Future Implementation Support for International Standards on Auditing

Dawn McGeachy, Christopher Arnold | January 15, 2019

As part of the IFAC’s commitment to support the implementation and adoption of international standards, we are exploring if new or additional initiatives could better assist small and medium-sized practices (SMPs) in efficiently and effectively implementing the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs). In particular, we are exploring whether the Guide to Using ISAs in the Audits of SMEs, Fourth Edition  (ISA Guide), should continue in its present form, with regular updates, or if IFAC should consider alternative ways to support SMPs in their implementation of ISAs.

We would be grateful if you could please complete the short questionnaire below to inform our consideration of what future implementation support would be most useful.

The ISA Guide has been downloaded over 100,000 times and has been translated into more than 21 languages. While it continues to be used by member organizations and by small firms as a training tool for new and junior audit staff, and as reference material for experienced auditors, we recognize that the volume of material can be challenging for practitioners (and member organizations undertaking the translations) and in certain jurisdictions there are now numerous software packages and tools to assist small practitioners. 

In addition, IFAC is focused on agility and speed to market, so a modular approach where short, succinct publications are produced focusing on specific areas may be more efficient and useful to practitioners. For example, specific implementation support may be helpful for the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) revised standard on accounting estimates, ISA 540 (Revised), Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures, which becomes effective for financial statement audits for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2019.

Assessing the Need for Additional Resources              

We invite you to share your experiences below on how the ISA Guide has been used in your practice and provide feedback on how it could be made more useful. In addition, we are conducting a short poll to assess the need and demand for the development of additional support materials. Please complete the question below by January 31 to tell us which of the proposed options could be most useful.

Please note that the IAASB currently have projects underway to revise ISQC 1 - now ISQM 1 – Quality Management at Firm Level, Engagement Quality Reviews – ISQM 2 and Quality Management at the Engagement Level – ISA 220 with the Exposure Drafts intended to be released in January 2019. It is recognized that the Guide to Quality Control will need to be revisited to reflect all these projects and consideration also given to the most appropriate implementation support in coordination with the IAASB.

Current Resources

IFAC has developed a suite of comprehensive guides and supplementary resources to help SMPs implement the international standards issued by the IAASB, including:

These publications have been downloaded thousands of times in countries around the world, and many translated versions are also available. For more detail, please also see ‘Resource Roundup: Implementation Support for Small- and Medium-Sized Practices’.

Dawn McGeachy

Principal, Colby McGeachy Professional Corporation

Dawn McGeachy is a licensed public accountant, and is the accounting and assurance partner in the firm Colby McGeachy Professional Corporation, an independent member firm of Porter Hétu International, where she also serves on the National Standards Committee. She has over 30 years of public practice and audit-related experience. Dawn has served on both the Public Accountants Council of Ontario for a three-year term, as well as the Public Accounting Licensing Board for the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario. See more by Dawn McGeachy

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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