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Objective

Consider changes to the confirmation process, including how AS 2310, The Confirmation Process, should be revised to reflect changes in technology, as well as to align more closely with the PCAOB's risk assessment standards.

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Background

AS 2310 establishes requirements for the use of confirmations in an audit, including requirements for designing, performing, and evaluating the results of confirmation procedures. While the standard has remained largely unchanged since its issuance in 1992, the following developments have taken place:

  • Changes in technology: Auditors are now utilizing various methods to send and receive confirmations, including the use of intermediaries. Additionally, many auditors are expanding their use of technology-based tools to perform alternative procedures; and
  • Adoption of the Board's risk assessment standards: AS 2310 predates the adoption of the Board's risk assessment standards and therefore does not expressly prompt auditors to consider the risks of material misstatement when designing confirmation requests, including risks of material misstatement related to fraud.

Staff analysis will take into account observations from the Board's oversight activities, audit firms' methodologies, academic research, the activities of other standard setters and regulators, and information from investors and other stakeholders. The staff's analysis will also be informed by the Board's 2009 Concept Release and the subsequent 2010 Proposed Standard related to confirmations, as well as the comment letters received thereon.

 

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Status

The staff is analyzing relevant information obtained since the 2010 proposal and developing a re-proposal for the Board's consideration.