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IAASB Welcomes INCOSAI's Declaration on International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions

Dec 14, 2010 | New York | English

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) welcomes the issuance of the South African Declaration on International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAIs) (the Declaration), resulting from the 20th INCOSAI, the triennial Congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). Held in Johannesburg last month, the Congress brought together about 500 delegates representing public sector interests.

Part of the Johannesburg Accords summarizing the results of the Congress, the Declaration represents INTOSAI’s endorsement of a framework comprised of a comprehensive set of ISSAIs and INTOSAI guidance on good governance (INTOSAI GOVs). The ISSAIs and INTOSAI GOVs provide guidance to public sector auditors responsible for financial audit, performance audit, and compliance audit, and also address transparency and accountability, quality control, peer review, and internal audit. The Declaration also calls upon INTOSAI members to use the ISSAI framework as a common frame of reference for public sector auditing by implementing the ISSAIs in accordance with their mandate and national legislation and regulations.

This important milestone for INTOSAI is particularly relevant to the IAASB, because the ISSAIs for financial audits include the clarified International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), as issued by the IAASB, along with supplemental guidance referred to as Practice Notes for each of the 36 clarified ISAs, as developed by INTOSAI’s Financial Audit Subcommittee of the Professional Standards Committee (PSC). The IAASB has observer status at INTOSAI’s PSC meetings and assisted in the development of the Practice Notes.

“The IAASB strongly believes that the ISAs are right for the public sector, and commends INTOSAI’s work to ensure that public sector auditors have the guidance they need to apply the ISAs in their financial audits,” said Prof. Arnold Schilder, chairman of the IAASB. “Much like the completion of the IAASB’s Clarity Project,* the finalization of the ISSAIs represents a significant achievement, and the adoption and implementation of the ISSAIs will contribute to enhanced quality in public sector auditing.”

For more than six years, the IAASB and INTOSAI have maintained a mutually beneficial relationship. In addition to the IAASB’s participation in the PSC, INTOSAI is represented on the IAASB, and INTOSAI experts serve on IAASB task forces as appropriate to provide public sector input into the development of the IAASB’s ISAs. Noted Jim Sylph, IFAC’s executive director, professional standards, “Our partnership with INTOSAI enables us to incorporate public sector input into the development of our ISAs, and we look forward to continuing this relationship as both of our organizations promote the adoption of a single set of standards for financial audits.”

*The Clarity Project, completed by the IAASB in March 2009, resulted in the issuance of 36 ISAs and one International Standard on Quality Control in a new style that is easier to understand, translate, and implement. Approximately half of the ISAs also contain substantive new requirements intended to improve practice in a variety of respects. The new set of clarified ISAs is now in effect for 2010 year-end audits.

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 164 members and associates in 125 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

INTOSAI ( operates as an umbrella organization for the external government audit community. For more than 50 years it has provided an institutionalized framework for supreme audit institutions to promote development and transfer of knowledge, improve government auditing worldwide and enhance professional capacities, standing and influence of member SAIs in their respective countries. At present, INTOSAI has 189 Full Members and 4 Associated Members.