Extended External Reporting (EER) Assurance
The key objective of the project is to enable more consistent and appropriate application of ISAE 3000 (Revised) to emerging forms of external reporting (EER) and greater trust in the resulting assurance reports by users of EER. This will be achieved primarily through:
(i) Developing non-authoritative guidance in applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to EER;
(ii) Continuing to provide thought leadership on assurance issues in relation to EER; and
(iii) Coordinating the work of the project with related initiatives of other relevant international organizations.
Mario Abela (World Business Council for Sustainable Development)
Steve Gunders (Corporate Reporting Dialogue)
Thalia Vounaki (Principles for Responsible Investment)
At its September 2014 meeting the Innovation WG proposed, and the IAASB agreed to establish a working group to specifically monitor the developing interest in integrated reporting and the demand for assurance on integrated reports. This includes initial thinking on the nature of such engagements, including the scope of the assurance engagement, the suitability of the criteria, and other matters related to assurance on integrated reports.
In August 2016 the Integrated Reporting Working Group has released a Discussion Paper, Supporting Credibility and Trust in Emerging Forms of External Reporting: Ten Key Challenges for Assurance Engagements, which was open for comment till December 2016.
The Working Group developed a Feedback Statement to highlight the responses received on the August 2016 Discussion Paper noted above. This Feedback Statement provides an overview of the key messages from the responses to the questions in the Discussion Paper. The responses have helped inform the IAASB as to what its next steps should be to progress with its project in this area and in October 2017 the IAASB approved a project to develop guidance to help overcome the Ten Key Challenges identified in the Discussion Paper and will require close collaboration with a wide range of stakeholder groups.
MEETING HIGHLIGHT - OCTOBER 2017
The Board approved a Project Proposal to develop non-authoritative guidance to address key challenges, identified by the IAASB, which arise in the performance of assurance engagements over emerging forms of external reporting. The Board noted and supported the proposed resourcing model for the project, which would involve grant funding from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and discussed the nature and importance of the arrangements established to secure the independence of the IAASB. The Board also agreed to publish a Feedback Statement setting out a high-level summary of the responses to the Integrated Reporting Working Group’s Discussion Paper: Supporting Credibility and Trust in Emerging Forms of External Reporting-Ten Key Challenges for Assurance Engagements.
The EER Assurance project is the IAASB’s response to the comments received on the discussion paper issued in 2016, Supporting Credibility and Trust in Emerging Forms of External Reporting.
EER encapsulates many different forms of reporting, including, but not limited to, integrated reporting, sustainability reporting and non-financial reporting about environmental, social and governance matters. Such reports may be prepared under legislative or regulatory requirements and established frameworks, standards and guidance issued by international or national standard setters.
The IAASB approved the project proposal in October 2017 and established the EER Task Force. The project is being run with the support of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which has provided grant funding through a collaboration established by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
The project is split into two phases. Phase 1 will run throughout 2018 and will cover approximately half of the issues relating to the Ten Key Challenges identified in the discussion paper. These include:
- Making materiality judgements;
- The maturity of governance and internal control over EER reporting processes;
- Evaluating the suitability of criteria;
- Building assertions; and
- Working with narrative and future-oriented information.
MEETING HIGHLIGHTS - DECEMBER 2018
The EER Task Force presented an updated version of the Phase 1 draft guidance, which reflects changes to address feedback received from the IAASB at the September 2018 IAASB meeting, and from other stakeholders, including in relation to a ‘materiality process’ and assertions as they relate to the characteristics of suitable criteria. The Board noted that the draft guidance had significantly improved since discussions at the September 2018 meeting, but that further work on the drafting is required. The Board will discuss a further version on a teleconference in January 2019 before the draft guidance is published for public comment.