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Apr 29, 2011
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IAASB Issues Enhanced Overarching Assurance Standard For Comment
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) today released for public comment proposed revised International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000, Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.
Proposed ISAE 3000 is a principles-based standard that can be applied effectively to a broad range of assurance engagements. Such engagements may range from assurance on statements about the effectiveness of internal control, for example, to direct engagements such as performance or “value for money” audits, to possible future engagements addressing integrated reporting or corporate social responsibility reporting.
“Proposed ISAE 3000 includes requirements that enable consistent high-quality engagements, while being sufficiently flexible to apply to the broad range of relevant engagements,” noted Prof. Arnold Schilder, IAASB Chairman. “This is an important balance. ISAE 3000 is the overarching standard for current and future topic-specific ISAEs and assurance engagements where no separate ISAE exists. As a result, it needs to be sufficiently robust, yet not so unwieldy as to be impractical to apply. Equally, the ISAE should facilitate innovation in the evolving field of assurance, not act as an impediment.”
Proposed ISAE 3000 covers both reasonable and limited assurance engagements. Among other proposals, the ISAE introduces guidance designed to help readers better understand these two levels of assurance. It also includes guidance addressing direct engagements that have become common in the public sector and have been undertaken increasingly in the private sector. “Since 2003, when the existing standard was approved, practitioners and national standard setters have gained considerable experience with ISAE 3000 that has helped identify a number of opportunities to clarify how some of the core underlying concepts should be applied in practice,” explained James Gunn, IAASB Technical Director.
Proposed ISAE 3000 also includes material from the existing International Framework for Assurance Engagements that is necessary for the ISAE to be understood without reference to the Framework. Accompanying the exposure of the proposed ISAE are also proposed consequential amendments to the Framework reflecting the impact of the proposals in ISAE 3000.
How to Comment
The IAASB invites all stakeholders to comment on its proposals. To access the exposure draft or submit a comment, visit the IAASB’s website at www.iaasb.org/ExposureDrafts.php. Comments on the exposure draft are requested by September 1, 2011.
About the IAASB
The IAASB develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by IFAC.
IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession, dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of 164 members and associates in 125 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.