The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board said it is getting close to completing an 18-month project aimed at making audit standards more understandable.

The board operates under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants. The IAASB Clarity Project has been reviewing the International Standards on Auditing and the International Standards on Quality Control, and expects to complete the review in December. It will submit the approved standards to the Public Interest Oversight Board in February.

If the PIOB clears them, the IAASB plans to publish the set of clarified ISAs in IFAC's 2009 Handbook of International Standards on Auditing and Assurance in April 2009. The result will be 36 International Standards on Auditing, which will go into effect for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after Dec. 15, 2009. For more information, visit http://www.ifac.org/IAASB/.

Separately, the Auditing Standards Board has recently released the first clarified auditing standard, "The Auditor's Communication with Those Charged with Governance." It has also released SAS No. 115, "Communicating Internal Control Related Matters Identified in an Audit;" and SSAE No. 15, "An Examination of an Entity's Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated With an Audit of Its Financial Statements."

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