Forum of Firms Focuses on Going Concern

Apr 17, 2009 | New York | English

Over 70 partners and senior executives from 24 international networks of accounting firms recently met in London to share their experiences, industry insights, and current practices at a symposium on Going Concern and Related Audit Considerations. Panels of experts were assembled with the support of the four largest networks to lead discussions on various topics, including companies' access to funding, financial statement and audit report implications related to going concern, as well as other related audit considerations, such as valuation and impairment, materiality, and internal control implications.

"This event is the second in a developing initiative by the Forum of Firms to collectively share, examine, and evolve current practice in dealing with the many challenges facing auditors and the profession flowing from the current economic situation. It brings together the Forum membership in a unique manner to hear and openly exchange views, including hearing the latest developments from the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)," states David Maxwell, Chair of both the symposium and the Forum of Firms.

The symposium commenced with a jurisdictional analysis of accounting and auditing standards, followed by a presentation on IAASB perspectives with particular emphasis on the IAASB's Staff Audit Practice Alert, Audit Considerations in Respect of Going Concern in the Current Economic Environment, issued in January 2009. The symposium then focused on some of the practical auditing considerations being faced by auditors across a broad spectrum of industries. This resulted in discussion from a wide range of perspectives and suggestions of practical guidance to help auditors navigate through today's economic climate. The importance of carefully considering assumptions associated with client business models, getting a more intimate understanding of financing arrangements, as well as transparency in disclosures were key focus areas.

"The symposiums are designed to disseminate good practice in an area of critical importance in today's environment and to support both Forum members and the broader Forum objective of providing the highest quality audit services," points out David Maxwell.

About the Forum of Firms
The Forum of Firms ( is an association of networks of international accounting firms that perform transnational audits. Members of the Forum have committed to adhere to and promote the consistent application of high-quality audit practices worldwide, including the use of International Standards on Auditing, and the maintenance of appropriate quality control standards in accordance with International Standards on Quality Control issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. Through their organizations, members also conduct globally coordinated internal quality assurance reviews on a regular basis and have policies and methodologies that conform to the International Federation of Accountants' Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. The Transnational Auditors Committee is the Executive Committee of the Forum of Firms and a committee of the International Federation of Accountants.


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