• How to improve the auditor's report

Grant Thornton supports the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) draft document

Grant Thornton supports the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) draft document to improve the auditors report, and suggests additional emphasis on certain key issues.

There is no question of the need to make the auditors report more relevant and understandable to the users of financial statements, said Ed Nusbaum, Grant Thornton International CEO. We broadly support the IAASB in their mission to do this, and suggest additional attention on the following issues:

The need to respond more quickly to the users' call for change by amending ISA 706 on a priority basis. This will encourage the use of emphasis of matters and other matters paragraphs in auditor reporting.

Increasing outreach activities with the IASB and IOSCO. Specifically, encouraging IOSCO to establish an international regulatory disclosures framework that supplements the disclosures required by accounting frameworks. We believe that accounting frameworks will not, in and of themselves, meet the users' information needs about the entity.

Back testing the proposals to specific cases experienced during the global financial crisis. This approach would help the IAASB, and other participants in the financial reporting supply chain, measure the effectiveness of the proposals and set priorities.

Requiring the use of auditor commentary for listed entities and encouraging auditors and preparers to voluntarily adopt the enhanced approach for other entities. After two reporting cycles, the IAASB could then consider expanding the application of the standard to a wider group of entities after obtaining feedback application in practice.

Allowing the auditor the ability to judge whether commentary on the use of the going concern basis of accounting is necessary in the circumstances.

Using technology to increase the users ability to understand the responsibilities of auditors, management and those charged with governance by including website links in the auditors report to content that expands upon the summary explanation proposed in the ITC.

To read the entire Grant Thornton letter, click here.

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John Vita 

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