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Assurance

A Year in Review: 2020 Audit Committee Forum Highlights

Apr 08, 2021

On April 8, 2021, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released highlights from their 12 forums held in 2020 for audit committee chairs and chief financial officers of Canadian reporting issuers to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the financial reporting and audit quality in various industries, including real estate, mining, energy and financial institutions.

Review the audit committee forum highlights on the CPAB's website.

CPAB 2021 Audit Committee Forums

Apr 08, 2021

On April 8, 2021, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) announced its annual audit committee forums that bring audit committee chairs and chief financial officers (CFOs) together to discuss current audit quality matters and to share experiences on common issues.

Here are the 2021 forum dates:

Audit Committee Forum (French - all industries)

  • June 10, 2021, 2 PM-3:30 PM

Audit Committee Forum (English - all industries)

  • June 17, 2021, 2 PM-3:30 PM

Cannabis Industry Forum

  • June 22, 2021, 2 PM-3:30 PM

Real Estate Industry Forum

  • September 14, 2021, 2 PM-3:30 PM

Mining Industry Forum

  • September 23, 2021, 2 PM-3:30 PM

Energy Industry Forum

  • September 29, 2021, 2 PM-3:30 PM

All forums will be held virtually. Register for these events on the CPAB's website.

New IAASB guidance helps advance assurance for non-financial reporting

Apr 06, 2021

On April 6, 2021, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) published "Non-Authoritative Guidance on Applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance Engagements". This marks a significant step forward in supporting assurance for non-financial reporting.

The Guidance responds to ten key stakeholder-identified challenges commonly encountered in applying International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000 (Revised), Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information. The guidance promotes consistent high-quality application of ISAE 3000 (Revised) in extended external reporting assurance engagements to:

  • strengthen the influence of such engagements on the quality of extended external reporting;
  • enhance trust in the resulting assurance reports; and
  • increase the credibility of extended external reports so that they can be trusted and relied upon by their intended users.

The Guidance addresses a number of overarching matters, including applying appropriate competence and capabilities, exercising professional skepticism and professional judgement, and the preconditions for an assurance engagement, as well as more specific technical matters. The Guidance also provides further explanation and examples to better understand the distinction between limited assurance and reasonable assurance engagements.

Review the press release and publication on the IAASB's website.

CPAB audit quality insights report: 2020 Annual audit quality assessments

Mar 30, 2021

On March 30, 2021, the Canadian Public Accountability Board’s (CPAB) released its Audit Quality Insights Report that features common findings and highlights several audit quality matters that impact audit committees, regulators and investors.

CPAB's 2020 findings show mixed inspection results. While the overall level of significant findings has decreased slightly, they encountered significant inconsistency in the quality of audits performed between different firms.

Four annually inspected firms met the target of no more than 10 per cent of files inspected with significant findings. Seven other firms had unacceptably high finding levels. Targeted escalation and enforcement measures are being undertaken to address specific instances of breaches of auditing standards or the professional code of conduct. Two restatements have been required to date.

The global economic and workforce disruption gave rise to critical accounting and auditing issues and challenged auditors to adjust to performing audits and overseeing that work remotely. As audits are performed remotely and business challenges persist, continued application of due care must not be compromised.

CPAB encourages public accounting firms to provide this report to their reporting issuers’ audit committees. Audit committees should discuss this report, any file-specific findings and any remediation action taken, if applicable, with their external auditor.

Review the report on the CPAB's website.

Assurance standards keeping pace on non-financial reporting

Mar 23, 2021

On March 23, 2021, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) published an article by Chair Tom Seidenstein, IAASB Chair, on how it supports the application of ISAE 3000 (Revised).

At its March 2021 meeting last week, the IAASB approved Non-Authoritative Guidance on Applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance Engagements. This guidance marks a significant step forward in supporting the evolving field of assurance for non-financial reporting. To help stakeholders understand the role of both the guidance and ISAE 3000 (Revised), which is the IAASB’s authoritative pronouncement, IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein published an article detailing the guidance and how it supports the application of ISAE 3000 (Revised), growing demands for non-financial information reporting and assurance thereon, and the IAASB’s ongoing commitment to the consistent performance of quality engagements. The guidance will be published in April.

Review the press release on the IAASB's website.

Appointments – AASOC and the AASB

Mar 18, 2021

On March 18, 2021, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council (AASOC) and Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) announced new members and re-appointed members to the Council and the AASB.

Here are the new appointments from Deloitte Canada:

AASOC appointments

Appointed as a member for a three-year term ending on March 31, 2024:

  • Donald Newell, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, B. Comm, Senior Partner (ret.), Deloitte LLP

Review the announcement on the AASB's website.

IAASB issues support material to help auditors address risk of overreliance on technology

Mar 18, 2021

On March 18, 2021, the Technology Working Group of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) released non-authoritative support material to help auditors address the risk of overreliance on technology, whether it arises from using automated tools and techniques or from using information produced by an entity’s systems.

This non-authoritative Frequently Asked Questions document helps auditors address the risk of overreliance on technology, whether it arises from using automated tools and techniques or from using information produced by an entity’s systems.

Review the press release and support material on the IAASB's website.

New Chair Appointed to the AASB

Mar 17, 2021

On March 17, 2021, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council (AASOC) announced it has approved the appointment of Bob Bosshard as the new chair of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB).

Bob will begin his three-year term as the AASB chair on July 1, 2021. Bob is a respected strategic leader and director with expertise in financial literacy, risk management, capital markets, and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. He brings significant experience working with Canadian and U.S. public companies, and a deep understanding of global business practices, IFRS® Standards, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requirements.

Review the press release on the AASB's website.

CPAB Exchange: Auditing in the cannabis sector

Feb 26, 2021

In February 2021, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released a publication that highlights their inspections findings in the cannabis industry and emphasizes the need for immediate action to improve audit quality.

Since its legalization in Canada in 2018, the cannabis industry has seen unprecedented volatility in the capital markets. At the time of this publication, there are more than 250 Canadian reporting issuers in this sector. Over the past two years the CPAB has reviewed the quality of audits of cannabis companies to better understand how auditors have adapted to the challenges in this emerging industry.

Review the publication on the CPAB’s website.

IAASB seeks public comment on exposure draft aligning existing standards with new, revised quality management standards

Feb 22, 2021

On February 22, 2021, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) issued an Exposure Draft addressing changes in some of its standards and framework resulting from the new and revised quality management standards. Comments are requested by May 24, 2021.

The Exposure Draft aligns the IAASB’s standards related to review, assurance and related services, as well as its framework, with the quality management standards through conforming amendments. This will ensure that the IAASB's international standards continue to be applied as intended. The proposed changes will also modify IAASB standards to reflect aspects of the new quality management approach and emphasize the importance of firm-level quality management to consistent quality engagements.

Review the press release and exposure draft on the IAASB's website.

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