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FRC publishes an updated practice aid to assist audit committees in evaluating audit quality

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19 Dec 2019

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published an updated practice aid to assist audit committees in evaluating audit quality in their assessment of the effectiveness of the external audit process.

The practice aid updates an earlier version to take into account developments since such as revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code, the requirement for all Public Interest Entities (PIEs) to conduct a tender at least every 10 years and rotate auditors after at least 20 years, and increasing focus generally on audit quality and the role of the audit committee. It also takes account of commentary from audit committees suggesting how the Practice Aid could be more practical in focus and more clearly presented.

New sections have been added on audit tendering and transparency of audit committee reporting. Responding to comments from audit committees, some of the background material has been consolidated and shortened and the illustrative considerations for audit committees have been updated, made more practical in their focus, and more clearly presented in separate appendices.

The FRC encourages audit committees to use the Practice Aid to help develop their own approach to their evaluation of audit quality, tailored to the circumstances of their company. Audit committees are encouraged to see their evaluation as integrated with other aspects of their role related to ensuring the quality of the financial statements – obtaining evidence of the quality of the auditor’s judgments made throughout the audit, in identifying audit risks, determining materiality and planning their work accordingly, as well as in assessing issues.

While the Practice Aid is designed for audit committees of Premium Listed companies it may assist audit committees of other entities, particularly those adopting the Corporate Governance Code voluntarily.

A press release and the full practice aid are available on the FRC website.

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