The auditor’s role in NZ’s increasingly complex mid-market

In an increasingly complex mid-market, the role of the auditor has never been more important, according to Ahmed Shaker and Junita Sen, BDO Auckland’s two newest audit Partners.

New Zealand’s mid-market is growing – and so are its reporting complexities

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be part of New Zealand’s mid-market. It’s grown significantly in the past few years, and with that growth comes increased complexity in business decisions,” says Ahmed.

“Global and New Zealand-based businesses are finding innovative ways to grow, merge, and structure their operations to help maximise return – be they social or financial. The challenge comes with understanding that complexity from a financial reporting perspective, and being able to articulate and report it to stakeholders clearly.”

With the added difficulties of doing business in a COVID-19 environment, with international travel and supply chains still slow and working from home becoming the norm in many places, there’s never been a more important time to have a trusted adviser to help you navigate this ever-changing world.

Enter your auditor.    

“The role of the auditor has changed significantly in the past few years,” says Ahmed. “It’s up to us to really help clients understand this increasingly intricate world and be able to tell their story effectively – whether that’s through the use of financial or non-financial reporting. I love working closely with my clients to understand the changing world and the growth opportunities that come with it.”

For Ahmed, if he can cut through the complexity so that clients can report effectively, that enables them to both tell their growth story compellingly and free up time to focus on adding to that growth. “I’m genuinely excited when my clients launch a new product line or consider acquisitions, to the extent that it doesn’t really feel much like work – it feels like a partnering of people and business in order to help them realise their dreams, together.”

Working smartly in the wake of a global pandemic

Part of the mid-market’s increasing complexity has been caused by COVID-19, and this has had a significant impact on the way auditors interact with clients, according to Junita.

“You can’t rely on face to face anymore, which means making use of the tools we have available has become even more important. We’ve had to become really agile in the way we conduct audits, to make sure we are still able to take the client on the whole journey.”

“Particularly in a world of increasing regulations, with new sets of accounting standards and an ever-growing focus on non-financial reporting and climate-related disclosures, it’s up to us as auditors to stay on top of these trends and help clients understand the value in reporting them.”

For Junita, it’s not just about meeting regulations and compliance, it’s about seeing how these reports can help her clients tell a better story and identify areas of improvement at the same time.

“It’s an opportunity to take a true birds-eye view of your business, whether that’s your financial, social or environmental impact, and find out what you truly value and what your vision for your business is and using the report as a sounding board to see how we can support that.”

New audit Partner Ahmed Shaker has been in professional services for over 12 years, starting out as an audit grad at BDO before briefly joining another firm to experience restructuring and then rejoining BDO to pursue his passion of audit.

Junita Sen becomes an audit Partner after spending her whole career at BDO, starting as a grad in 2008 and spending time on secondment in both Perth and New York. During the course of her career, Junita has worked across a variety of businesses and industries ranging from Not-for-Profits right through to FMCGs, PE-backed entities and tier 1 listed entities. Junita is also proud to be a mother alongside a new Audit Partner, saying, “I want to inspire people and help them understand that no matter who you are, no matter what your family situation is or what you’ve got going on, you can be a strong leader, and you can have it all, whether that’s a family and a great career or whatever else you might want.”

Michael Rondel, Audit & Assurance National Leader, is delighted by the growth of the BDO audit team: “We can only help New Zealand’s mid-market navigate an increasingly complex world with a strong, passionate team of people who genuinely want to see their clients succeed. Junita and Ahmed represent this, and I’m looking forward to seeing them help even more clients as we grow our team here.”

Have you got questions about new accounting standards? Are you wanting to tell your organisation’s story in a more compelling way? Contact Junita, Ahmed or your local BDO audit adviser today and work with a fast-growing, leading mid-market audit and advisory firm. We’ll help you navigate the ever more complex world, together.