AICPA Auditing Standards Board proposes three-year plan

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The American Institute of CPAs’ Auditing Standards Board proposed a strategic plan Friday that will guide the ASB’s work over the next three years.

The Proposed Strategy and Work Plan has five strategic initiatives:

  • Initiative A: Develop high-quality standards in the public interest — The ASB will continue its objective of converging its standards with those of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, while minimizing differences with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
  • Initiative B: Enhance communications with stakeholders — Input and feedback from stakeholders are critical to the ASB’s processes for setting its agenda and in developing high-quality standards and guidance.
  • Initiative C: Think and operate more strategically — Innovatively using resources in the most efficient and effective ways while focusing on achieving the ASB’s mission will provide opportunities to improve the “time to market” for new or revised standards and guidance.
  • Initiative D: Keep standards relevant in a changing environment — The increasing use of new and innovative technologies by companies, and by practitioners in performing engagements, has increased the need for the ASB to monitor the development and use of such technologies and consider whether its standards remain “fit for purpose” in supporting their use.
  • Initiative E: Support the effective implementation and application of our standards — Helping practitioners better understand and consistently apply our professional standards will foster quality in the performance of audit and attestation engagements.

The ASB sees the plan as part of its commitment to serving the public interest by updating and communicating comprehensive standards and guidance that enable practitioners to effectively and efficiently provide high-quality, objective audit and attestation services to non-issuers. The plan takes into account the current global economic environment, and the way entities conduct their business and activities, while considering the views of stakeholders such as preparers, users and auditors.

There is no doubt that setting audit standards that meet the public interest has become increasingly complex over the recent past given the pace of change in both the way that business is conducted and the evolution of technology,” stated AICPA chief auditor Bob Dohrer. “We look forward with great anticipation to hearing from stakeholders about whether our proposed strategic actions will be viewed as effective in meeting these challenges.”

The ASB is asking for comments on the proposed strategic plan. “We are looking forward to the feedback from our various stakeholders on the proposed strategy and work plan,” said ASB chair Mike Santay in a statement. “The ASB has recently completed several key projects — including standards on auditor reporting, going concern and benefit plan auditing — that have generated strong engagement from stakeholders. We are looking forward to commenter views on how we can best address the evolving role of the accounting profession and continue our mission of setting high quality audit standards that meet the public interest.”

The AICPA is seeking feedback on the strategic initiatives discussed in the consultation paper and wants to hear from people with practical experience in audit and attest engagements, including preparers of subject matter presentations, practitioners performing examinations or reviews on such presentations, investors and other users of such subject matter information and regulators.

Comments should be sent to Sherry Hazel at by Jan. 31, 2020.

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