IAASB Issues Exposure Drafts to Enhance the Clarity of Standards on Materiality, Misstatements, and Communications with Those Charged with Governance

Nov 15, 2006 | New York | English

As part of its comprehensive program to enhance the clarity of international standards, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), an independent standard-setting board under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), has issued three exposure drafts of proposed International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) that follow its new clarity drafting conventions. These exposure drafts form part of the IAASB's ambitious 18-month program to redraft existing standards and to develop new and revised standards following the new drafting conventions. The IAASB developed the new drafting conventions after extensive consultation with interested parties, including its Consultative Advisory Group and national auditing standards setters, on how to enhance the clarity of its pronouncements.

Key elements of the new drafting conventions include: basing the standards on objectives, as opposed to procedural considerations; using the word "shall" to identify requirements that the professional accountant is expected to follow in the vast majority of engagements; eliminating the present tense to describe actions by the professional accountant; and structural improvements to enhance the overall readability and understandability of the standards.

The following three proposed standards have been redrafted following the new drafting conventions:

  • ISA 320 (Revised and Redrafted), Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit;
  • ISA 450 (Redrafted), Evaluation of Misstatements Identified during the Audit; and
  • ISA 260 (Revised and Redrafted), Communication with Those Charged with Governance.

"The concept of materiality, the evaluation of misstatements identified during the audit, and high quality and relevant discussions between those charged with governance and the auditor are fundamental to an audit," explains IAASB Chairman John Kellas. "We believe that the proposed redrafted standards contain clear requirements and easy to understand application guidance in these very important areas."

How to Comment

Respondents are asked to comment on the application of the new drafting conventions only. Comments on all three exposure drafts are requested by February 15, 2007. The exposure drafts may be viewed by going to http://www.ifac.org/EDs. Comments may be submitted by email to EDComments@ifac.org. They can also be faxed to the attention of the Executive Director, Professional Standards at +1 (212) 286-9570 or mailed to IFAC, 545 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA. All comments will be considered a matter of public record and will ultimately be posted of IFAC's website.

About the IAASB and IFAC

The objective of the IAASB, an independent standard-setting board within IFAC, is to serve the public interest by setting high quality auditing and assurance standards and by facilitating the convergence of international and national standards, thereby enhancing the quality and uniformity of practice throughout the world and strengthening public confidence in the global auditing and assurance profession. The Public Interest Oversight Board oversees the activities of the IAASB and, as one element of that oversight, establishes the criteria for its due process and working procedures. IFAC is the worldwide organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. Its current membership consists of approximately 160 professional accountancy bodies in 120 countries, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. In addition to setting international auditing and assurance standards through the IAASB, IFAC, through its independent standard-setting boards, sets international ethics, education, and public sector accounting standards. It also issues guidance to encourage high quality performance by professional accountants in business.


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