Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
Decision Summary
March 7- 8, 2016

This summary of decisions of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussions on projects and other matters, which might change after further deliberations by the AASB. Decisions to publish exposure draft and Handbook material are final only after a formal voting process.

 

Canadian Auditing Standards (CASs)

Auditing Accounting Estimates

The AASB provided input to the CPA Canada nominee on the IAASB on issues related to the IAASB’s project to revise ISA 540, Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Accounting Estimates, and Related Disclosures, including:

  • whether the scope of ISA 540 should be clarified;
  • whether professional skepticism could be strengthened by changing the wording of ISA 540; and
  • how the auditor performs risk assessment procedures related to accounting estimates.  

The AASB agreed the composition of the advisory group being formed to provide insights to the AASB on the project.

Auditor Reporting

The AASB discussed comments received from Canadian stakeholders on the AASB’s Invitation to Comment, “Implementation Considerations for New Auditor Reporting Standards.”  The AASB also discussed the way forward in Canada in response to input from stakeholders as well as the status of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s planned issuance of the auditor reporting proposals.

The AASB decided on key areas requiring further exploration that will be discussed at the next meeting.

Enhancing Audit Quality

The AASB:

  • discussed issues related to the IAASB’s Overview and Invitation to Comment, “Enhancing Audit Quality in the Public Interest: A Focus on Professional Skepticism, Quality Control and Group Audits”; and
  • decided on a preliminary approach to the AASB’s response to the IAASB’s Invitation to Comment.

Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement

The AASB provided input to the CPA Canada nominee on the IAASB on issues related to the IAASB’s early-stage initiative to consider revisions to ISA 315 (Revised), Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and its Environment. The AASB will consider the best means to provide input on this project at a future meeting.  

Responsibilities Related to Other Information

The AASB discussed and reached preliminary conclusions on comments received from Canadian stakeholders on the AASB’s Exposure Draft, “The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information: Canadian Amendments.” The AASB decided that further analysis is needed, which will be discussed in conjunction with the auditor reporting project at the next meeting.

Assurance and Related Services Standards (other than CASs)

Agreed-upon Procedures

The AASB provided input to the CPA Canada nominee on the IAASB on issues related to the IAASB’s project to revise ISRS 4400, Engagements to Perform Agreed-upon Procedures Regarding Financial Information, including:

  • the need for further exploration of multi-scope engagements; and
  • the use of judgment in an agreed-upon procedures engagement.

Compilation Engagements

The AASB discussed issues related to its project to revise Section 9200, Compilation Engagements, including:

  • public interest issues to be addressed by the project;
  • the definition of a compilation engagement;
  • the practitioner’s work effort; and
  • proposed communication between the auditor and the entity.

Public Sector Auditing Standards

The AASB discussed issues related to its project to revise Sections in the Handbook dealing with the special circumstances that may apply to the audits of public sector entities undertaken by legislative and other external auditors, including:

  • confirmed the need to maintain a compliance auditing standard for the public sector;
  • whether further guidance on identifying and assessing internal controls under CSAE 3000 and 3001 is needed; and
  • stakeholder demands for guidance related to value-for-money audits.

The AASB decided that the Public Sector Auditing Standards Review Task Force should continue to explore the best means of incorporating public sector auditing standards into the Handbook for discussion at a future meeting.

Special Reports – Assurance on Compliance with Agreements, Statutes and Regulations

The AASB discussed matters relating to the relationship between proposed CSAE 3530, Reports on Compliance with Agreements, Statutes and Regulations, and public sector auditing standards dealing with compliance audits.

The AASB decided that its CSAE 3530 subgroup and the Public Sector Auditing Standards Review Task Force should consider the implications if CSAE 3530 were to include material related to audits of compliance with legislative and related authorities in the public sector. The AASB will discuss this issue in more depth at a future meeting. 

AASB Planning

AASB Operating Plan 2016-2017

The AASB approved its Operating Plan for 2016-2017. The Plan includes:

  • activities necessary to begin implementing its pending Strategic Plan for 2016-2021;
  • projects currently underway that were started in response to goals and objectives identified in the AASB’s Strategic Plans for 2010-2013 and 2013-2016; and
  • monitoring various projects of the IAASB.

AASB Strategic Plan 2016-2021

The AASB reviewed feedback received on the Invitation to Comment on its draft Strategic Plan for 2016-2021.  The AASB discussed proposed revisions, as well as implementation considerations. The AASB will approve the Strategic Plan for 2016-2021 at a future meeting.