IAASB Proposes New Guidance on Auditing Complex Financial Instruments

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released for public exposure a new proposed pronouncement—International Auditing Practice Statement (IAPS) 1000, Special Considerations in Auditing Complex Financial Instruments—that highlights practical considerations for auditors when dealing with complex financial instruments. The pronouncement gives particular emphasis to auditing considerations relating to valuation and disclosure issues for financial statement items measured at fair value.

 

“The global financial crisis highlighted the need for further guidance on this important and challenging area of financial reporting,” explains Prof. Arnold Schilder, chairman of the IAASB. “Through the proposed IAPS 1000, the IAASB seeks to raise awareness of issues being encountered in practice, in particular for fair value estimates and the valuation of assets in illiquid markets. IAPS 1000 provides useful guidance to auditors of entities of all sizes on a topic that will likely continue to prove challenging for both preparers of financial statements and auditors.”

 

Along with the proposed IAPS 1000, the IAASB is also exposing for comment proposed changes to the current Preface to the International Standards on Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance and Related Services (the proposed amended Preface), which explains the authority of this and future IAPSs.

 

James Gunn, IAASB technical director, explains that the proposed amended Preface makes clear that the IAASB’s Practice Statements are issued to promote good practice and provide practical assistance to auditors in implementing the ISAs. "As such, when a Practice Statement is relevant in the circumstances of the audit, auditors should understand the guidance in that Statement. From a practical point of view, the proposals seek to achieve a common understanding of how Practice Statements are to be used.”

 

The IAASB plans to finalize proposed IAPS 1000 and the statement of authority in 2011. Auditors, however, may wish to consider the material in the proposed IAPS 1000 as they plan and perform their upcoming audit engagements.

 

 

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