This is an active initiative.
Objective(s) of project
The project objectives are to:
(i) Determine whether revisions (in the form of new or revised requirements, or additional application material) to the ISAs with respect to auditing disclosures are required and, if so, develop such revisions.
(ii) Consider how such revisions should be presented, for example within the relevant ISAs or in a separate ISA.
(iii) Determine whether other types of non-authoritative guidance, such as an International Auditing Practice Note (IAPN) or Staff Questions and Answers (Staff Q&A) publication should be developed and, if so, develop the content of such a publication.
The above objectives are not mutually exclusive, and deliberations on each will inform the overall project.
In March 2010 the IAASB agreed the establishment of a Working Group to explore and catalogue the issues and concerns around the audit of disclosures.
Task Force progress / Board discussions to date
At its September 2010 meeting, the IAASB discussed and agreed that it is critical to obtain further information and perspectives on audit practice and priorities regarding disclosures in a financial statement audit before proceeding to a project proposal. It was further agreed that the Working Group would develop a Discussion paper to:
- Validate issues identified by the Working Group and to seek feedback on those issues with the goal of assisting the Working Group in formulating a clear, targeted project plan; and
- Provide a platform for the IAASB to participate in future discussions and international debate about the future of financial reporting relative to disclosures.
The Working Group presented a proposed Discussion Paper (DP) at the December 2010 IAASB meeting, with the objective to further explore the audit implications of financial reporting disclosure requirements. The IAASB agreed the issuance of the DP, and in January 2011 the DP, entitled The Evolving Nature of Financial Reporting: Disclosure and Its Audit Implications, was released. The comment period on the DP was open through June 1, 2011.
At the September 2011 meeting a very short summary of the responses received to the DP was provided to the IAASB. The Working Group was of the view that a mechanism to feed back the key messages from the comments would be useful, and proposed the preparation of a Feedback Statement for the Board’s consideration.
The draft Feedback Statement was approved at the December 2011 IAASB meeting. The Feedback Statement, released in January 2012, provides an overview of the key messages heard on identified issues from the DP, and provides thoughts and recommendations on what can be done to address them.
At its June 2012 meeting, the IAASB further considered some specific issues identified in relation to auditing disclosures, including related work of others in this area, to assist with the preparation of a project proposal which was expected to be presented to the IAASB for their consideration at its September 2012 meeting.
The IAASB CAG discussed the project proposal at its September 2012 meeting and provided input on key considerations for the IAASB discussions.
At its September 2012 meeting (Agenda Item 6), the IAASB approved a project proposal to further consider the audit implications of financial statement disclosures, and to develop appropriate actions to address these issues.
At its December 2012 meeting, the IAASB discussed key issues identified by the Task Force on areas where enhancements to the ISAs may be appropriate in relation to auditing financial statement disclosures.
At its April 2013meeting, the IAASB discussed select issues and task force recommendations for enhancing the ISAs in relation to auditing financial statement disclosures. In particular, the IAASB provided input on where changes to the ISAs relating to the planning stage of the audit regarding auditing disclosures may be appropriate. The IAASB also discussed the existing assertions for presentation and disclosure, including considerations around their alignment with the qualitative characteristics of the underlying financial reporting frameworks.
At its September 2013 meeting, the IAASB discussed task force recommendations for enhancing various ISAs in relation to auditing financial statement disclosures. In particular, the IAASB provided input on where changes to the requirements and application and other explanatory material in ISAs addressing risk assessment, evaluating misstatements and forming an opinion on the financial statements may be appropriate for the purposes of auditing quantitative and qualitative disclosures. The IAASB also provided views on proposed changes to the assertions for presentation and disclosure.
The IAASB will further discuss issues and task force recommendations on this project at its December 2013 meeting.