The American Institute of CPAs has begun a two- to three-year project to revise its auditing standards in an effort to achieve greater clarity.

"For the last several years, we have been considering ways to make the standards more understandable and, we hope, less complex," said Charles Landes, vice president of professional standards and services at the AICPA, in a statement.

As part of the effort, the AICPA's Auditing Standards Board plans to separate requirement paragraphs from the application text, so the auditor can identify the requirements more easily.

Each standard will contain an objective to help the auditor better understand what the standard is meant to accomplish. All of the clarified standards will carry the same effective date, which will be set far enough in the future to give firms enough time to update their methodologies and training programs.

The ASB also will consider removing any unnecessary differences with the International Standards on Auditing. The board said it did not plan to issue any new auditing standards in the old format except to complete projects that are already nearly finished or are necessary to address urgent issues.

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