Statements of Position

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The following is a summary of the significant proposed changes to the attestation standards. 1. This proposed SSAE would supersede SSAE Nos. 1 through 9 (a list of these Statements is included in the transmittal letter to this proposal). 2. The body of the attestation standards is codified and organized in AT sections in the AICPA Professional Standards. This proposed SSAE would change the numbering and order of the AT sections. This reorganization and renumbering will be effected with the approval of the new standard. This exposure draft retains the existing AT section numbers. 3. The proposed revision of AT section 100, Attestation Standards, does the following: a. Changes the title of the section to Attest Engagements. b. Changes the definition of an attest engagement into a statement on the applicability of the standard. Combined with some additional changes (in particular, paragraph .06 in the exposure draft, which correlates with paragraph .03 in existing AT section 100), the proposal clarifies that the attestation standards are applicable when the practitioner and his or her client intend that the engagement be an attest engagement. Practitioners are cautioned to avoid reporting on other types of engagements in a manner similar to an attest engagement as it might reasonably be inferred that the report is an attest report. c. Clarifies that the attestation standards may be applied to a broad range of subject matter. (See section 100.07.) d. Clarifies the relationship between the party responsible for the subject matter (the responsible party), the client, if different than the responsible party, and the practitioner. (See sections 100.11 to 100.13.) e. Revises the third general standard to focus on the essential elements of criteria: they must be suitable (this conforms to terminology used internationally—existing AT section 100 refers to reasonable criteria); they must be available to users; and the subject matter must be capable of reasonably consistent evaluation against them. The proposal also revises the guidance on the characteristics of criteria that make them suitable. f. The proposed statement would enable, in some circumstances, the practitioner to perform and report on engagements when a written assertion can not be obtained from the responsible party. While the presumption is that the practitioner would ordinarily obtain an assertion as part of his or her evidence, the proposal recognizes that in circumstances when the practitioner's client is not the responsible party that an assertion may not be provided. When a written assertion is not obtained, use of the attest report would be restricted to specified parties. g. Enables true direct reporting on subject matter by eliminating the requirement to make reference to an assertion in the practitioner's report. The practitioner also is permitted to report on the written assertion provided by the responsible party. h. Provides expanded guidance on the circumstances in which the use of attest reports should be restricted to specified parties. The majority of this guidance was derived from and is consistent with Statement on Auditing Standards No. 87, Restricting the Use of an Auditor's Report. 4. This proposed SSAE would amend the accompanying AT section 600, Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements, as follows: a. lt eliminates the requirement for the practitioner to obtain a written assertion in an agreed-upon procedures attest engagement. b. lt incorporates changes needed as a result of the proposed elimination of SAS No. 75. 5. This proposed SSAE shows how the current AT sections 200 through 700 would be changed to conform with the proposed new AT section 100, if issued in final form. Because the existing AT sections 200 through 700 are derived from and are subordinate to AT section 100, the majority of the proposed changes to them are a direct result of the proposed amendments to AT section 100. However, several of the proposed changes are significant and because of the nature of the subject matter addressed in the specific AT sections, some of the changes are not entirely consistent with the corresponding changes proposed in AT section 100. 6. The proposed effective date is for assertions or subject matter as of or for a period ending on or after June 15, 2001. Early application would be permitted. This proposed SSAE would supersede SSAE Nos. 1 through 9 (AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 1, AT secs. 100 though 700). The existing interpretations of the AT sections will be conformed in accordance with the provisions of this proposed SSAE and retained, if appropriate, in the revised Codification of Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements.

ISBN

ed00-04-14t

Publication Date

2000

Relational Format

Book

Keywords

Attest function (Auditing) -- Standards -- United States; Audited financial statements -- Standards -- United States

Disciplines

Accounting | Taxation

Comments

Originally published by: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Copyright and permission to reprint held by: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Exposure draft (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), 2000, Apr.14

Proposed statement on standards for attestation engagements : attestation standards, revision and recodification;Attestation standards, revision and recodification

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