|| The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) approved a new work plan, A Public Interest Focus in Uncertain Times, during its December 2021 meeting. Pending approval by the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB), anticipated in early April 2022, the work plan will guide the IAASB’s work in 2022 and 2023, reflecting the IAASB Strategy for 2020-2023.
Sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assurance are a prominent addition to the new work plan and will see increased time and resourcing for 2022–2023. In addition, the new work plan highlights candidate topics in the Audit and Review space (e.g., responding to assessed risks of material misstatement and the impact of technology on various standards) that the IAASB will consider for a further project to commence in 2023. A key focus will remain the progression and completion of projects underway at the start of 2022, including audits of financial statements of less complex entities, audit evidence, going concern, and fraud.
“Based on the increasing global attention, and urgency, around sustainability/ESG reporting and the assurance thereof, the IAASB is dedicating additional capacity and resources to this workstream. We are committed to acting with a sense of urgency, building off our existing platform of assurance standards that are already used worldwide,” according to IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein. “Our collaboration with others and an expedited information gathering phase will allow us to determine the precise scope and timing of our efforts so we take the right action to meet the growing public demand.”
“While we’re awaiting PIOB approval, we want our stakeholders to know what is on our program for this year and 2023, and be able to plan accordingly,” said IAASB Technical Director Willie Botha. “The initiatives and projects in our work plan, especially sustainability/ESG assurance, are those our board believes currently are the most pertinent public interest issues to address in ensuring the continued credibility and confidence in our work as global audit and assurance standard setter.”
Extended External Reporting Guidance Renamed
To help stakeholders more readily identify and understand available guidance for assurance of sustainability/ESG reporting, the IAASB agreed to rename a key piece of guidance. The newly renamed Non-Authoritative Guidance on Applying ISAE 3000 (Revised) to Sustainability and Other Extended External Reporting Assurance Engagements was originally released in April 2021. It responds to key stakeholder-identified challenges commonly encountered when applying International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000 (Revised), Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information to such engagements.
About the IAASB
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board 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 the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.