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Assurance

Non-authoritative Guidance – System and Organization Controls (SOC) Engagements

Aug 30, 2019

On August 30, 2019, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) released a non-authoritative guidance that is intended to provide a roadmap for practitioners who are engaged to conduct SOC attestation engagements under Canadian standards; or both Canadian and U.S. standards and/or international standards.

Review the guidance on the AASB's website.

Basis for Conclusions – Reporting on controls at a service organization relevant to user entities’ internal control over financial reporting

Aug 30, 2019

On August 30, 2019, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) released the Basis for Conclusions, which is a summary of the process followed in issuing CSAE 3416 and the Board’s conclusions regarding significant comments received in response to its Exposure Draft.

Review the Basis for Conclusions on the AASB's website.

PCAOB Staff provides guidance for new requirements on auditing estimates & auditor’s use of the work of specialists

Aug 22, 2019

on August 22, 2019, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) released four staff guidance documents to raise awareness and assist auditors in advance of the effective date of new estimates and specialists audit requirements. The requirements are effective for audits of financial statements for fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2020.

“Accounting estimates and using the work of specialists are both prevalent areas of the audit,” said Chairman William D. Duhnke. “As auditors begin to plan and perform work on audits subject to new requirements in these areas, we are committed to proactively providing resources to them and supporting effective implementation.”

The staff guidance consists of:

  1. Auditing Accounting Estimates
  2. Auditing the Fair Value of Financial Instruments
  3. Supervising or Using the Work of an Auditor's Specialist
  4. Using the Work of a Company’s Specialist 

The first two documents highlight aspects of the new standard and enhancements made to integrate the Board’s risk assessment requirements when auditing accounting estimates, including fair value measurements. The other two documents highlight aspects of new requirements that apply when auditors use the work of specialists in an audit and when an auditor uses the work of a company specialist as audit evidence. 

As outlined on the implementation webpages for the new estimates standard and amendments for the auditor’s use of the work of specialists, the PCAOB is utilizing a variety of avenues to provide useful information to auditors. The Board and staff will continue to monitor firms’ implementation efforts and determine if further guidance is needed.

Review the press release on the PCAOB's website.

AASB Response – Quality Management at the Firm and Engagement Level, Including Engagement Quality Reviews

Aug 06, 2019

On August 6, 2019, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) released their four comment letters responding to the IAASB’s Exposure Drafts for “Quality Management at the Firm and Engagement Level, Including Engagement Quality Reviews,” including, proposed International Standard on Quality Management (ISQM) 1; proposed ISQM 2, and proposed ISA 220 (Revised).

Review the comment letters for full details on the AASB's website.

CAQ releases highlights of June 2019 joint meeting with the SEC staff

Jul 29, 2019

In July 2019, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) published highlights of the CAQ SEC Regulations Committee joint meeting with the SEC staff held on June 25, 2019.

Topics discussed at the meeting include:

  • Use of income averaging for purposes of testing significance when registrant has applied the full retrospective method of adopting ASC 606 but has not revised the earliest two periods.
  • Emerging Growth Company (EGC) Transition Issues.
  • Application of amended MD&A provisions that permit the omission of the earliest period of MD&A in a filing in circumstances where there has been a retrospective change to the financial statements.
  • Interim periods required for changes in stockholders’ equity in a registration or proxy statement.
  • Non-GAAP measures, including individually tailored non-GAAP financial measures.

Review the highlights on the CAQ's website.

2019 Toronto and Montreal audit committee forum highlights

Jul 23, 2019

On July 23, 2019, the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) released highlights from their forums in Toronto and Montreal that allowed audit committee chairs and CFOs to discuss current audit quality matters and share experiences on common issues. 

The forum covered issues facing audit committees of Canadian reporting issuers, including:

  • Emerging technology for auditors
  • Cybersecurity protection for reporting issuers
  • Expanded auditors report
  • Auditor assessments and Audit Quality Indicators
  • Transparency of CPAB’s inspection findings

Review the highlights on the CPAB's website.

IAASB webinars audits of less complex entities

Jul 23, 2019

On July 23, 2019, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) issued a series of webinars on the challenges and possible actions that the IAASB is exploring it its current Consultation Paper, "Audits of Less Complex Entities".

Listen to the IAASB's webinars on the Consultation Paper, which is open for public comment until September 12, 2019.

  • In English with Prof. Roger Simnett, IAASB Member and Audits of Less Complex Entities Working Group Chair
  • In French with Isabelle Tracq-Sengeissen, IAASB and Working Group Member
  • In Spanish with Fernando Ruiz, IAASB and Working Group Member

FRC consults on enhanced ethical and auditing standards

Jul 15, 2019

On July 15, 2019, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued a consultation proposing important changes to the UK’s Ethical and Auditing Standards. The FRC proposes to set more stringent ethical rules for auditors, in response to findings from recent audit enforcement cases and from audit inspections. Comments are request by September 27, 2019.

In response to feedback from investors, the FRC also proposes to enhance the quality and content of auditor’s reports in order to improve transparency about what is found in the course of an audit.

Key changes proposed include:

  • A clearer and stronger ‘objective, reasonable and informed third party test’ which requires audit firms to consider whether a proposed action would affect their independence from the perspective of public interest stakeholders rather than another auditor.
  • Enhancing the authority of the Ethics Partner function within audit firms, in order to ensure firm wide focus on ethical matters and the public interest, and to require reporting to those charged with governance where an audit firm does not follow the Ethics Partner’s advice.
  • The list of prohibited non-audit services that auditors of Public Interest Entities (PIEs) can provide to audited bodies has been replaced with a much shorter list of permitted services, all of which are ‘closely related’ to an audit or required by law and/or regulation. No other services can be provided.
  • The requirement for the auditors of all UK listed entities to include in their published auditor’s reports the performance materiality threshold used in the audit.

Review the press release and consultation paper on the FRC's website.

PCAOB posts CAM resources for investors and audit committees

Jul 11, 2019

On July 11, 2019, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) released two new resources on critical audit matters (CAMs), one specifically for investors and the other for audit committees.

These resources advance the PCAOB’s strategic priority of cultivating effective communications with stakeholders, as well as providing timely, relevant, and useful information to them.

In May, Erin Dwyer joined the PCAOB as a direct point of contact for and liaison to investors, audit committees, and preparers. Erin shares some additional information about her role and these CAMs-related resources in this short video.

Review the resources on the PCAOB's website:

Investor relations: Get up to speed now on critical audit matters

Jul 09, 2019

On July 9, 2019, the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) released a list of frequently asked questions about critical audit matters (CAMs) to help inform investor relations (IR) professionals as they prepare for those conversations

Starting in the summer of 2019, auditors will be required to communicate CAMs in their auditor’s reports. Investors with questions about CAMs may turn to a company’s IR group for answers.

Review the publication on the CAQ's website.

Correction list for hyphenation

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