In celebration of #AuditorProud day on 27th of September, we meet David Chitty, International Accounting & Audit Director for Crowe Global, based in the UK, who tells us about his experience in the profession and why he’s proud to be an auditor…
What educational/professional background and what made you choose audit as a profession?
I have a degree in Accountancy from the University of Exeter. In the U.K., most accountants do degrees in other subjects, but when thinking about what to study at University, I focused on a subject that led directly to a career. I seriously thought about law, but turned to Accountancy because of its wider business possibilities. After Exeter, I trained as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in an audit division at Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now PwC). I enjoyed Audit, the technical challenges and client interaction, and elected to remain in audit for my long term career. However, life might have gone a different way - my best results in my professional examinations were in the tax papers!
Tell us about your current role as Global Director of Audit, what do you do?
My role at Crowe Global involves constant engagement with member firms dealing with a wide range of interesting and diverse issues. I look after a portfolio of audit events, lead our audit quality review programme, support our audit process and development initiatives, interact with regulators and standard setters, and get involved with thought leadership. There is a great deal of variety, but most important of all is that I am supporting member firms in delivering a quality service to their clients.
How have you seen the profession develop over the years?
The profession has changed enormously over the years. I began working with pencil and seven column paper, but early in my career I had the good fortune to get involved with a Deloitte Haskins & Sells pilot project for a computerised approach to audit, and at other times in my career I have been involved with exciting new initiatives. Technology has fundamentally changed the way we work and there is much more exciting change to come. Another major change, is attitudes to governance and the public interest. Early in my career, the Cadbury Report was issued in U.K., being a real and evolving process of change in governance, and alongside the way we see our public interest duty has changed. The public interest is fundamental to what we do. Effective governance is vital for corporate integrity.
What is something that people wouldn’t know about the profession or would surprise them?
Our profession has faced many challenges, but many people do not know how popular the profession remains as a career choice for young people. I support the University of Exeter as a career mentor, and it is very enjoyable to work with undergraduates who are keen and positive about entering our profession, even like now, when it is not always getting the best publicity. This is positive for the future, and positive for the continuing contribution of the Accountancy and audit professions to our economies and societies.
What makes you most proud to be an auditor?
Audit is a vital activity, giving credibility to information that is relied upon to make financial decisions. Auditors are delivering value to their clients and serving the public interest, and most auditors have the integrity to get this balance right. I am proud to have made my contribution in supporting businesses that have created value for their stakeholders. I am also proud to have served the audit profession more widely, including as an ICAEW District President and Council member, as the U.K. member of the IFAC Small & Medium Practices Committee and currently as a member of ICAEW’s Regulatory Board. Putting something back into helping our profession evolve means a lot.