IAASB ambition – better assurance over more engagements

29 Jan 2014

PwC has welcomed the IAASB’s improvements to the International Standard on Assurance Engagements, the standard that sets the foundation for a range of assurance engagements. With growing demand from preparers, users and the public for high-quality assurance over information beyond the audit of financial statements, the standard is a step forward.

“Sustained value creation increasingly requires a broader view of growth than today’s financial reporting model alone, and corporate reporting is evolving to reflect a broader range of performance,” said PwC Assurance partner Diana Hillier. “ISAE 3000 (revised) provides a robust foundation for designing new assurance engagements that can play a valuable role in increasing stakeholders’ confidence in these new information sets.”

The IAASB says the update is a ‘platform’ for practitioners to provide assurance services on many more matters and enhance the quality of those engagements. “Preparers and users alike already look to the accountancy profession to provide assurance services on an expansive range of information,” said Prof. Schilder, “and this is anticipated to continue to grow.”

But the standard-setting body is not just looking to update the standards for assurance engagements provided today. It wants the profession to be able to use the standard to develop new assurance engagements in emerging areas. According to the Board’s technical director, James Gunn, the revision “involved striking an appropriate balance between ensuring that the standard is sufficiently robust, and that is able to facilitate innovation in the dynamic and evolving field of assurance.”

The revised ISAE 3000 will apply to engagements ranging from compliance with contractual or regulatory requirements that have long been provided by auditors, to fast-growing and increasingly scrutinised areas such as sustainability reports.