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IAASB Issues a New Framework and Standard for Assurance Engagements

Environmental, social and sustainability reports, information systems, internal control, corporate governance processes and compliance with grant conditions, contracts and regulations are some of the subjects about which assurance reports are increasingly being demanded.

In recognition of this need, the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC’s) International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has issued a revised “Assurance Framework” and an International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000, Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.

The Framework defines and describes the elements and objectives of an assurance engagement, and identifies engagements to which International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and ISAEs apply. It provides a frame of reference for practitioners and others involved with assurance engagements, such as those engaging a practitioner and the intended users of an assurance report.

ISAE 3000 establishes basic principles and essential procedures for all assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information covered by ISAs. The standard is effective for engagements where the assurance report is dated on or after January 1, 2005. Existing ISAE 100, Assurance Engagements, will be withdrawn once ISAE 3000 is in effect.

While ISAE 3000 has been written for general application, the IAASB expects to develop further ISAEs to provide detailed guidance on specific subject matters and at future meetings will consider possible projects dealing with assurance on internal control and assurance on sustainability reports.

As the provision of broader assurance services is an evolving field, the IAASB intends to keep the practical implementation of the Framework and ISAE 3000 under review, and invites feedback from practitioners and others on their experience with applying them.

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