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Activating potential

Updated: May 17, 2023

"None of us is as smart as all of us."Ken Blanchard

Rapid digitalization has put businesses on notice — those who can't adapt risk falling behind. The early adopters, primarily large firms, have taken a lead by promptly embracing the technological shift while the slower ones are now playing catch-up. Unfortunately, many smaller firms face budgetary constraints and are unable to invest in the latest technologies. There is, however, a solution that has yet to be fully explored: collaboration.

Can small and medium auditing firms leverage Learning Management Systems (LMS)? In brief, yes, but to provide a more comprehensive response, it is important to understand the context. As the Board of Accountancy (BoA) intensifies its efforts to ensure Quality Assurance Review compliance and excellence in public practice, numerous small and medium-sized firms are grappling with constantly evolving knowledge requirements. The frequent introduction of new standards, rules, and regulations necessitates ongoing professional development, especially for associates, which presents a major challenge for these firms — many of whom operate with limited budgets. Unlike their larger counterparts who have the resources, smaller firms struggle to support employee development.

LMS is an indispensable tool for providing essential training and development to auditing firm employees. By equipping personnel with the latest knowledge and skills, LMS can help enhance the quality of audit engagement and ensure compliance with accounting standards, regulations, and industry developments. LMS can also accurately measure an engagement team's competitiveness, making it an essential planning tool. Without an LMS, auditing firms will struggle to make objective assessments of personnel, making planning difficult and potentially leading to less effective engagements.

Having said that, small and medium-sized firms facing budget constraints can explore a cost-effective option by collaborating with other firms to create an organization that provides an LMS to all members. In the Philippines, most regulations and standards similarly apply to all companies, making it possible to develop a one-size-fits-all software solution that can provide updates, training, and workshops for every firm. By pooling resources and expertise, firms can leverage economies of scale to create a comprehensive LMS platform without straining their budgets. This collaborative approach provides a viable solution for small and medium-sized firms seeking to enhance employee development and competitiveness.

Limited resources are not a barrier for small and medium-sized auditing firms to provide quality services. Helen Keller, a distinguished novelist, said: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." This quote speaks about the power of collaboration and highlights the idea that working together can result in greater accomplishments. This sentiment rings true in the world of auditing, where collaboration is key to building competent and capable personnel.

By working together with fellow firms, auditing practices can enhance sustainability and establish a steady foothold for firms to not only survive but thrive. An auditing firm's raison d'être is to provide assurance to investors and lenders. As such, we must remain capable enough to meet their needs regardless a firm's size.


Manuel Guilius A. Pamorca is an audit supervisor at Paguio, Dumayas and Associates, CPAs (PDAC)-PrimeGlobal Philippines, an institutional member of ACPAPP. The views and opinions in this article are his and do not represent those of PDAC and the ACPAPP.

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