IFRS 17: How best to involve your auditors

06 February 2018

With less than three years until IFRS 17 becomes effective, I would hope most insurers have already come to terms with the large role that auditors have to play in the IFRS 17 journey. The question I want to tackle in this blog is how best to involve auditors to ensure the greatest benefit for your company.

Firstly, and most importantly, don’t leave it too late! Decisions made on IFRS 17 implementation will be expensive, particularly those which are technology driven. But money and time can be saved by involving your external auditor early and ensuring all decisions are supported by a professional body.  Don’t run the risk of incurring unnecessary costs as a result of your auditor disagreeing with you further down the line.

Early involvement of auditors can also help ensure consistency amongst the audit firms themselves, particularly those orchestrating IFRS 17 for a global Group. Don’t forget, this is a big challenge for the auditors too, as interpretations will need to remain loose at first and tighten up as the Transition Resource Group finalises their own interpretations. Helping auditors with practical issues arising from implementation will also help shape their views over the years to come.

It’s also worth considering if your auditor can perform other roles in the project including project assurance. Auditors have a responsibility to understand large change and systems projects, so it could be a cost effective option to extend this to giving assurance that a project as big as IFRS 17 is on track.

Last but not least, the focus should not just be on external auditors.  It would be an error to forget about internal audit - early engagement with internal auditors will ensure real time advice and ensure the project is set up to succeed.

All in all, it is fair to say the more active and early a role both internal and external audit play in your IFRS 17 implementation plan, the less likely you are to hit roadblocks in the future.

Alex Bertolotti

Alex Bertolotti | Partner
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