Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
October 17-18, 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)
The AASB discussed issues related to the adoption of auditor reporting standards in Canada. The AASB considered the appropriate timing for approval of the standards in relation to the expected timing for the finalization of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s auditor reporting proposals. The AASB also discussed different options for the application of the new standards for entities listed with exchanges other than the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The AASB reviewed a draft message from the Chair to update stakeholders on the progress of the project. This message is expected to be released in late 2016.
The AASB also discussed a proposed joint project with the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board to conduct a review of the Australian experience in implementing new auditor reporting standards in the first year, with a particular focus on smaller listed entities.
Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations
The AASB approved revisions to CAS 250, Consideration of Laws and Regulations in an Audit of Financial Statements, and conforming amendments to other standards, related to adoption of the IAASB’s limited amendments to address non-compliance with laws or regulations. The AASB concluded that changes made in finalizing the standards were not significantly different from the proposals in the Exposure Draft and, therefore, no re-exposure is necessary. The amendments will be effective for financial statement periods ending on or after December 15, 2018 and are expected to be included in a Handbook update in early 2017.
Assurance and Related Services Standards (other than CASs)
The AASB unanimously approved a Canadian Invitation to Comment on the IAASB’s discussion paper, “Exploring the Demand for Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements and Other Services, and the Implications for the IAASB’s International Standards.” The Invitation to Comment is expected to be issued in late 2016.
The AASB discussed key risks and issues related to implementing recently approved CSOA 5000, Use of the Practitioner’s Communication or Name.
The AASB discussed issues related to its project to develop a revised standard for compilation engagements, including engagement acceptance and continuance. The AASB also reviewed its Compliance Engagement Task Force’s draft consultation paper. The Task Force intends to use the paper as a basis for broad-based consultations on the project, including roundtable sessions across Canada commencing in late 2016.
Public Sector Auditing Standards
The AASB discussed issues related to the development of an auditing guideline to replace Section PS 5300, Auditing for Compliance with Legislative and Related Authorities in the Public Sector, including:
- the scope of the auditing guideline;
- appropriate reporting elements to include in the auditor’s report; and
- illustrative reports to be included.
Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization
The AASB considered a project to revise CSAE 3416, Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, in light of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ new attestation standard AT-C Section 320, Reporting on an Examination of Controls at a Service Organization Relevant to User Entities’ Internal Control Over Financial Reporting, and discussed:
- the need to better understand the differences between CSAE 3416, AT-C Section 320 and ISAE 3402, Assurance Reports on Controls at a Service Organization; and
- whether there is a need for interim guidance on the implications for service auditors and users of service auditor’ reports of the differences.
The AASB plans to consider the draft guidance and a project proposal at its next meeting.
AASB Strategic Plan 2016-2021
The AASB received progress updates on various projects addressing key elements of its Strategic Plan. The AASB will continue its work in these areas as it executes the 5-year plan.
The AASB conducted two outreach sessions with Canadian stakeholders representing small and medium-sized practitioners and regulators. Topics discussed included:
- issues and challenges in implementing existing standards;
- opportunities to enhance the AASB’s engagement with stakeholders; and
- environmental developments that may be relevant for standard setting.