March 13, 2020
Organizations are increasingly reporting about their broader performance or impact (“Extended External Reporting” or “EER”) either voluntarily or as required by law or regulation, and there is a growing demand for assurance engagements on such reporting. In response, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has developed for feedback it’s non-authoritative EER Guidance and is requesting public input by July 13, 2020.
“Extended external reporting and the role it has to play will only continue to grow in importance,” said Tom Seidenstein, Chair of the IAASB. “It’s a very exciting time for the IAASB as the work we’re undertaking today to develop international assurance guidance for non-financial information in the form of EER will, we believe, pave the way for much greater engagement and consistency in this area. We welcome and encourage all feedback during our comment period, which runs through July 13, and look forward to learning from the comments we receive.”
EER encapsulates many different forms of reporting including, but not limited to, integrated reporting, sustainability reporting and other reporting by entities about financial and non-financial matters, including environmental, social and governance matters, related to an entity’s activities.
The purpose of the IAASB’s Public Consultation on Proposed Guidance, Extended External Reporting Assurance is to promote consistent high-quality application of ISAE 3000 (Revised) Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or Reviews of
Historical Financial Information so as to:
· Strengthen the influence of EER assurance engagements on the quality of EER reports;
· Enhance user trust in the resulting assurance reports; and
· Engender greater confidence in the credibility of, trust in and reliance upon EER reports by their intended users.
The draft non-authoritative guidance addresses Special Considerations in Performing Assurance Engagements on Extended External Reporting.
Importance of Feedback
Input received will assist the IAASB in finalizing the non-authoritative guidance document. Comments are also invited on two supplementary documents, should respondents wish to comment on their content, structure and relationship to the draft guidance document – Supplement A: Credibility and Trust Model and Background and Contextual Information and Supplement B: Illustrative Examples.
The IAASB invites input from all stakeholders, especially those with practical experience in this evolving area of reporting, including practitioners and other experts involved in performing EER assurance engagements, preparers of EER reports, investors and other users of EER reports and assurance reports on them, standard setters, and regulators.
The IAASB’s EER Assurance project is being run with the support of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This work is part of a conservation and financial markets collaboration among Ceres, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Wildlife Fund and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. For more information, please visit www.moore.org
Aspects for Consideration
This draft non-authoritative guidance covers the following aspects of the performance of an EER assurance engagement where practitioners commonly encounter challenges in applying ISAE 3000 (Revised):
· Applying appropriate competence and capabilities to an EER engagement;
· Exercising professional skepticism and professional judgment in the context of an EER engagement, where there may be a heightened need to do so;
· Determining preconditions and agreeing the scope of an EER assurance engagement;
· Determining the suitability and availability of criteria (reporting framework(s), standards or preparer-developed criteria) used to prepare the EER report;
· The preparer’s governance and internal control over its process to prepare the EER report;
· Considering an entity’s process to develop preparer-developed criteria to determine the topics to be reported on in the entity’s EER report (sometimes referred to as a preparer’s ‘materiality process’);
· The types of misstatements that may occur in the EER report (using assertions);
· Obtaining evidence;
· Considering the materiality of misstatements in the EER report;
· Preparing the assurance report;
· Considerations in addressing qualitative EER information; and
· Considerations in addressing future-oriented EER information.
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