AASOC 2016-2017 Annual Report

Message from the Chair

Bill McFetridgeIn 2016-2017, AASOC was able to see the culmination of a number of initiatives that required the Council to truly exercise, as well as reflect on, its oversight processes. As we entered our 15th year since inception, it seemed an appropriate a time to consider what’s best for our stakeholders moving forward, hence this year’s annual report theme – Reflecting on the past for a better tomorrow.

In the spirit of reflection, we took on a major initiative this year to work with our sister council, the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC). Through a joint subcommittee of AASOC and AcSOC, we are sharing information on our structure, our processes and together assessing whether we are carrying out our respective oversight duties in the best way. We share the goal of ensuring that we are serving the public interest as best we can, effectively and efficiently.

In addition, we saw the culmination of a number of successful initiatives including the following:

  • We issued our paper, “What the Public Interest Means to AASOC,” which details our thoughts on what the public interest means and how we assess it when it comes to our oversight role.
  • We provided oversight of the activities of the AASB as it deliberated and approved its soon-to-be-released auditor reporting standards. Throughout the process, stakeholders had conflicting public interest views on the direction the AASB should take on this project. Therefore, this project required the consideration of very complex public interest issues. We believe that the resulting standards strike a reasonable balance.

My term as Chair has now ended. However, I am very pleased that Bruce Winter has accepted the challenge to take on the role of interim AASOC chair effective April 1, 2017.

For me, leaving AASOC is bittersweet. I believe AASOC has accomplished a great deal over the past few years but there are exciting new projects ahead. AASOC was very fortunate to have had members who not only are highly accomplished leaders from the financial community, but have been fully engaged in our efforts to provide the best oversight. We worked well together in a collegial atmosphere that encouraged vigorous but respectful discussions. I am completely confident that our success will continue under Bruce’s leadership. I want to thank everyone who has served alongside me, and I wish Bruce the very best in the future.

I also wish to sincerely extend thanks to the many volunteers who make up the members of Canada’s standard-setting bodies. The time and commitment AASOC and the members of the AASB and the Independence Task Force put into their work is admirable and has put Canada on the map as a world-class standard setter.

I encourage you to review our meeting minutes to keep abreast of our activities, register as observers to our public meetings, and contribute to standard setting in Canada by participating in the AASB’s many outreach activities.

Bill McFetridge, LL.B, FCPA, FCA
Chair, Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council