The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board issued new requirements for auditing group financial statements.

International Standard on Auditing 600 aims to explain the responsibilities of a group engagement partner in directing and controlling a group audit, even when component auditors may be involved.

The standard will help the group engagement team obtain sufficient audit evidence on which to base a group audit opinion. It requires the group engagement team to be involved in the work of the component auditors.

The ISA is effective for audits of financial periods beginning on or after Dec. 15, 2009. The IAASB developed the standard over five years and was influenced by responses to three exposure drafts.

The IAASB is an independent standards-setting board under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants. Earlier this week, the IAASB determined that Dec. 15, 2009 would also be the effective date for its complete set of clarified International Standards on Auditing. ISA 600 can be downloaded for free from the IFAC online bookstore at www.ifac.org/store.

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