Exploring the Demand for Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements

Jasper van den Hout, Christopher Arnold | March 10, 2017

Agreed-upon procedures (AUP) engagements are widely undertaken in many jurisdictions and frequently used by regulators, funding bodies, not-for-profit organizations, creditors, and other users.

In 2015, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) formed a Working Group to help the board understand AUP engagements use, national developments in relation to standards addressing AUP engagements, and broader market needs. This information will support any possible revisions of International Standard on Related Services (ISRS) 4400, Engagements to Perform Agreed-Upon Procedures Regarding Financial Information, which was developed over 20 years ago (for additional background, see our previous article on some of the issues the Working Group planned to explore).

The Working Group issued a Discussion Paper last November, Exploring the Demand for Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements and Other Services, and the Implications for the IAASB’s International Standards. The paper:

  • highlights the key features of AUP engagements performed in accordance with ISRS 4400;
  • highlights the results of research and outreach by the Working Group; and
  • seeks stakeholder views on the issues to help inform the development of a standard-setting project proposal to revise ISRS 4400 and any other activities that may be necessary.

Specifically, the paper explores:

  • current demands for AUP engagements, implications for IAASB standard setting, and, in particular, the extent to which users and practitioners find existing requirements and guidance helpful in undertaking an AUP engagement and producing an AUP report that is valued by users; and
  • the demand for engagements that combine reasonable assurance engagements, limited assurance engagements, and non-assurance engagements, such as AUP engagements, to meet emerging needs.

The IAASB and the Working Group would like input from investors, preparers, those in governance roles, standard setters, practitioners, internal auditors, regulators, academics, and other stakeholders. This input will help determine what is needed to meet stakeholder’s needs, including standard setting and other possible actions.

Please submit your comments on the Discussion Paper by March 29, 2017 and share any feedback below.

Jasper van den Hout

Principal, International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

Jasper van den Hout is a Principal for the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). He previously worked for the IAASB as a Technical Manager, since November 2013. He was an audit Senior Manager for KPMG in Canada, and started his career with KPMG in the Netherlands. Jasper is both a Canadian (Ontario) and a Dutch qualified accountant and has significant experience in performing annual audits, interim reviews and one-time special projects. See more by Jasper van den Hout

Christopher Arnold

Head of SME/SMP and Research, IFAC

Christopher Arnold is the head of SME/SMP and Research at IFAC. He was previously an Audit Manager for Deloitte and qualified as an accountant in a mid-tier accountancy practice in London (now called PKF-Littlejohn). Christopher started his career as a Small Business Policy Adviser at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). See more by Christopher Arnold

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