Decision Summary January 23-24, 2017

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)

Auditor Reporting

The AASB discussed the timeline for approving and issuing the auditor reporting standards in Canada.  The AASB anticipates releasing draft material to provincial institutes, for use in developing courses and training, in February 2017. The AASB continues to expect to approve the auditor reporting standards in the spring of 2017.

The AASB continues to monitor the progress of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s auditor reporting proposals. 

IAASB Projects

The AASB reviewed a draft response to the IAASB’s Request for Input, “The Growing Use of Technology in the Audit, with a Focus on Data Analytics.” The AASB is very supportive of the IAASB’s project on data analytics. It recommended some areas of focus and further research for the Data Analytics Working Group to consider. The AASB’s final response will be submitted in mid-February 2017.  

Assurance and Related Services Standards (other than CASs)

Public Sector Auditing Standards

The AASB discussed issues related to developing an assurance and related services guideline to replace Section PS 5300, Auditing for Compliance with Legislative and Related Authorities in the Public Sector. Key issues discussed included the scope of the guideline and elements to be included in the reporting. The AASB plans to approve an exposure draft of the guideline at its March 2017 meeting.

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

The AASB deliberated issues related to its project to revise compliance reporting standards, including:

  • clarifying the difference between reporting on compliance and reporting on historical financial information;
  • whether the standard should require management to make an explicit statement, or if an implicit statement could be accepted;
  • clarifying the requirements for how the practitioner obtains sufficient appropriate evidence in a limited assurance versus a reasonable assurance compliance engagement; and
  • amendments to the illustrative reports to alert users of the special purpose of the engagement.

The AASB reviewed a draft of proposed CSAE 3530, Special Considerations — Attestation Engagements to Report on Compliance, and CSAE 3531, Special Considerations — Direct Engagements to Report on Compliance. The AASB expects to approve a re-exposure draft at its February 2017 meeting. 

AASB Planning

AASB Operating Plan 2017-2018

The AASB reviewed a draft operating plan for 2017-2018. The operating plan includes projects underway and new projects in response to goals and objectives identified in the AASB’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2021, in addition to monitoring various projects of the IAASB. A final operating plan is expected to be presented for approval at the AASB’s March 2017 meeting.

AASB Strategic Plan 2016-2021

The AASB discussed issues related to the following AASB strategic projects:

  • AASB processes;
  • post-implementation reviews;
  • responding to current and future developments; and
  • scalability.

The AASB will continue its work in these areas as it executes the five-year plan.

The AASB decided that a member of the AASB should attend an IAASB working conference dealing with challenges facing small and medium sized practitioners. In preparation for the conference, the AASB received an update on recent consultations with some Canadian small and medium-sized practitioners. The input informed the AASB on Canadian viewpoints on scalability and other issues affecting standard setting that will be discussed at the conference.