Consider whether the remaining "interim" standards, as adopted upon the establishment of the Board, should be amended, replaced, or eliminated, as appropriate. As part of this analysis, evaluate which standards are necessary to retain, and of those, which should be retained with minimal updates and which require more significant changes. Separate projects, including requests for comment on potential standards to eliminate, will be added to the standard-setting agenda as the staff completes its analysis.
In April 2003, the Board adopted, on an interim basis, certain standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (collectively, the "interim standards"). A number of these standards have since been updated or replaced through
the Board's standard-setting initiatives. The remaining interim standards, however, continue to be in effect substantially in the form adopted. The Board has instructed the staff to evaluate the remaining interim standards to determine whether these
standards remain fit for use in fulfilling our mandate of investor protection.
Since adoption of the interim standards, the auditing environment has evolved, including changes resulting from
- Improvements to risk assessment, documentation, and reporting requirements through Board-issued standards;
- Implementation of audit requirements for integrated audits;
- Advancements in technologies relevant to financial reporting;
- Activities of other standard-setters and regulators; and
- Alignment of firm methodologies with a risk-based approach.
The remaining interim standards are comprised of:
- Auditing standards, including certain standards related to general responsibilities of the auditor, audit procedures for specific accounts or aspects of the audit, concluding audit procedures, and special topics;
- Attestation standards, including those related to general attest engagements, agreed-upon procedures, and compliance attestation; and
- Ethics and independence standards.
While the concepts in many of the remaining interim standards remain sound, some of these standards may be in need of relatively minor updates and others may be in need of more extensive changes. In addition, some of these interim standards may no longer be necessary to retain, for example, if there is no application for the standard in current practice or if concepts in the standard could be incorporated into another standard for a more logical presentation.Staff analysis for each interim standard will take into account the requirements in other Board standards, observations from the Board's oversight activities, changes to audit firms' methodologies, the activities of other standard setters and regulators, and information from investors and other stakeholders.
The staff is obtaining and analyzing information to develop recommendations to amend, replace, or eliminate the remaining interim standards. These recommendations will be made on an ongoing basis for individual or groups of interim standards as the staff completes its analysis.