Risk and Quality

What independence means to us

Natalia Avallone
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In the month of Independence, we share why this word is so important in our daily work as an audit firm.

Independence is the fundamental requirement to provide audit services. It means that whoever performs the audit has no conflicts of interest with the audited entity or object, which guarantees that they can express an impartial opinion on said entity or object.


When providing audit services we must have:

Mental independence: it is the mental state that allows expressing an opinion, without being affected by influences that divert professional judgment. It allows the individual to act with integrity and exercise professional objectivity and skepticism.

Independence in appearance: When events or circumstances are avoided that, because they are so significant, could lead a reasonable and well-informed third party to believe that the integrity, objectivity or professional skepticism of the Firm or of a member of the audit team were compromised or diverted.


Grant Thornton Argentina implements different processes that confirm the independence and impartiality of our professionals and make inquiries about possible conflicts of interest or threats to independence, prior to the acceptance of any service:

• International Relationship Check (IRC) or International Independence Check: it is fulfilled through an inquiry of an international nature, carried out by a member firm requesting from other member firms of the network, a positive or negative response regarding the possible existence of conflicts of interest between Firms serving clients with multiple offices in different parts of the world.

• Domestic Relationship Check (DRC) or local Independence Check: it is carried out through a local inquiry to Partners, Managers and Supervisors, in order to obtain a positive response, regarding a possible relationship in personal or commercial terms, with a potential client.


What is a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual's judgment and the integrity of their actions tend to be unduly influenced by an economic or personal interest, to the point of guiding their decisions or actions for their own benefit or that of a third.

Some situations that could generate conflicts of interest or threats to independence are:

  • Financial interests
  • Loans and guarantees obtained from the client
  • Establishment of contingent fees
  • Close business relationships with customers family and personal relationships
  • Recent employment relationship with clients of the firm
  • Recent services with clients
  • Serve as an official or director in the management bodies of clients
  • Provision of services to clients by high-level personnel for several years
  • Assume managerial responsibilities
  • Provision of non-audit services to audit clients
  • Fee agreements and prices of other services
  • Compensation and Evaluation Policies
  • Gifts and invitations, among others


Our policies

Our independence policies apply to all of our service lines and were established based on the requirements of the Grant Thornton International network. These policies are based on the International Auditing Standards (ISA), on the guidelines of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants contained in the IESBA Code; as well as the professional standards issued by the Argentine Federation of Professional Councils of Economic Sciences (FACPCE).


How do we guarantee compliance with the independence conditions of our collaborators?

Grant Thornton Argentina guarantees the independence of its collaborators through:

• Confirmation of independence for new personnel, in which all collaborators who join the firm confirm in writing that, at the time of their recruitment, they do not present any conflict of interest with the firm and/or its clients.

• The annual confirmation of independence, in which once a year all collaborators of all service areas confirm their state of independence with the firm and its clients.

• Confirmation of independence of team members. It is completed before the provision of the service, where each and every one confirms that they do not have any conflict of interest with the assigned assurance commitment.


All firm personnel must comply with the policies and procedures related to current ethics and independence requirements. Maintaining our independence is a responsibility that we share and uphold in our daily work.