Forum of Firms Welcomes Completion of IAASB Clarity Project; Encourages Firms to Focus on Implementation Issues

Mar 03, 2009 | New York | English

Members of the Forum of Firms are pleased to note the completion of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's (IAASB) Clarity Project and are encouraging their members to plan now for the timely implementation of the revised International Standards on Auditing (ISAs).

"This is one of the most significant projects in the history of the IAASB.  Completion of this project will result in many improvements to the ISAs and significantly advance global convergence of auditing standards," states Forum of Firms Chair David Maxwell. "We congratulate the Board on its sustained efforts over the past two years to get the project completed on a timely basis."

The IAASB Clarity Project involves a comprehensive review of all ISAs and International Standards on Quality Control to improve their clarity and thereby their consistent application.

During the process, a number of standards, including those dealing with group audits, related parties, external confirmations, audit of accounting estimates, and the use of experts were also significantly revised in order to enhance audit quality in these key areas.

Thirty-six standards in all were revised or restated. The due process surrounding their development and approval has been reviewed and endorsed by the Public Interest Oversight Board, an independent body established by the international financial regulatory community. All 36 clarified ISAs come into effect for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2009.

"We have been encouraging Forum members to consider implementation matters as and when the standards were promulgated so they have sufficient time to update audit methodologies and training programs in advance of the effective date," emphasizes Nick Fraser, chairman of the International Federation of Accountants Transnational Auditors Committee, the executive arm of the Forum of Firms.  "However, there is no doubt that timely adoption of the ISAs by national regulators will also provide significant impetus in promoting  the convergence process, and we look forward to seeing rapid progress in this respect."

The Forum of Firms, formally established in 2002, is an association of international networks of accounting firms. These firms perform audits of financial statements that are or may be used across national borders. The Forum's goal is to promote consistent and high-quality standards of financial reporting and auditing practices worldwide. Accordingly, its members have committed to maintaining appropriate quality control standards in accordance with International Standards on Quality Control issued by the IAASB, to have policies and methodologies for the conduct of transnational audits that are based on ISAs, and to have policies and methodologies which conform to the IFAC Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and national codes of ethics.

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