Originally posted on 23 Dec 2013

Danielle Lee wrote in accountingtoday.com that global accounting organisation, the International Federation of Accountants, has released, in conjunction with CPA Canada, a guide for professional accountants conducting review engagements in compliance with International Standard on Review Engagements. The Guide to Review Engagements addresses ISRE 2400 (Revised), is effective for periods ending on or after 31 December 2013, and is especially geared to accountants operating in small- and medium-sized firms.

“Many small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) around the world are not required, or do not elect, to have an audit,” said SMP Committee Chair Giancarlo Attolini, in a statement. “They may, however, wish to enhance the credibility of, and confidence in, their unaudited financial statements by having some degree of independent assurance on them. A review engagement, which offers limited assurance, may be the ideal solution. The guide can help practitioners prepare themselves to meet the potentially increasing demand in this area.”

The guide includes illustrative examples, relevant extracts from the standard, practical points for practitioners’ consideration, tips on efficiently implementing the standard, and checklists and forms that can be adapted to meet particular requirements and circumstances.

To assist IFAC member organizations, the SMP committee has also updated its Companion Manual, a supplementary user guide of the committee’s implementation guides. This, the article “Review Engagements for SMEs: Limited Assurance, Numerous Benefits,” and other resources are available in the Implementation Links section of the IFAC website.

Danielle also wrote that The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board released an updated and enhanced International Standard on Assurance Engagements. Titled ISAE 3000 (Revised), Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, it addressed a broad range of assurance engagements.

“The importance of relevant and consistent high quality engagements for assurance services cannot be understated,” said IAASB chairman Arnold Schilder in a statement. “Preparers and users alike already look to the accountancy profession to provide assurance services on an expansive range of information, and this is anticipated to continue to grow. ISAE 3000 (Revised) provides the platform for practitioners to provide such services, and to develop new assurance services over many different subject matters, while enhancing the quality of such engagements.”

ISAE 3000 (Revised) covers engagements ranging from assurance on statements about the effectiveness of internal control to assurance on sustainability reports and the possibility of integrated reporting in future engagements. “ISAE 3000 (Revised) is the overarching standard for current and future topic-specific ISAEs and assurance engagements where no separate ISAE exists. As a result, the IAASB’s revision involved striking an appropriate balance between ensuring that the standard is sufficiently robust, and that it is able to also facilitate innovation in the dynamic and evolving field of assurance,” stated James Gunn, IAASB technical director.

Accompanying the release of ISAE 3000 (Revised) are conforming amendments to the International Framework for Assurance Engagements; ISAE 3402, Assurance Reports on Controls at a Service Organization; ISAE 3410, Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements; and ISAE 3420, Assurance Engagements to Report on the Compilation of Pro Forma Financial Information Included in a Prospectus.

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Martin Pollins
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