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ExpandAS No. 1: References in Auditors’ Reports to the Standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
ExpandAS No. 3: Audit Documentation
ExpandAS No. 4: Reporting on Whether a Previously Reported Material Weakness Continues to Exist
ExpandAS No. 5: An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements
ExpandAS No. 6: Evaluating Consistency of Financial Statements
ExpandAS No. 7: Engagement Quality Review
ExpandAS No. 8: Audit Risk
ExpandAS No. 9: Audit Planning
ExpandAS No. 10: Supervision of the Audit Engagement
ExpandAS No. 11: Consideration of Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit
ExpandAS No. 12: Identifying and Assessing Risks of Material Misstatement
ExpandAS No. 13: The Auditor's Responses to the Risks of Material Misstatement
ExpandAS No. 14: Evaluating Audit Results
ExpandAS No. 15: Audit Evidence
ExpandAS No. 16: Communications with Audit Committees
ExpandAU Section 100 - Statements on Auditing Standards -- Introduction
ExpandAU Section 200 - The General Standards
ExpandAU Section 300 - The Standards of Field Work
ExpandAU Section 400 - The First, Second, and Third Standards of Reporting
CollapseAU Section 500 - The Fourth Standard of Reporting
AU Section 504 - Association With Financial Statements
AU Section 9504 - Association With Financial Statements: Auditing Interpretations of Section 504
AU Section 508 - Reports on Audited Financial Statements
AU Section 9508 - Reports on Audited Financial Statements: Auditing Interpretations of Section 508
AU Section 530 - Dating of the Independent Auditor's Report
AU Section 532 - Restricting the Use of an Auditor's Report
AU Section 534 - Reporting on Financial Statements Prepared for Use in Other Countries
AU Section 9534 - Reporting on Financial Statements Prepared for Use in Other Countries: Auditing Interpretations of Section 534
AU Section 543 - Part of Audit Performed by Other Independent Auditors
AU Section 9543 - Part of Audit Performed by Other Independent Auditors: Auditing Interpretations of Section 543
AU Section 544 - Lack of Conformity With Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
AU Section 550 - Other Information in Documents Containing Audited Financial Statements
AU Section 9550 - Other Information in Documents Containing Audited Financial Statements: Auditing Interpretations of Section 550
AU Section 551 - Reporting on Information Accompanying the Basic Financial Statements in Auditor-Submitted Documents
AU Section 552 - Reporting on Condensed Financial Statements and Selected Financial Data
AU Section 558 - Required Supplementary Information
AU Section 9558 - Required Supplementary Information: Auditing Interpretations of Section 558
AU Section 560 - Subsequent Events
AU Section 561 - Subsequent Discovery of Facts Existing at the Date of the Auditor's Report
AU Section 9561 - Subsequent Discovery of Facts Existing at the Date of the Auditor's Report: Auditing Interpretations of Section 561
ExpandAU Section 600 - Other Types of Reports
ExpandAU Section 700 - Special Topics
ExpandAU Section 800 - Compliance Auditing
ExpandAU Section 900 - Special Reports of the Committee on Auditing Procedures

AU Section 534

Reporting on Financial Statements Prepared for Use in Other Countries

Source: SAS No. 51.
See section 9534 for interpretations of this section.
Effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning after July 31, 1986, unless otherwise indicated.

.01

This section provides guidance for an independent auditor practicing in the United States who is engaged to report on the financial statements of a U.S. entity that have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country for use outside the United States. fn 1 A "U.S. entity" is an entity that is either organized or domiciled in the United States.

Purpose and Use of Financial Statements

.02

A U.S. entity ordinarily prepares financial statements for use in the United States in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, but it may also prepare financial statements that are intended for use outside the United States and are prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country. For example, the financial statements of a U.S. entity may be prepared for inclusion in the consolidated financial statements of a non-U.S. parent. A U.S. entity may also have non-U.S. investors or may decide to raise capital in another country. Before reporting on financial statements prepared in conformity with the accounting principles of another country, the auditor should have a clear understanding of, and obtain written representations from management regarding, the purpose and uses of such financial statements. If the auditor uses the standard report of another country, and the financial statements will have general distribution in that country, he should consider whether any additional legal responsibilities are involved.

General and Fieldwork Standards

.03

When auditing the financial statements of a U.S. entity prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country, the auditor should perform the procedures that are necessary to comply with the general and fieldwork standards of U.S. generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS).

.04

The auditing procedures generally performed under U.S. GAAS may need to be modified, however. The assertions embodied in financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country may differ from those prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. For example, accounting principles generally accepted in another country may require that certain assets be revalued to adjust for the effects of inflation—in which case, the auditor should perform procedures to test the revaluation adjustments. On the other hand, another country's accounting principles may not require or permit recognition of deferred taxes; consequently, procedures for testing deferred tax balances would not be applicable. As another example, the accounting principles of some countries do not require or permit disclosure of related party transactions. Determining that such transactions are properly disclosed, therefore, would not be an audit objective in such cases. Other objectives, however, would remain relevant—such as identifying related parties in order to fully understand the business purpose, nature, and extent of the transactions and their effects on the financial statements.

.05

The auditor should understand the accounting principles generally accepted in the other country. Such knowledge may be obtained by reading the statutes or professional literature (or codifications thereof) that establish or describe the accounting principles generally accepted in the other country. Application of accounting principles to a particular situation often requires practical experience; the auditor should consider, therefore, consulting with persons having such expertise in the accounting principles of the other country. If the accounting principles of another country are not established with sufficient authority or by general acceptance, or a broad range of practices is acceptable, the auditor may nevertheless be able to report on financial statements for use in such countries if, in the auditor's judgment, the client's principles and practices are appropriate in the circumstances and are disclosed in a clear and comprehensive manner. In determining the appropriateness of the accounting principles used, the auditor may consider, for example, International Accounting Standards established by the International Accounting Standards Committee.

Compliance With Auditing Standards of Another Country

.06

In those circumstances in which the auditor is requested to apply the auditing standards of another country when reporting on financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in that country, the auditor should comply with the general and fieldwork standards of that country as well as with those standards in U.S. GAAS. This may require the auditor to perform certain procedures required by auditing standards of the other country in addition to those required by U.S. GAAS. The auditor will need to read the statutes or professional literature, or codifications thereof, that establish or describe the auditing standards generally accepted in the other country. He should understand, however, that such statutes or professional literature may not be a complete description of auditing practices and, therefore, should consider consulting with persons having expertise in the auditing standards of the other country.

Reporting Standards

.07

If financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country are prepared for use only outside the United States, the auditor may report using either (a) a U.S.-style report modified to report on the accounting principles of another country (see paragraphs .09 and .10) or (b) if appropriate, the report form of the other country (see paragraphs .11 and .12). This is not intended to preclude limited distribution of the financial statements to parties (such as banks, institutional investors, and other knowledgeable parties that may choose to rely on the report) within the United States that deal directly with the entity, if the financial statements are to be used in a manner that permits such parties to discuss differences from U.S. accounting and reporting practices and their significance with the entity.

.08

Financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country ordinarily are not useful to U.S. users. Therefore, if financial statements are needed for use both in another country and within the United States, the auditor may report on two sets of financial statements for the entity—one prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country for use outside the United States, and the other prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (see paragraph .13). If dual statements are not prepared, or for some other reason the financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country will have more than limited distribution in the United States, the auditor should report on them using the U.S. standard form of report, modified as appropriate for departures from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (see paragraph .14).

Use Only Outside the United States

.09

A U.S.-style report modified to report on financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country that are intended for use only outside the United States should include—

  1. A title that includes the word "independent." fn 2
  2. A statement that the financial statements identified in the report were audited.
  3. A statement that refers to the note to the financial statements that describes the basis of presentation of the financial statements on which the auditor is reporting, including identification of the nationality of the accounting principles.
  4. A statement that the financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management fn 3 and that the auditor's responsibility is to express an opinion on the financial statements based on his audit.
  5. A statement that the audit was conducted in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America (and, if appropriate, with the auditing standards of the other country).
  6. A statement that U.S. standards require that the auditor plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement.
  7. A statement that an audit includes:
    (1) Examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements,
    (2) Assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and
    (3) Evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. fn 4
  8. A statement that the auditor believes that his audit provides a reasonable basis for his opinion.
  9. A paragraph that expresses the auditor's opinion on whether the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, in conformity with the basis of accounting described. If the auditor concludes that the financial statements are not fairly presented on the basis of accounting described, all substantive reasons for that conclusion should be disclosed in an additional explanatory paragraph (preceding the opinion paragraph) of the report, and the opinion paragraph should include appropriate modifying language as well as a reference to the explanatory paragraph.
  10. If the auditor is auditing comparative financial statements and the described basis of accounting has not been applied in a manner consistent with that of the preceding period and the change has had a material effect on the comparability of the financial statements, the auditor should add an explanatory paragraph to his report (following the opinion paragraph) that describes the change in accounting principle and refers to the note to the financial statements that discusses the change and its effect on the financial statements.
  11. The manual or printed signature of the auditor's firm.
  12. Date. fn 5

[As amended to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62. Revised, October 2000, to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards No. 93.]

.10

The following is an illustration of such a report:

Independent Auditor's Report

We have audited the accompanying balance sheet of International Company as of December 31, 20XX and the related statements of income, retained earnings, and cash flows for the year then ended which, as described in Note X, have been prepared on the basis of accounting principles generally accepted in [name of country]. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit.

We conducted our audit in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America (and in [name of country]). U.S. standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of International Company as of [at] December 31, 20XX, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year then ended in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in [name of country].

[As amended to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62. Revised, October 2000, to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards No. 93.]

.11

The independent auditor may also use the auditor's standard report of another country, provided that—

  1. Such a report would be used by auditors in the other country in similar circumstances.
  2. The auditor understands, and is in a position to make, the attestations contained in such a report (see paragraph .12).

The auditor should consider whether the standard report of another country or the financial statements may be misunderstood because they resemble those prepared in conformity with U.S. standards. When the auditor believes there is a risk of misunderstanding, he should identify the other country in the report.

.12

When the auditor uses the standard report of the other country, the auditor should comply with the reporting standards of that country. The auditor should recognize that the standard report used in another country, even when it appears similar to that used in the United States, may convey a different meaning and entail a different responsibility on the part of the auditor due to custom or culture. Use of a standard report of another country may also require the auditor to provide explicit or implicit assurance of statutory compliance or otherwise require understanding of local law. When using the auditor's standard report of another country, the auditor needs to understand applicable legal responsibilities, in addition to the auditing standards and the accounting principles generally accepted in the other country. Accordingly, depending on the nature and extent of the auditor's knowledge and experience, he should consider consulting with persons having expertise in the audit reporting practices of the other country to attain the understanding needed to issue that country's standard report.

.13

A U.S. entity that prepares financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles also may prepare financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country for use outside the United States. In such circumstances, the auditor may report on the financial statements that are in conformity with accounting principles of the other country by following the guidance in paragraphs .09 and .10. The auditor may wish to include, in one or both of the reports, a statement that another report has been issued on the financial statements for the entity that have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in another country. The auditor may also wish to reference any note describing significant differences between the accounting principles used and U.S. GAAP. An example of such a statement follows.

We also have reported separately on the financial statements of International Company for the same period presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in [name of country]. (The significant differences between the accounting principles accepted in [name of country] and those generally accepted in the United States are summarized in Note X.)

Use in the United States

.14

If the auditor is requested to report on the fair presentation of financial statements, prepared in conformity with the accounting principles generally accepted in another country, that will have more than limited distribution in the United States, he should use the U.S. standard form of report (see section 508, Reports on Audited Financial Statements, paragraph .08), modified as appropriate (see section 508.35-.57), because of departures from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. fn 6 The auditor may also, in a separate paragraph to the report, express an opinion on whether the financial statements are presented in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country.

.15

The auditor may also report on the same set of financial statements, prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country, that will have more than limited distribution in the United States by using both the standard report of the other country or a U.S.-style report (described in paragraph .09) for distribution outside the United States, and a U.S. form of report (described in paragraph .14) for distribution in the United States.

Effective Date

.16

This section is effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning after July 31, 1986.

Footnotes (AU Section 534 — Reporting on Financial Statements Prepared for Use in Other Countries):

fn 1 See paragraph .07, however, for a discussion of financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in another country for limited distribution in the United States.

fn 2 This statement does not require a title for an auditor's report if the auditor is not independent. See section 504, Association With Financial Statements, for guidance on reporting when the auditor is not independent. [Footnote added to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62.]

fn 3 In some instances, a document containing the auditor's report may include a statement by management regarding its responsibility for the presentation of the financial statements. Nevertheless, the auditor's report should state that the financial statements are management's responsibility. [Footnote added to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62.]

fn 4 Section 411, The Meaning of Present Fairly in Conformity With Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, paragraphs .03 and .04, discuss the auditor's evaluation of the overall presentation of the financial statements. [Footnote added to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62. Title of section 411 amended, effective for reports issued or reissued on or after June 30, 2001, by Statement on Auditing Standards No. 93.]

fn 5 For guidance on dating the independent auditor's report, see section 530, Dating of the Independent Auditor's Report. [Footnote added to reflect conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62.]

fn 6 This section does not apply to reports on financial statements of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign registrants presented in SEC filings of foreign parent companies where the subsidiaries' financial statements have been prepared on the basis of accounting principles used by the parent company. [Footnote renumbered to reflect the conforming changes necessary due to the issuance of Statement on Auditing Standards Nos. 53 through 62.]

Copyright © 1996, 2002, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Inc.