Standards Review – Audit rules ignore e-biz.

The rapid and continued expansion of e-commerce is leading to questions about the country where such transactions take place, the laws which they are subject to, the taxation consequences and, in the case of the financial services industry, the jurisdiction of the regulator, the faculty said.

In particular the institute said it believed SAS300 – which examines accounting and internal control systems and audit risk assessments – is out-of-date and is in urgent need of update to reflect current practice, both in respect of e-commerce and otherwise.

In a letter to APB chairman Ian Plaistowe, approved by the English ICA council at its 5 May meeting, the faculty said: ‘We consider that auditing standards and guidance have not kept pace with the auditing implications of the e-commerce and that, at a minimum, there should be a review of all standards to ascertain whether they are, and will still be, relevant over the coming years.’

APB technical director Jon Grant welcomed the institute’s comments. ‘There is a case for the APB considering producing guidance in this area,’ he said. The APB will debate the e-commerce issue when it next meets on 13 June.

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