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NIKKEI Global Accounting and Audit Forum
The Value of Audit & Assurance
~Facing Up to the Challenges~
(on April 15, 2024)

April 26, 2024


The recordings of the event are available to watch on NIKKEI CHANNEL:
> Watch the Recording

Overview of the Forum

In Osaka, on April 15, 2024, the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA) in collaboration with the Global Accounting Alliance co-sponsored an exclusive by-invitation-only forum (the "Forum"), organized by Nikkei and supported by the following organizations: the Japan Financial Service Agency (FSA); the Japan Audit & Supervisory Board Members Association; The Japan Association of Corporate Directors; the Japan Exchange Group; and the Institute of Internal Auditors Japan.

Opening remark (Mr. Tetsuya Mogi, Chairman & President, JICPA)

The audience totaled 126 people from a wide range of industry, including accounting firms, academia, investors, regulators and corporate executives.

This well-attended Forum invited Takashi Nagaoka, the Chair of International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR), as the keynote speaker, followed by two panel discussions.

Keynote speech by Takashi Nagaoka, the Chair of IFIAR

Not only as the Chair of IFIAR but also as a Secretary General of Certified Public Accountants and Auditing Oversight Board and Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs at the Japan FSA, Mr. Nagaoka plays a leading role in both Japanese and international regulatory fields. After reiterating the importance of audit to create a healthy capital market globally, the regulator shared his view on top four challenges faced by the audit/assurance industry, namely audit firm governance, the use of technology in audit, sustainability reporting and assurance, and the attractiveness of audit and audit profession.
"I hope all the auditors will face up to the challenges with strong pride in the noble and significant role they play, and live up to the expectations from all the players in the capital markets."

Panel Discussion I

Panel I titled The value of audit and assurance in a changing world was moderated by Makoto Sonoda, Director of the Office of Japanese Delegation for IFIAR, and invited five speakers from the stakeholders in the audit ecosystem, who shared their views on how audit/assurance will be able to adapt to the challenges of technology, talent, and marketplace expectations and to contribute to the enhancement of corporate value.

Questions to the panelists included the following:
○ How can audit/assurance provide value not only for financial information disclosures, but also in non-financial, intangible areas, such as sustainability disclosure information?
○ How do investors and preparers think auditors can contribute to corporate value creation activities, including corporate governance?
○ What are the challenges in audit firm governance to maintain high quality audit?

Panel Discussion II

Panel Discussion II titled The challenge of attracting young talent to audit and assurance was moderated by Tomoyuki Furusawa, a PIOB member, and invited four speakers from major accounting firms, a professional accounting organization ("PAO") and academia to discuss about one of the top challenges in the audit world, which is the attractiveness of the profession. Insights from young professions on challenges and opportunities working in audit and assurance were shared through survey results conducted by JICPA, targeting young certified accountants in Japan. Based on the results, panelists discussed what more could be done to attract young qualified talents.

Questions to the panelists included the following:
○ Considering that auditor's ultimate clients are investors, how can we transform the firm culture to help young professionals find purpose and enhance commitment to earn investors' trust?
○ How can we incorporate the needs of the capital market into education and training so that audit and assurance stay relevant?
○ Given that required skills in audit might drastically change in the future due to AI and other technology, how can audit firms embrace the firm culture and communicate the attractiveness of audit profession to younger generation?
○ How can PAOs support young professions and audit firms in delivering high-quality audit education that will support the professional development of auditors and aim to retain them within the audit sector?