We offer experience and personal contact to keep audits simple.
Rothsay Auditing, based in Perth, is a division of Rothsay Chartered Accountants specialising in auditing the resource and investment sector.
Rothsay, with offices in Perth and Sydney, is able to effectively audit clients from grassroots exploration to production. Our size ensures we are able to meet the lead auditor rotational obligations of the Corporations Act.
Our in-house software enables us to meet the statutory requirements of Australian Auditing Standards.
Why We Do This by Graham Swan
Big End of Town Training
I started out working at Price Waterhouse mainly auditing insurance companies. If that sounds dry, let me tell you it was. Working for a firm that size is a lot like working for the public service. Even though they split you down into smaller groups, you still didn't feel that you had any control of your career.
What is Wrong with Big Corporate Culture
This came into sharp focus when we lost a huge multinational client overnight. It turned out that their head office in Europe had switched auditing firms and that change was automatically rolled out worldwide. I watched my co-workers realise that their years of quality work and relationship building were gone with the stroke of a pen.
My First Taste of the Mining Industry
I decided to take a job with a smaller firm where you could get to know your clients better. This is where I had my first taste of the mining industry. I went to Queensland with a Director of this little exploration company. We went out bush near Cloncurry and maybe did a little bit of damage to the Avis hire car. We banged the corner peg in, and he raised some money and then listed on the ASX.
This company went from being a little unlisted exploration company to a fully operational copper mine. It was amazing to see this hill dug out and the ore sitting on pallets ready for market. I felt that I was part of that process, from green fields to actual production. It was exciting, and I was hooked.
Meeting Mining Industry People
Now, these were the glory days before Paul Keating killed the long lunch. Mine directors and prospectors would invite me to the occasional long lunch. I got to meet some fantastic characters and hear their entertaining stories. These were people who'd spent a significant portion of their life out in the bush looking for the right rocks. I admired their commitment, and I enjoyed seeing them succeed.
The logical next step was to set up my own business. We specialise in ASX listed mining companies and investment businesses. We are a firm of specialist auditors. We don't do accounting advice or the tax side of things - just audits.
Big End of Town Experience Without The Price Tag
Whilst our clients have a legal responsibility to have an audit they don't get much out of the process. I think they like us because we don't have the overheads that big-end-of-town auditors do. It means we can charge a fraction of their fees. Let's face it; there are much more exciting things to spend your money on than the company audit.
Deal with Principals
We're a very small firm; there's only four of us. Our clients deal with the Principals. They're not going to get an inexperienced person turning up to do their audit who hasn't got a clue what's going on. These people want to count the petty cash because the work program says to count the petty cash. We understand the business, and we deal with things personally. Most of our new clients have been referred to us by existing clients. That's something we're proud of.
Professional and Friendly Audits
An audit is very structured. The accounts have to comply with the accounting standards. We don't have any control over the auditing process, but we can control the way that process is carried out. We can be friendly and still apply a very high standard of detail and attention. Clients appreciate that.
Streamline Decision Making
Dealing with large firms can involve a long chain of command. If a problem occurs the manager has to refer the problem up the line, then it has to come back down the line. If I'm sitting with a client in a boardroom doing their audit, they can come in and say, "Swanny, how should we treat this transaction? I'll say well you just do this. Okay, great." The whole thing gets solved just like that. Experience and personal contact keep life simple.
Australia Wide Audits
Even though we're small, we can work anywhere and do anything. If we need to go to Melbourne to do something, or we need to go to Charters Towers to do something, there's not a long chain of command. You don't have to fill out all sorts of purchase orders. We just use our frequent flyer points and jump on a plane and go. We pick up a car at Townsville and drive to Charters Towers, arrive on the site and say, "G'day guys. We're here." It's easy. Whereas if you're working for a big firm, the Perth office would have to coordinate with the Melbourne office, the Melbourne office would have to coordinate with the Brisbane office or the Townsville office. The whole thing would take a week to organise, whereas with us it takes two minutes.
Active in the Community
Audits only happen twice a year. This means that we live two lives. There are audit times and downtimes. Ross is very active in the Army Reserve in our offseason. I spend as much time as I can on the water. That's another benefit of dealing with us. We are not people who spend their whole lives in a suit in a city office crunching numbers. We are outdoors people who like to explore the world.
Get Through The Red Tape With Minimum Fuss
I enjoy getting out to mining sites. I love seeing the companies grow. I think I relate well to the people I meet in those sort of environments. As specialists in this area, we've built a lot of industry knowledge. Audits can be resolved quickly, simply and at a reasonable cost. In such a highly regulated industry I think dealing with this sort of red tape as efficiently as you can is important.