The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released for public comment proposed revised International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000, Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.
Proposed ISAE 3000 is a principles-based standard that can be applied effectively to a broad range of assurance engagements. Such engagements may range from assurance on statements about the effectiveness of internal control, for example, to direct engagements such as performance or “value for money” audits, to possible future engagements addressing integrated reporting or corporate social responsibility reporting.
“Proposed ISAE 3000 includes requirements that enable consistent high-quality engagements, while being sufficiently flexible to apply to the broad range of relevant engagements,” notes Prof. Arnold Schilder, IAASB Chairman. “This is an important balance. ISAE 3000 is the overarching standard for current and future topic-specific ISAEs and assurance engagements where no separate ISAE exists. As a result, it needs to be sufficiently robust, yet not so unwieldy as to be impractical to apply. Equally, the ISAE should facilitate innovation in the evolving field of assurance, not act as an impediment.”
Proposed ISAE 3000 covers both reasonable and limited assurance engagements. Among other proposals, the ISAE introduces guidance designed to help readers better understand these two levels of assurance. It also includes guidance addressing direct engagements that have become common in the public sector and have been undertaken increasingly in the private sector. “Since 2003, when the existing standard was approved, practitioners and national standard setters have gained considerable experience with ISAE 3000 that has helped identify a number of opportunities to clarify how some of the core underlying concepts should be applied in practice,” explains James Gunn, IAASB Technical Director.
Proposed ISAE 3000 also includes material from the existing International Framework for Assurance Engagements that is necessary for the ISAE to be understood without reference to the Framework. Accompanying the exposure of the proposed ISAE are also proposed consequential amendments to the Framework reflecting the impact of the proposals in ISAE 3000.
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