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IAASB Addresses Auditing Considerations Relating to Financial Instruments

Dec 16, 2011 | New York, New York | English

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) today released International Auditing Practice Note (IAPN) 1000, Special Considerations in Auditing Financial Instruments, to provide important practical assistance to auditors when addressing valuation and other considerations pertaining to financial instruments. Financial instruments is an area of financial reporting involving complex issues and which has come under particular focus due to the recent difficult financial market conditions.

“The IAASB remains focused on supporting financial stability and high-quality financial reporting by continuing to help enhance the consistency of audits.  Accordingly, IAPN 1000 provides important material that will assist auditors in understanding the nature of, and risks associated with, financial instruments, and the different valuation techniques and types of controls that may be used by entities in relation to them. It then highlights important audit considerations that may be relevant throughout the audit process,” noted Prof. Arnold Schilder, IAASB Chairman. “The IAPN is relevant to audits of entities of all sizes, as all entities may be subject to risks of material misstatement when using financial instruments.”

IAPNs are non-authoritative documents that do not impose additional requirements on auditors beyond those included in the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), nor do they change the auditor’s responsibility to comply with all ISAs relevant to the audit. In finalizing IAPN 1000, and in response to stakeholder concerns, the IAASB evaluated the clarity and appropriateness of the authority of the existing International Auditing Practice Statements (IAPSs). The IAASB decided to withdraw the existing category of pronouncements known as IAPSs and to establish IAPNs, as reflected in the amended Preface to the International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements. Accordingly, the six existing IAPSs were also withdrawn as the IAASB determined that they were largely outdated and inconsistent with the text of the clarified ISAs. “The IAASB will be considering in its forward plans matters covered in some of the extant IAPSs, for example the relationship between auditors and banking supervisors, as it develops standards, new IAPNs, or other forms of guidance in the future,” commented Prof. Schilder.

“The IAASB understands that the quality and consistency of audit practice is helped not only through new standards but by other tools that can be used in developing training programs, internal guidance or corresponding national material. New IAPN 1000 helps serve this aim,” explained James Gunn, IAASB Technical Director. “In developing this practical guidance, the IAASB itself gained a deeper understanding of the challenges in this complex area, which will be used to further inform its future work.”

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. IFAC is comprised of 167 members and associates in 127 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.

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