Improving the Clarity of Auditing Standards 

    Now is the time for auditors to prepare for the transition to the clarified standards, which are effective for calendar year 2012 audits. For example, new requirements may involve planning discussions with clients; some may affect interim testing and other fieldwork; and some require changes to the report. If your firm develops and maintains its own audit methodologies then you need to start now to be prepared. If your firm relies on commercially provided audit methodologies you still need to understand the underlying standards and requirements to ensure you use your methodology to complete audits as effectively and efficiently as possible while remaining compliant with the standards.

    ASB Clarity Project

    Harold Monk, former Chair of the ASB, and Ken Odom discuss AU-C section 600, Special Considerations - Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors).

    Additional information is available on AU-C section 600, Special Considerations - Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors) at our dedicated Group Audit page.
    The Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has redrafted almost all of the auditing sections in Codification of Statements on Auditing Standards (contained in AICPA Professional Standards) now reflecting the ASB’s established clarity drafting conventions designed to make the standards easier to read, understand, and apply.

    Among other improvements, generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) now more clearly states the objectives of the auditor and the requirements with which the auditor has to comply when conducting an audit in accordance with GAAS.

    As the ASB redrafted the standards for clarity, it also converged the standards with the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). Although the purpose of redrafting the auditing standards is for clarity and convergence and not to create additional requirements, auditors will need to make some adjustments to their practices as a result of this project. The AICPA has developed a Learning and Implementation Plan to help you prepare for the transition.

    The AICPA offers guidance and training on the Audit Clarity Standards, including:
    Video Library

    In addition to the featured video above, videos discussing the following areas of the Clarity Standards are also available on AICPA TV:

    Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance With Generally Accepted Auditing Standards
    Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Accounting Estimates, and Related Disclosures

    Using the Work of Others

    The AICPA has collected archive information on the Clarity Project, available on the Archive page.

    Tools and Toolkits

    CPE Webcasts

    • Group Study [covering all previous clarity and webcast topics] (Coming soon in 2013!)

    CPE On-Demand

    Additional Information

    A number of additional publication and training courses will be available in 2013 to assist CPAs with this transition, covering topics such as auditor reports, engagement letters, related parties, service organizations, and auditing fair value. In addition, within the clarified auditing standards and other resources available through the AICPA, particular efforts have been made to address special considerations for either smaller, less complex organizations or governmental entities.

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