Standards Tracker - Audit and Attest

SSAE No. 22, Review Engagements

Issue: Dec-20

Effective Date: SSAE No. 22 becomes effective for practitioners’ review reports dated on or after June 15, 2022. Early implementation is permitted only if the practitioner also early implements the amendments to AT-C section 105, Concepts Common to All Attestation Engagements, included in SSAE No. 21, Direct Examination Engagements.

Summary: SSAE No. 22 supersedes SSAE No. 18, Attestation Standards: Clarification and Recodification, as amended, section 210 of the same title. Among other things, SSAE No. 22 describes the types of procedures a practitioner may perform in a review engagement, requires that the practitioner’s report include an informative summary of the work performed as a basis for the practitioner’s conclusion, and permits the expression of an adverse conclusion. The standard also includes revisions to conform AT-C section 210, Review Engagements, with revised AT-C section 205, Assertion-Based Examination Engagements, as a result of the recent issuance of SSAE No. 21, Direct Examination Engagements. The ASB believes the enhancements to its attestation review standard provides helpful information to users of the review reports by explaining the nature of the work done in the review. The ASB also believes it is in the public interest to enable the practitioner to express an adverse conclusion when appropriate to alert the user that the subject matter information is materially misstated, and the effects of the misstatements are pervasive.

SSAE No. 21, Direct Examination Engagements

Issue: Sep-20

Effective Date: SSAE No. 21 becomes effective for practitioner’s reports dated on or after June 15, 2022. Early implementation is permitted.

Summary: SSAE No. 21 adds a new section in AICPA Professional Standards designated as AT-C section 206, Direct Examination Engagements. AT-C section 206 enables practitioners to measure or evaluate underlying subject matter against criteria and express an examination opinion that conveys the results of that measurement or evaluation (a direct examination). In this new direct examination engagement, the responsible party is not required to measure or evaluate the underlying subject matter against criteria and the practitioner is not required to obtain a written assertion from the responsible party; however, the responsible party continues to be required to acknowledge responsibility for the underlying subject matter. The new SSAE amends AT-C section 105, Concepts Common to All Attestation Engagements, principally for new terminology, and supersedes and renames AT-C section 205 to Assertion-Based Examination Engagements. SSAE No. 21 supersedes AT-C section 205 to differentiate it from AT-C section 206, although both types of examination engagements are reasonable assurance engagements. Revised AT-C section 205 continues to enable practitioners to perform traditional assertion-based examination engagements.

SAS No. 143, Auditing Accounting Estimates and Related Disclosures

Issue: Jul-20

Effective Date: SAS No. 143 becomes effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2023.

Summary: SAS No. 143 supersedes SAS No. 122, as amended, section 540, Auditing Accounting Estimates, Including Fair Value Accounting Estimates, and Related Disclosures, and amend various other AU-C sections in AICPA Professional Standards.

SAS No. 142, Audit Evidence

Issue: Jul-20

Effective Date: SAS No. 142 becomes effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2022.

Summary: SAS No. 142 supersede SAS No. 122, as amended, section 500 of the same title and amend various other AU-C sections in AICPA Professional Standards. The SAS addresses the evolving nature of business and audit services and issues that have arisen since extant AU-C section 500 was originally issued. The issues arising include the use of emerging technologies by both preparers and auditors, the application of professional skepticism, the expanding sources of information to be used as audit evidence, and more broadly, the accuracy, completeness, relevance and reliability of audit evidence.

SAS No. 141, Amendment to the Effective Dates of SAS Nos. 134–140

Issue: May-20

Effective Date: SAS No. 141 becomes effective upon issuance.

Summary: SAS No. 141 delays by one year the effective dates of SAS Nos. 134–140 (which, among other things, substantially changes the auditor’s report) from December 15, 2020, to December 15, 2021, and also permits early implementation of this suite of standards. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auditing Standard Board (ASB) believes it is in the public interest and a welcome relief to members to issue this standard.

SAS No. 140, Amendments to AU-C Sections 725, 730, 930, 935, and 940 to Incorporate Auditor Reporting Changes From SAS Nos. 134 and 137

Issue: Apr-20

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early implementation is not permitted. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: SAS No. 140 completes the ASB’s yearlong effort to conform GAAS with the reporting provisions of SAS No. 134, Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements, and other recently issued SASs. In addition, certain other AU-C sections in AICPA Professional Standards have been amended to reflect practice issues that have arisen since the most recent revisions to these AU-C sections, and AU-C section 935, Compliance Audits, has also been amended to be consistent with current governmental requirements.

SAS No. 139, Amendments to AU-C Sections 800, 805, and 810 to Incorporate Auditor Reporting Changes From SAS No. 134

Issue: Mar-20

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early implementation is not permitted. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: SAS No. 139 aligns AU-C sections 800, Special Considerations—Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance With Special Purpose Frameworks, 805, Special Considerations—Audits of Single Financial Statements and Specific Elements, Accounts, or Items of a Financial Statement, and 810, Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements, with the reporting provisions of SAS No. 134, Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements, and other recently issued SASs. These revised auditor’s reports involving special purpose accounting frameworks and other unique reporting scenarios provide additional transparency into the basis for the auditor’s opinion and the responsibilities of both entity management and auditors.

SAS No. 138, Amendments to the Description of the Concept of Materiality

Issue: Dec-19

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: SAS No. 138 amends various AU-C sections in AICPA Professional Standards, to align the materiality concepts discussed in AICPA Professional Standards with the description of materiality used by the U.S. judicial system, the auditing standards of the PCAOB, the SEC, and the FASB. The ASB believes it is in the public interest to eliminate inconsistencies between AICPA Professional Standards and the description of materiality used by the U.S. judicial system and other U.S. standard setters and regulators.

SAS No. 137, The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information Included in Annual Reports

Issue: Jul-19

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early implementation is not permitted. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: SAS No. 137 will benefit users of audited financial statements by providing transparency and it is expected to reduce diversity in practice with respect to information and documents considered to be within the scope of this SAS.

SAS No. 136, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA

Issue: Jul-19

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early implementation is not permitted. Exhibit B of the SAS, "Implementation Guidance for ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) Audits," provides transitional implementation reporting guidance upon initial implementation by the auditor of this SAS. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: This SAS creates a new AU-C section 703 in AICPA Professional Standards and addresses the auditor’s responsibility to form an opinion and report on the audit of financial statements of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

SAS No. 135, Omnibus Statement on Auditing Standards—2019

Issue: May-19

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: This SAS is intended to more closely align ASB guidance with the PCAOB's standards by primarily amending AU-C section 260, Communications With Those Charged With Governance, AU-C section 550, Related Parties, and AU-C section 240, Consideration of Fraud in a Financial Statement Audit, in AICPA Professional Standards.

SAS No. 134, Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements

Issue: May-19

Effective Date: The SAS becomes effective for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. Early implementation is not permitted. (Note: SAS No. 141 defers the effective date of SAS No. 138 to December 15, 2021, and the ASB recommends that SAS Nos. 134–140 be implemented concurrently.)

Summary: SAS No. 134, which also amends various other AU-C sections, addresses the auditor’s responsibility to form an opinion on the financial statements and the form and content of the auditor’s report issued as a result of an audit of financial statements. It also addresses the auditor’s responsibilities, and the form and content of the auditor’s report, when the auditor concludes that a modification to the auditor’s opinion on the financial statements is necessary, and when additional communications are necessary in the auditor’s report. This suite of auditor reporting standards includes:

  • New AU-C Section 701, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor’s Report

The SAS also replaces the following AU-C sections in AICPA Professional Standards:

  • Section 700, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements
  • Section 705, Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor’s Report
  • Section 706, Emphasis-of-Matter Paragraphs and Other-Matter Paragraphs in the Independent Auditor’s Report