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IAASB Proposes New Guidance on Auditing Complex Financial Instruments

Oct 13, 2010 | New York | English

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) today released for public exposure a new proposed pronouncement—International Auditing Practice Statement (IAPS) 1000, Special Considerations in Auditing Complex Financial Instruments—that highlights practical considerations for auditors when dealing with complex financial instruments. The pronouncement gives particular emphasis to auditing considerations relating to valuation and disclosure issues for financial statement items measured at fair value.

“The global financial crisis highlighted the need for further guidance on this important and challenging area of financial reporting,” explained Prof. Arnold Schilder, chairman of the IAASB. “Through the proposed IAPS 1000, the IAASB seeks to raise awareness of issues being encountered in practice, in particular for fair value estimates and the valuation of assets in illiquid markets. IAPS 1000 provides useful guidance to auditors of entities of all sizes on a topic that will likely continue to prove challenging for both preparers of financial statements and auditors.”

Along with the proposed IAPS 1000, the IAASB is also exposing for comment proposed changes to the current Preface to the International Standards on Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance and Related Services (the proposed amended Preface), which explains the authority of this and future IAPSs. James Gunn, IAASB technical director, explains, “The proposed amended Preface makes clear that the IAASB’s Practice Statements are issued to promote good practice and provide practical assistance to auditors in implementing the ISAs. As such, when a Practice Statement is relevant in the circumstances of the audit, auditors should understand the guidance in that Statement. From a practical point of view, the proposals seek to achieve a common understanding of how Practice Statements are to be used.”

The IAASB plans to finalize proposed IAPS 1000 and the statement of authority in 2011. Auditors, however, may wish to consider the material in the proposed IAPS 1000 as they plan and perform their upcoming audit engagements.

How to Comment
The IAASB invites all stakeholders to comment on its proposals. To access the exposure draft or submit a comment, visit the IAASB’s website at Comments on the exposure draft are requested by February 11, 2011.

About the IAASB
The IAASB ( develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by IFAC.

About IFAC
IFAC ( is the global organization for the accountancy profession, dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of 159 members and associates in 124 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.