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Reporting & Assurance Standards Oversight Council

AASOC Meeting Minutes – April 3, 2023

Meeting date:
April 3, 2023 – 10:00 am – 4:00 pm eastern standard time (EST)

Location:
Virtual Meeting via Zoom

Chairperson:
Kevin Nye

Members:
Ian Bandeen
Donna Bovolaneas
Sheila Filion
Janet Grove
Carla-Marie Hait
Gary Hannaford
Ken Leung
Don Newell
Magatte Ndiaye
Michael Tambosso
Fred Pries
Neil Sinclair
John Walker

Regrets:
Beili Wong
Paul Winton

Other Attendees:
Bob Bosshard, Chair, Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB)
Karen DeGiobbi, Director, Auditing and Assurance Standards
Stephenie Fox, Senior Vice-President, Financial Reporting & Assurance, Standards
Jean-François Trépanier, Vice-President, Financial Reporting & Assurance, Standards
Lisa French, Vice-President, Sustainability Standards

Secretary:
Jess Hinchliffe, Secretary, Oversight Councils

External Observers:
Eric Turner, International Auditing and Assurance Board representative
Esther Azo’o (member of the public);

Meeting Minutes

The Auditing and Assurance Standards Oversight Council (AASOC) held a meeting for members of the Council on April 3, 2023. The meeting was held virtually using the Zoom platform.

Call to Order

AASOC Chair Kevin Nye called the meeting to order at 10:35 a.m. EST. An in-camera session for Council members was held from 10:00 a.m. to 10:35 a.m.

Approval of Minutes

AASOC approved the minutes from December 12, 2022, as written.

Chair’s Opening Remarks

Mr. Nye welcomed Anne-Marie Ethier, the newest AASOC member appointed as of April 1, 2023.

AASB Chair’s Report and Update

Bob Bosshard, Chair of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB), and Karen DeGiobbi, Director of Auditing and Assurance Standards, reviewed sustainability assurance, emerging issues, and outreach and development as key points of AASB activities.

Sustainability assurance

The Independent Review Committee on Standard Setting (IRCSS) final report identified the AASB as the appropriate board for sustainability assurance. The AASB created the Sustainability Assurance Committee of subject matter experts a permanent committee of the Board. This Committee will support the proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000, General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements, and a Canadian way forward for sustainability assurance. Associate Director Johanna Field has been seconded to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) to assist with drafting the standard. The IAASB anticipates that ISSA 5000 will be an authorized standard by spring 2024.

AASOC asked which body would be responsible for enforcing ISSA 5000. Mr. Bosshard confirmed that it will be under provincial jurisdiction. The Council discussed what sustainability reporting and disclosure will look like in the future.

Outreach and engagement

The AASB is conducting outreach and engagement on the Canadian Auditing Standard (CAS) 500, Audit Evidence Exposure Draft to help inform the submission to the IAASB. The Audits of Less Complex Entities (LCE) Advisory Group is reviewing group audit standards to see whether it would be fit for purpose in the Canadian context. Finally, the IAASB’s strategy and work plan for the next four years encourages interested and effective parties to participate in a survey. AASB’s response will help shape the IAASB’s strategy and inform the AASB’s work.

Emerging issues

Sustainability continues to be the top emerging issue for AASB. Sustainability assurance processes need to move forward.

The AASB is monitoring the effective use of technology from a practitioner’s perspective. AASOC asked about how artificial intelligence (AI) is and can be incorporated into the auditing process. AI is being used on a test basis that supplements audit procedures. The Council requested a future session on error definition and data analytics.

The AASB is also following the IRCSS final report’s recommendations and the Silicon Valley Bank situation.

The AASOC discussed the different roles involved in supporting the implementation of standards. The Standards Implementation and Application Guidance Advisory Committee consists of standards boards, research and development groups, member-development services, and provinces from an education and training perspective. The Committee is critical for the effective implementation of standards. The Council will continue to discuss where oversight is appropriate in ensuring the successful implementation of standards.

Performance Review Committee Update

Committee terms of reference

Performance Review Committee Chair Janet Grove reviewed the proposed adjustments to the Committee’s Terms of Reference. The question of whether the Committee Chair can be a practitioner will be removed from the draft Terms of Reference and deferred to a future meeting of the Nominating and Governance Committee for discussion.

It was moved by Ian Bandeen, seconded by Michael Tambosso;

Be it resolved:

THAT AASOC approves the amended changes to the Performance Review Committee Terms of Reference.

Unanimously Carried.

Performance assessment and annual plan

The performance assessment for the year ending March 31, 2023, and the 2023-2024 annual plan were reviewed. The Performance Review Committee reviewed the documents in detail during their February meeting. AASOC members were provided the documents for offline fatal-flaw review. This feedback shaped the documents submitted to the AASB at its March meeting for approval.

Through the budget process, the AASB received approval to expand and hire more staff members who will help execute the annual plan.

Annual report

An annual report is issued publicly to provide an overview of how the AASB will address public interest obligations and to illustrate work and accomplishments achieved in line with the strategic goals. AASOC suggested slight editorial changes to clarify language.

AASOC supports the AASB performance assessment, the 2023-2024 Annual Plan, and the 2022-2023 Annual Report as presented.

Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) Update

Lisa French, Vice-President, Sustainability Standards, provided an update on the CSSB’s activities. The inaugural Chair and three Board members will be publicly announced in April, with the fourth approved member anchoring the second cohort set to be announced in May. A quorum of eight Board members (including the Chair) is targeted prior to the release of the final IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information and IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures in late June 2023. A staff is being assembled to support the Board’s work.

Ms. French shared the activities for the International Sustainability Standards Board in May and June. AASOC asked about the plan to include Indigenous representation on the staff. She confirmed that identifying Indigenous perspectives has been core to the recruitment process for staff.

IRCSS Progress Update

An update on the progress made with the IRCSS was provided in-camera.

Education: Assurance in Sustainability

An education session was conducted on assurance in sustainability in-camera.

Update on the Monitoring Group

AASOC received an update on the Monitoring Group in-camera.

Independent Standing Committee Update

The Chair of the Independent Standing Committee provided an update in-camera.

Adjournment

Having no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.