An external auditor should to be able to identify financial issues an organisation is facing, but their ability to predict future issues is more limited.
The primary role of external auditors is to understand how accurate the financial statements are for a company. As such they may be able to highlight areas where they are not accurate, are be ins mismanaged/subverted etc and therefore highlight potential problem areas. In addition by having an understanding of these statements they should be able to understand the present business issues such as cash flow, excessive inventory etc.
In terms of predicting future financial issues it is more challenging. By identifying areas on the financial statements that are at risk an auditor could highlight concerns, but it is difficult for them to look at the full risks and issues that have caused the finances to be the way they are (if they are reported correctly).
In addition it is worth mentioning that you always have to consider the risk profile of a company, and the fact that this is subjective. A firm may be performing very well by taking a level of risk that others would see as too high, it is subjective whether this is a future issue or not.