February 11, 2020
Published: Journal of Accountancy
By Jeff Drew
The AICPA Accounting and Review Services Committee (ARSC) on Tuesday issued a new Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS) that amends four sections of SSARS No. 21, Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services: Clarification and Recodification, to more closely align them with the auditing standards in AICPA Professional Standards, where appropriate, and with the international standards for review engagements.
SSARS No. 25, Materiality in a Review of Financial Statements and Adverse Conclusions, makes changes to AR-C sections 60, 70, 80, and 90 of the AICPA Professional Standards. The new SSARS further converges AR-C section 90, Review of Financial Statements, with the International Standard for Review Engagements (ISRE) 2400 (Revised), Engagements to Review Historical Financial Statements.
ARSC said in a news release that the committee believes it is important for the SSARSs literature to be as closely converged with ISRE 2400 (Revised) as possible. The convergence is designed to facilitate accountants’ ability to perform and report on engagements in accordance with both sets of standards and also reduce confusion regarding the level of assurance obtained in accordance with either set of standards.
SSARS No. 25 also aligns certain SSARSs concepts, such as materiality, with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS).
“By issuing SSARS 25 it shows our commitment to update these standards to be more aligned with our auditing standards, where appropriate, and the international standards for review engagements,” AICPA Chief Auditor Bob Dohrer, CPA, CGMA, said in a news release. “While this standard may not result in any significant change in practice for CPAs that have been performing their reviews appropriately, it will decrease diversity in practice.”
SSARS No. 25 takes effect for engagements performed on financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2021. Early implementation is permitted.