Discussion starts to update UK audit standards

Consultation has begun on whether UK and Irish auditing standards should be
updated to meet new rules for next year.

The IAASB is set to complete and reformat international auditing standards,
and the Auditing Practices Board’s consultation will look at whether local
standards will need updating to meet the new requirements.

International standard-setters are bringing auditing standards in line with
the EC’s Audit Directive.

Audits affected by the IAASB’s changes will be for audits of financial
statements for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2009.

UK and Irish auditing standards were brought into line with international
standards in 2004.

Richard Fleck, chairman of the APB, said: ‘The new ISAs are designed to
improve the clarity of the existing requirements and to strengthen standards in
several key areas that are central to the effectiveness of the audit, especially
in the current reporting environment.

‘The APB believes that the new standards should be adopted domestically as
soon as practicable so that UK and Irish auditing standards will continue to be
seen as among the strongest internationally.’

The ICAEW warned that adopting a single set of international auditing
standards could place financial strain on smaller businesses, but backed the
need for adoption as enabling those same businesses to trade and function in the
global economy.

‘We need to find ways to help minimise these costs,’ said Gerry Murphy, chair
of the ICAEW’s audit and assurance faculty.

‘Training and software providers will be critical in doing this. They need to
work with the profession to help ensure that the clarified ISAs can be
implemented robustly but in a manner which is proportionate to the size and
complexity of the entities being audited.’

Further reading:

the consultation document here

more about accounting standards here

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