulted in more work thus generating the more revenue for the organization.
Performance Objective 8
Describe an occasion when you have identified an opportunity to improve departmental performance?
In audit firm, mostly the work is executed on Microsoft office such as Word, Excel, power point, Access etc. As an ACCA student we have a very little knowledge of Microsoft Office, resulting in taking much more time for preparation of the spread sheets and other works, while on the other hand the local stream students well versed with the working of the above program and they completed their work in a very short time. This caused delay of completing the assignment and extra late sitting for meeting the deadlines.
How did you contribute to developing the opportunity for improvement?
I brought this matter into the knowledge of my Manager and suggested to conduct a workshop for the awareness of the use of Microsoft Office, which will beneficial for all the trainees. He agreed to my suggestion and promised to take the matter with the higher management.
As promised, the manager discusses the matter with the senior management who agreed to conduct a work shop. This program was discussed with IT department who disputed experts for conducting the workshop. The program was circulated to all members and departments with the dates and venue of the workshop. So the trainees from all the departments participated in the workshop enthusiastically.
Was this opportunity fully successful, why was this? If not, why not?
The work shop was conducted successfully; not only the ACCA students but also the local stream students benefited themselves from the workshop.
The workshop was successful mostly due to the following reasons:-
‘ It was successful because higher management was convinced that such training workshop should be conducted.
‘ All the departments were informed for the workshop, which increased the participation of the trainees.
‘ IT expert was engaged properly for the training.
‘ Training was conducted at a central point for easy excess for all the participants.
‘ Proper facilities such as multimedia, stationery and refreshments were arranged.
The workshop was successful and it was participate by many seniors including partners who appreciated the idea of conducting the workshop and its benefits to the trainees. He also directed to plan similar workshops time to time.
Performance Objective 9
Describe your role in managing a discrete assignment
As a senior I was entrusted an audit of a firm. I had a meeting with my manager to understand the nature of the job precisely. I also discussed with the client about the availability of data and report submission date. We discussed the assignment and the different risk, methodology and deadline etc. A team of three people allocated to me.
At the planning stage of the audit I had to obtain the knowledge of the business, associated risk, understand its working process etc. I assigned and briefed different works to the team members.
After getting the required data, we apply different audit procedures and finalized our draft report.
How did you apply learning from your day-to-day role in this
Because I have been working at different clients as training, I have learned sufficient knowledge for tackling such problems. So I had a persistent overview of my juniors and motivated them for early completion of the assignment.
My experience of the pervious assignments helped me to extract the work efficiently from the juniors by interacting with them continuously.
In addition to that my approach for completing the daily work and not putting it into tomorrow helped me to complete the assignment in time. The breaking of the work into smaller activities helped me to for easy handling of the overall work.
Whenever any problem is encountered during my work I never hesitate to discuss with my seniors which helps me to come out of the problem.
What did you learn from the assignment that will help you in your day-to-day role?
To carry out an assignment independently was a new experience as a whole for my carrier. It was a highly successful and appreciated by the manager and the higher management. It gave me a confidence to carry out other such other assignments also. As I have to deal with new issues in a broader aspects. Now I am not shy off taking the responsibility for any work independently. At last the fear of not completing the assignment on time is disappeared. Communication and interpersonal skills also enhanced further assisting me in securing a better relationship with clients.
Performance Objective 10
Explain your role in the preparation of financial statements
As a senior I was a part of a team who was interested to audit a Chemical Industry, which is a public listed company.
Unadjusted balances were provided to me. Our team applied audit procedures and unadjusted figures came to the surface. We prepared a summary of the unadjusted difference after through discussion with the management of the client.
A control sheet was prepared and figures were adjusted as per unadjusted trail balance. When all the figures were adjusted, which were linked with the financial statements and thus prepared the Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Comprehensive Income and Statement of Cash flows etc.
After completing the above statements, the next step was to ensure that the disclosure requirements and Notes to the Accounts are made according to the IFRS.
How have you ensured that the statements you have prepared meet all necessary requirements?
In order to fulfill the requirement of the firm, it is the part of the every Audit to ensure that, the presentation, Notes to the Accounts and disclosure requirement of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the 5th Schedule of companies’ ordinance 1984 must be completed. So we filled the following check list available to us:-
‘ KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co IFRS disclosure checklist.
‘ And the checklist issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (to ensure that Financial Statements also meet the local regulatory laws).
In order to ensure the reliability and compliance of the financial statements, the requirement for the fulfillment of the check list is completed for sufficient assurance.
How have you used supporting (possibly non-financial) information to make these more easily understood by users?
Final analytical procedures were performed to ensure that all the figures depicted in the financial statements were realistic and in accordance with each other. A variation analysis was carried out with the pervious year’s balances, explaining the reason for variation. And analysis was also carried out by comparing with the industry averages. This was for the understanding of the management that what factors are affecting the financial position of the industry.
As per International Auditing standards i.e. ISA 720, according to which, the director’s report is consistent with the audited report. This was done so that the financial statements are easily understood by the general public.
Performance Objective 11
Outline your contribution to interpreting financial transactions or financial statements
While auditing the financial statement of a company, I was given a task to confirm the receivable balances appearing in the client financial statements. I obtained the receivable ledger from the client and analyzed it. It was observed that some of the balances were long outstanding and there is a risk of bad debts. So I prepared a sample of the customers to verify the long outstanding balances. I asked the managements to provide me the contacts detail to verify the balances.
I visited some customers personally and from the information provided to me, I found some discrepancies in the ledger of the relevant customer. A deep study of the situation unearthed that the recovery from the customer was not possible as some of the personnel have expired and some have left the business.
So the management should revise their provision for bad debts and write off those balances in their books of accounts.
How has this interpretation helped your department or organisation?
In order to meet the required target, our team performed a detail analysis of the receivables. And the conclusion arrived at helped the management to make correct decisions about the receivables balances. By compiling our recommendation, i.e. to make a recovery department and timely updating the ledger of the customer by the sales department will help to identify the possible bad debts customers. If we endorsed the previous receivable balances which were overvalued the client could face financial loss. Because of this satisfactory performance, the credibility of the firm was enhanced, client gave us further special assignments to our firm.
What business decisions have or could be made based on this interpretation?
On the basis of our recommendation, the client made the following decision:-
‘ For efficient checking in the shape of recovery team and resulting in saving of the heavy loss with the company.
‘ Periodically verifying the balances confirmation of the customer was implemented by the client.
‘ And timely write off of the non-receivable balances.
Performance Objective 17
Describe your role and the experience you had in relation to audits
I joined KPMG in audit department and worked as junior auditor, semi senior auditor and senior auditor while carrying out the audit of different clients. Each client has different nature of work and I obtained experience at various stages from junior auditor to the senior position.
While as a junior auditor the less risky area allocated to me. I was involved in checking the clients internal control mechanism, preparing flow charts and collected audit evidence documents.
As a senior auditor my area of responsibility widens and I was also responsible for supervising the work of the junior auditor in addition to my own work of responsibility.
I defined the key areas of the audit and business risks to finalize the test of controls and then analyzing the effect of the results on the final audit report.
I am also in preparing the letter of weaknesses based on the results of the analysis. Finally I prepared the audited financial statements.
With workplace illustrations, how have you found that ineffective planning undermined the quality of audit work?
My experience, as from junior auditor to senior auditor, with different clients, that really ineffective planning at all places and particularly in audit undermines the quality of audit work.
In our firm we usually use ‘Risk Based Approach’ which requires a lot of work at the planning stage. Actually key risks are the main audit considerations because they are higher in risk and required more substantive procedures and test of controls.
If, at planning stage, due consideration is not given to such risks, then we cannot identify and rectify the major audit risks. So a lot of time is saved concentrating on the less important risks.
From your audit work, how have you been able to contribute to improved business performance?
International Standards for Auditing’s (ISAs) and International Reporting standards (IFRS) are applied for audit and the performance audit thus carried out, results in providing the precious services to our respected customers.
By adopting the above methodology of audit with the help of ISAs and IFRS has immensely increased the good reputation of the firm. This bot only had a positive effect on the present client for the continuing of the audit for future but attracted other clients also.
While submitting the final audit report we also provide the recommendations giving the internal audit controls memorandum and rectifying procedures and mitigation measures.
Performance Objective 13
Describe how you have been involved in budget planning and production?
During my training I was given assignment for preparation of budget for a chemical company. First of all my manager brief me about the assignment. I had also a meeting with the client; discuss the forecast for the next year and any special provision in the budget keeping in view the last year experience.
While preparing budget, I also consulted the budgets of the similar companies of the same chemical sector industries. Accordingly the budget was prepared keeping in view the above factors which was about 10% higher than the previous years.
Draft budget was reviewed by my manager who suggested few changes particular in payroll expenses, admin expenses etc. After incorporating the above changes the budget was presented to the client for approval and implementation. I was also involved in the quarterly reviewing of the budget.
Explain, having developed the budget, how you have made sure that it has been implemented Correctly?
For the correctly and effective implementation of the budget, monitoring is carried out monthly and quarterly. In the monthly meetings progress of the actual work is compared with the proposed budget using the tools like bar charts, line charts, pie diagram and column charts etc.
Similarly quarterly monitoring is also carried out and necessary adjustments of the budget are made to achieve the ultimate goals of the budget without affecting the overall production budget.
After carrying out the Gap analysis, the variance is incorporated in the revised budget, by fulfilling the above discrepancies. Then the revised budget is presented to the client for the approval of the board of Directors.
After the approval the budget is implemented accordingly. This process of monitoring is carried out at the end of each quarter.
What would be the impact on your department or organization if the budgets you supplied were not? Properly prepared?
If the budget prepared, is not correctly implemented, reviewed and monitor and any major deviation can cause the heavy loss to the company, which results in reducing the share price of the company. The company will earn a bad name from the shareholders point of view and the company has to sustain a heavy loss in the shape of compensating to the shareholder’s.
A part from the above the credibility of the individual and firm is also at stake, not only in the shape of reputation but also losing the clientage and revenue. In addition to the above due to the bad planning of the budget sometimes compensation has also paid by the firm which affects our firm shareholder’s value.
Performance Objective 19
Evaluate and compute taxes payable Outline your experience in evaluating and computing taxes payable?
In kPMG, we have a separate department dealing with the different matters relating to taxes i.e. corporation taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes etc.
Presently, as a rotation, I am working in tax department of the firm. As my firm takes different cases of tax so I have opportunity to work with the seniors dealing with income tax for different clients. Mainly we work in the following areas of income tax as requested by different clients:-
‘ As a primary requirement of every tax payer the allocation of tax number is compulsory. My firm helps different client’s it may be an individual or companies, corporate clients etc., for all of them we prepare the documentation for obtaining the National Tax Number.
‘ We advise the client for timely payment of the advance tax.
‘ Submission of income tax returns of individual and companies.
‘ We also assist the companies to for preparing quarterly and annual statements for tax deduction at source.
‘ We also advised the clients for refund of the tax already deducted by:-
‘ Filing of refund applications with the concerned authority.
‘ Obtaining refund orders.
‘ Issuance of refunds.
‘ Claiming compensation for delay of refund.
How have you ensured that the information you have used is complete?
All the information used in the tax returns is provided by the client as per clause of the engagement letter, according to which a clause by which the client agrees to provide in a timely fashion all information and documents reasonably required to enable us to provide the services. So, it is the responsibility of the client to provide us the complete accounting data and documentation relating to the tax return.
Secondly, while filing the annual income tax return of corporate companies, we ensure that the calculations are based on the audited financial statements.
Finally, while submitting the income tax returns to the tax authorities, for authorization following documents are provided to the client through Federal Board of Revenue’s:-
‘ Computation of taxable income
‘ Computation of tax liability
How have you ensured that your information is made best use of by the organization?
In our firm, we have a number of tax experts and qualified chartered accountants who advised on the tax matters. We have prepared a complete list of our client’s along with their correspondence addresses. We advise all our clients for timely submission of the returns.
In this matter if there any amendments issued by the tax departments or latest notification, we apprise all the clients about the new developments through letters, emails and phones. This helps in submission of the returns in time and avoids the possibility of any penalty due to late submission or ignorance of law.