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IFAC SMP Committee Releases Updated ISA Guide

Oct 18, 2010 | New York | English

The Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Committee of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) today issued the second edition of its Guide to Using International Standards on Auditing in the Audits of Small- and Medium-Sized Entities (ISA Guide). The implementation guide is intended to help practitioners understand and efficiently apply the Clarified International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), which are effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2009.

“Many practitioners around the world are transitioning to the use of the Clarified ISAs. While the Clarity Project made the ISAs more understandable, clear, and capable of consistent application, the SMP Committee has long recognized the challenges facing SMPs in applying new standards—which range from resource constraints to the distinctive traits of audits of small- and medium-sized entities,” says Sylvie Voghel, SMP Committee chair. “The updated ISA Guide provides IFAC member bodies—and ultimately the SMPs they represent—with a unique resource to help them implement the new requirements efficiently and deliver high-quality service.”

The first edition of the ISA Guide was issued in December 2007 and was IFAC’s second most popular publication during 2008. The second edition includes various improvements based on feedback from users of the first edition. In addition, it features two integrated case studies, one of which focuses on an audit of a micro-entity, increased focus on SME audits, and a new colorful design.

The ISA Guide also now comes in two stand-alone volumes:

  • Volume 1 describes the basic concepts of a risk-based audit in conformance with the Clarified ISAs. It is directed at practitioners and students with little or no familiarity with the ISAs who want to understand them and apply them in practice. This volume might also provide material to training providers, institutes, and universities that teach audit practices.
  • Volume 2 provides practical guidance for the audit of SMEs. It is aimed at practitioners with a good working knowledge of the ISAs who want a tool for reference purposes, as well as specific guidance on conducting SME audits cost effectively.

IFAC wishes to thank the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants for producing the ISA Guide and the global panel of reviewers for volunteering their time and effort to helping with its development.

The PDF version of the ISA Guide can be downloaded for personal use from the Publications & Resources section of the IFAC website. For information on reproducing or translating publications issued by IFAC, please see our policy statement or contact

The IFAC SMP Committee welcomes readers to visit its International Center for Small and Medium Practices (, which hosts a collection of IFAC publications (including recently issued guides on quality control and practice management) and relevant links to resources from IFAC member bodies and other organizations, including a category devoted to implementing international standards. The site also hosts a discussion board, where practitioners can exchange views on how to apply the ISAs, a link to the Translations Database, where downloadable translations of the ISA Guide are available, and a link to the IAASB Clarity Center, which hosts an array of implementation support materials.

About 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 159 members and associates in 124 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.