Levels of Authority 


    The following tables outline the three levels of authority for auditing, attestation, and compilation and review publications, including levels of authority under Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) No. 21, Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services: Clarification and Recodification (AICPA, Professional Standards). Also included are links to authoritative standards and the publications that fall within each category.

    Auditing Publications

    AU-C section 200, Overall Objectives of the Independent Auditor and the Conduct of an Audit in Accordance With Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, sets forth the following three types of auditing publications and their authority:
    • Auditing Standards: Authoritative per the “Compliance With Standards Rule” of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (ET sec. 1.310.001 and 2.310.001).
    • Interpretive Publications: Issued under the authority of the Auditing Standards Board; if the auditor does not apply the auditing guidance included in an applicable interpretive publication, the auditor should be prepared to explain how he or she complied with the Statements on Auditing Standards provisions addressed by such auditing guidance.
    • Other Auditing Publications: No authoritative status; however, other auditing publications may help the auditor understand and apply the Statements on Auditing Standards.

    Auditing Standards
    Interpretive Publications
    Other Auditing Publications

    Attestation Publications

    AT section 50, SSAE Hierarchy, sets forth the following three types of attestation publications and their authority:
    • Attestation Standards: Authoritative per the “Compliance With Standards Rule” of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (ET sec. 1.310.001 and 2.310.001).
    • Interpretive Publications: Issued under the authority of the Auditing Standards Board; if the practitioner does not apply the attestation guidance included in an applicable interpretive publication, the practitioner should be prepared to explain how he or she complied with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements provisions addressed by such attestation guidance.
    • Other Attestation Publications: No authoritative status; however, other attestation publications may help the practitioner understand and apply the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements.

    Attestation Standards
    Interpretive Publications
    Other Attestation Publications

    Compilation and Review Publications


    AR section 60, Framework for Performing and Reporting on Compilation and Review Engagements, sets forth the following three types of compilation and review publications and their authority:
    • Compilation and Review Standards: Authoritative per the “Compliance With Standards Rule” of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (ET sec. 1.310.001 and 2.310.001).
    • Interpretive Publications: Issued under the authority of the Accounting and Review Services Committee; if the accountant does not apply the compilation and review guidance included in an applicable interpretive publication, the accountant should be prepared to explain how he or she complied with the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services provisions addressed by such compilation and review guidance.
    • Other Compilation and Review Publications: No authoritative status; however, other compilation and review publications may help the accountant understand and apply the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services.

    Compilation and Review Standards
    Interpretive Publications
    Other Compilation and Review Publications

    Review, Compilation, and Preparation Publications—For Engagements Conducted Under SSARS No. 21


    • SSARS No. 21, Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services: Clarification and Recodification, sets forth the following three types of review, compilation, and preparation publications and their authority:
    • Compilation and Review Standards: Authoritative per the “Compliance With Standards Rule” of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (ET sec. 1.310.001 and 2.310.001).
    • Interpretive Publications: Issued under the authority of the Accounting and Review Services Committee; if the accountant does not apply the compilation and review guidance included in an applicable interpretive publication, the accountant should be prepared to explain how he or she complied with the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services provisions addressed by such compilation and review guidance.
    • Other Compilation and Review Publications: No authoritative status; however, other compilation and review publications may help the accountant understand and apply the Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services.

    Compilation and Review Standards
    Interpretive Publications
    Other Compilation and Review Publications





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