Skip to main content

Latest On Our Projects

Image
Hands holding pen and papers

Audit Evidence

Updated March 2024

Since the public consultation on proposed ISA 500 (Revised), Audit Evidence closed in April 2023, the IAASB has been considering respondents’ feedback. As of March 2024, work to finalize the revisions of the standard has paused to allow further development of the integrated project on audit evidence and risk response (see below for status of this project).

The key matters discussed up to March 2024 include:

  • Further enhancing the standard to modernize the requirements and application guidance for the auditor’s use of automated tools and techniques in audits of financial statements.
  • Clarifying key concepts to support practical application of the standard, such as the definition of audit evidence and the interrelationship between sufficiency, appropriateness, and persuasiveness of audit evidence.
  • Enhancing the requirements for evaluating the relevance and reliability of information used as audit evidence, including the conditional requirement to obtain audit evidence for accuracy and completeness.
  • Removing the stand-back requirement to evaluate the audit evidence obtained and revising the objective of the standard.
  • Streamlining the application material and other enhancements aiming to achieve an optimal balance between requirements and guidance in the revised standard.

For further information, visit the Audit Evidence project page.

Image
Circles illustration in blue

Audits of Financial Statements of Less Complex Entities

Updated March 2024

The IAASB has been focusing on the adoption and implementation of the ISA for LCE in the first quarter of 2024. Along with previously published documents, the IAASB has now released a three-part video series to help our stakeholders navigate the ISA for LCE, focusing on:

  • Exploring the benefits;
  • A closer look at applicability and use; and
  • A step-by-step walkthrough.

In 2024, the IAASB will issue:

  • Supplementary guidance on the authority of the standard and on auditor reporting
  • An adoption guide
  • A first time implementation guide

For further information, visit the ISA for LCE page: www.iaasb.org/ISAforLCE.

Image
Hand touching padlock graphic

Fraud

Updated March 2024

On February 6, the IAASB opened its public consultation on proposed ISA 240 (Revised), The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Fraud in an Audit of Financial Statements, with feedback requested by June 5, 2024.

The first discussion with the Board following the consultation period will be in September 2024.

Key proposed changes aim to promote consistent practice and change auditor behavior, including:

  • Clarifying and emphasizing auditors’ responsibilities related to fraud and reducing the ambiguity between the inherent limitations of an audit and the auditor’s responsibilities.
  • Reinforcing the exercise of professional skepticism throughout the audit, including reinforcing the importance of maintaining professional skepticism when performing procedures related to fraud.
  • Emphasizing the importance of ongoing communications throughout the audit with management and those charged with governance about matters related to fraud. The IAASB is proposing changes that embody the ongoing nature of communications with management and those charged with governance about fraud related matters in all stages of the audit as reflected throughout the standard.
  • Applying a fraud lens on risk identification and assessment. The IAASB is proposing revisions to enhance and clarify requirements and application material to incorporate changes resulting from ISA 315 (Revised 2019), Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement. The proposed changes are intended to focus on incentives/pressures, opportunities, and attitudes/rationalizations for fraud (i.e., fraud risk factors), including those arising from the entity’s tone at the top and performance measures.
  • Including robust work effort requirements if fraud or suspected fraud is identified. The IAASB is proposing designating a separate section for required audit procedures when fraud or suspected fraud is identified, either through developing new requirements, relocating existing requirements, or elevating existing application material to requirements.
  • Including Key Audit Matters (KAMs) related to fraud in the auditor’s report to enhance transparency. The IAASB is proposing that additional disclosures on fraud should be included in the auditor’s report of listed entities and clearly signposted such that the users of the financial statements are readily able to find the KAMs related to fraud. The IAASB is proposing using a filter, similar to that used in ISA 701, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report, for determining and communicating KAMs related to fraud.
  • Enhancing audit documentation requirements. The IAASB is proposing new or enhanced documentation requirements for specific aspects of the auditor’s work related to fraud.

For further information, visit the Fraud project page.

Image

Going Concern

Updated March 2024

In August 2023, the public consultation on  the exposure draft for proposed ISA 570 (Revised 202X), Going Concern closed. Seventy-eight written responses were received from a broad range of geographical regions and stakeholder constituencies. In March 2024, the Board considered a high-level overview of the feedback received from respondents to the exposure draft, as well as an update on outreach and other activities since the exposure draft was published.

The key proposed enhancements include:

  • Defining the term “material uncertainty” (related to going concern) and providing clarity for other terminology used in the standard (e.g., the intended meaning of the phrase “may cast significant doubt”).
  • Changing the commencement date of the period of management’s assessment of an entity’s ability to continue as a going concern to at least twelve months from the date of approval of the financial statements.
  • Strengthening requirements that:
    • Drive the auditor to obtain information that is relevant to the timely identification of events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern; and
    • Require a more robust evaluation of management’s assessment, including evaluating the method, assumptions and data used by management.
  • New requirements when management’s plans for future actions include financial support by third parties or related parties, including the entity’s owner-manager, for the auditor to evaluate the intent and ability of those parties to maintain or provide the necessary financial support.
  • Enhancing requirements and application material to enable a more robust exercise of professional skepticism when performing audit procedures, including when evaluating whether there are indicators of possible management bias.
  • Enhancing application material addressing scalability, which includes examples that demonstrate how the nature and extent of the auditor's procedures may vary based on the nature and circumstances of the entity.
  • With respect to the auditor’s work related to going concern:
    • Emphasizing how information from sources external to the entity may be leveraged; and
    • Modernizing the standard for the impact of technology.
  • Strengthening the requirements for timely, two-way communications with those charged with governance and including new requirements for communication with appropriate external parties.
  • Enhancing transparency about going concern in the auditor’s report, including:
    • Providing explicit statements about going concern in all instances (i.e., for audits of financial statements of all entities); and
    • For audits of financial statements of listed entities, describing how the auditor evaluated management’s assessment.

The next discussion will be in June 2024, when the IAASB will consider feedback themes in more depth and deliberate on revisions in response to the feedback. 

For further information, visit the Going Concern project page.

Image
Integrated colorful circles

Integrated Project - Risk Response Workstream

The IAASB has commenced its work on the risk response workstream of the Integrated Project on Audit Evidence and Risk Response, Including a Focus on Technology and Internal Control. During the first quarter of 2024, staff focused on initial information-gathering activities, including reviewing responses to prior IAASB consultations, reviewing an initial selection of recent regulatory inspection reports, coordinating with the Audit Evidence Task Force and the Technology Consultation Group, and obtaining input from the Risk Response Project Focus Group.  

In March 2024, based on the information gathered to date, staff presented to the Board for discussion an initial list of issues identified which relate to the following drivers for revising ISA 330, The Auditor’s Responses to Assessed Risks and ISA 520, Analytical Procedures, respectively. 

Drivers for revising ISA 330

  • Aligning with ISA 315 (Revised 2019)
  • Aligning with proposed ISA 500 (Revised) and other issues relating to an integrated approach to audit evidence and risk response
  • Addressing the use of technology in responding to assessed risks of material misstatement 
  • Enhancing the auditor’s work effort relating to internal controls 

Drivers for revising ISA 520

  • Enhancing the scope and clarity of key concept and principles 
  • Addressing the use of technology in performing analytical procedures

At the September 2024 IAASB meeting, staff will present a fulsome list of key issues as well as proposed actions to address these issues in achieving project objectives that support the public interest. The IAASB will also have the opportunity to reflect on a possible outline of a project proposal for the Integrated Project.  

At the December 2024 meeting, the IAASB plans to discuss a full draft of the project proposal and vote on approving it.

For further information, visit the Integrated Project – Risk Response Workstream project page.

 

Image

Listed Entities and Public Interest Entities (PIEs)

Updated December 2023

On January 8, the IAASB opened a public consultation for Track 2 of its listed and public interest entities project, Proposed Narrow Scope Amendments to ISQMs, ISAs and International Standard on Review Engagements 2400 (Revised), Engagements to Review Historical Financial Statements as a Result of Revisions to the Definitions of Listed Entity and Public Interest Entity in the IESBA CodeFeedback is requested by April 8, 2024.

Key considerations in developing the exposure draft were:

  • Adopting the objective in paragraph 400.8 of the IESBA Code, which supports the purpose for establishing differential requirements for PIEs.
  • Adopting the IESBA definitions of PIE and “publicly traded entity” in the ISQMs and ISAs.
  • Extending the differential requirements in the ISQMs and ISAs for listed entities to apply to PIEs and amending the applicability of the differential requirements for listed entities in ISA 720 (Revised) to publicly traded entity.
  • Including a requirement for practitioners to publicly disclose when the practitioners has applied the independence requirements for certain entities in ISRE 2400 (Revised)

The PIEs project has had two tracks:

  • Track 1: A faster-moving track focused on enhancing transparency about independence in the auditor’s report. Revisions related to this track of the project were issued in October 2023 and will become effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2024.
  • Track 2: Exploring revisions to the ISQMs and ISAs regarding the differential requirements for listed entities and the definitions of listed entity and PIE, including whether the extant differential requirements should apply to PIEs.

For further information, visit the proposed revisions web page and the Listed Entities & PIE Track 2 project page.

Image
Trees, sun and an office building

Sustainability Assurance

Updated March 2024
In August 2023, the IAASB issued proposed International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA)™ 5000, General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements (ED-5000) for public comment by December 1, 2023. 

The IAASB conducted extensive global outreach during ISSA 5000’s public consultation with a broad range of stakeholders across geographic regions and constituencies to enhance the IAASB’s understanding of technical, operational, and regulatory considerations affecting sustainability assurance engagements. See our infographic for details on the global outreach campaign. 

The IAASB also received 143 comment letters (plus three late letters), along with 36 survey responses. The Board has been discussing the recommendations of the Task Force based on the analysis of the comment letters and other feedback received, and related proposed revisions to ISSA 5000. At the March 2024 IAASB meeting, the Board considered the analysis and drafting proposals related to 15 of the 27 questions posed in the Explanatory Memorandum, covering the most significant comments raised. The matters considered fell into the following themes:

  • Scope and applicability of proposed ISSA 5000 
  • Sustainability matters, sustainability information and disclosures 
  • Relevant ethical requirements and quality management standards 
  • Materiality 
  • Engagement team, using the work of others, and “group” engagements 
  • Limited and reasonable assurance – structure of the standard and work effort relating to each type of engagement
  • Other matters (including connectivity between the sustainability information and the audited financial statements, and requirements relating to “Other Information”).

Analysis of responses to the remaining 12 questions, along with proposed revisions for the complete draft standard, will be discussed at the June 2024 IAASB meeting. The IAASB intends to approve the final standard in September 2024 for publication before the end of 2024, after certification by the Public Interest Oversight Board.

To access the proposed standard and related materials, please visit the dedicated web page: iaasb.org/ISSA5000

To follow the journey to the proposed standard, including IAASB meeting papers, visit the Assurance on Sustainability Reporting project page.

Image
Automated machines

Technology – Disruptive Technologies

Updated April 2023

The IAASB is taking an ongoing, dual approach to Technology matters:

  • Current and future workplan actions – Exploring how the IAASB can most effectively respond to technology via new or revised international standards or nonauthoritative guidance.
  • Impact of disruptive technologies – Exploring the effect on audit and assurance (in the current and future environments) in order to be prepared for technology disruption and able to respond appropriately to support audit and assurance quality.

The IAASB has released a number of resources, which are available on our technology focus area page. The IAASB meeting in March 2023 included updates on Disruptive Technology, as well as findings related to technology adoption and barriers to adoption from outreach. The IAASB provided their views and feedback, including suggested ways forward.

For further information, visit the Technology project page