Standards – APB and ASB issue prelim guidelines

The drive to persuade companies to issue their preliminary results within 60 days of their year-end was given fresh impetus last week with the publication of new guidance for auditors.

In a bulletin, the Auditing Practices Board endorsed the 60-day target and set out criteria by which auditors could decide when an audit was sufficiently advanced to enable them to agree a preliminary announcement.

It followed guidance earlier in the week from the Accounting Standards Board which set out the 60-day target.

ASB chairman Sir David Tweedie said: ‘The market moves on prelims. We’re talking about nothing that changes the numbers, but have been working with the APB to define the point at which the results are substantially complete.’

The APB advice clarifies for the first time the responsibilities of the auditor, providing a four-point check-list which must be satisfied before preliminary results can be agreed.

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