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IFAC's IAASB Adopts Action Plan to Promote High Quality Standards

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released its action plan for 2003 and 2004. In establishing its priorities, the IAASB considered recent changes in the environment in which assurance services are provided, including the impact of technology, regulatory developments, and the growing demand for audits conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) for cross-border filings.

High on the IAASB's list of priorities is completing its audit risk project, a comprehensive review and update of its core auditing standards, and developing quality control standards for both audit firms and audit engagements. In addition, the IAASB short-term project list includes plans to issue revised standards on the auditor's responsibility to consider fraud during the audit process, revised guidance on the auditor's report on financial statements and on the subject of auditing accounting estimates involving measurement uncertainty, and new guidance on reviews of interim financial information.

To achieve convergence of auditing standards on a worldwide basis, the IAASB is working closely with IFAC member bodies on joint projects and seeking the input of experienced standard setters, international and national regulators, and regional accountancy organizations.

The IAASB Action Plan for 2003-2004 may be viewed on the IFAC web site by going to www.iaasb.org. The IAASB remains aware of the need to be flexible in its planning process so that it may effectively respond to new events and circumstances and alter its action plan to address new priorities. Accordingly, comments on the plan are welcome and should be emailed to the IAASB Technical Director at jimsylph@ifac.org, faxed to Jim Sylph's attention at 1-212-286-9570 or mailed to his attention at IFAC, 535 Fifth Avenue, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

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