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AICPA Auditing Board’s 2024 Workplan Includes Several Standard-Setting Projects

Soyoung Ho  Senior Editor, Accounting and Compliance Alert

· 5 minute read

Soyoung Ho  Senior Editor, Accounting and Compliance Alert

· 5 minute read

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has four standard-setting projects, one project under active consideration, and one research project, according to the board’s 2024 workplan.

The ASB also monitors work by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the PCAOB—the former to try to converge as much as possible, the latter to try to eliminate unnecessary differences.

Standard-Setting Projects

  • 1. Quality Management Amendments to Attestation Standards The board in August 2023 issued an exposure draft aimed at aligning certain concepts in attestation standards with quality management standards issued in June 2022. But there is concern over the timing of the projects because of international efforts underway that may affect attestations standards. While there are questions about whether the board should put the project on the back burner, a task force believes the board should move forward as planned. The board will decide during a meeting on February 1-2, 2024. (See AICPA Board to Decide Whether to Pause Project on Quality Management Attestation Standards in the January 22, 2024, edition of Accounting & Compliance Alert.) As planned, the board hopes to go through comment letters for any changes that should be made to the exposure draft and finalize the attestation standards in the second quarter.
  • 2. Fraud The IAASB approved an exposure draft on fraud in December 2023. It will be issued with a 120-day comment period. And an ASB task force met twice in January to discuss possible actions for fraud research findings and to discuss the definition of fraud and fraud risk factors. In the first quarter, issues will be discussed, and a discussion draft will be prepared in the second quarter. The board’s goal is to draft a proposed standard in the third quarter. The AICPA is monitoring the PCAOB’s work on fraud, which is on its mid-term agenda.
  • 3. Attestation Standards—environmental, social, and governance (ESG)/Sustainability The IAASB in August 2023 issued an exposure draft on International Standard on Sustainability Assurance (ISSA) 5000, General Requirements for Sustainability Assurance Engagements, a comprehensive standalone sustainability assurance standard that will be available to all assurance practitioners around the world. (See IAASB Proposes Standalone Sustainability Assurance Standards in the August 11, 2023, edition of ACA.) An ASB task force will draft a new sustainability-specific AT-C section and consider implications for the AICPA’s Sustainability Guide. The task force is working toward an exposure draft in late 2024 or early 2025. As for sustainability guidance, the task force is working on frequently asked questions (FAQs) about confidence in ESG third-party processes, methodologies, data, and controls that may be used in sustainability assurance engagements.
  • 4. Confirmations In December 2023 the SEC approved the PCAOB’s new standard that modernizes the auditor’s confirmation process. The ASB supports creating a task force to determine whether the changes that the PCAOB made for its audit standards should also be made to AU-C Section 505, External Confirmations. The PCAOB writes audit standards for public companies whereas the ASB writes for audits of private companies. The ASB is expected to discuss issues in the second quarter. In the third quarter, a discussion draft will be prepared, and in the fourth quarter, the board hopes to have an exposure draft ready.

Project Under Active Consideration

Attestation standards on internal control is a project that is under active consideration. This project is under study, and issues will be discussed in the fourth quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025.

The Sustainability Task Force is developing guidance regarding examinations related to internal control over sustainability reporting (ICSR) that can be applied to other subject matter but to have examples specific to ICSR.

Research Project

The one research project is about leveraging technology.

The Technology & Audit Evidence Task Force is collaborating with and the Journal of Accounting for AICPA Technology landing page. The task force is also working on audit data analytics guide update.

This year the IAASB will establish an overarching position on technology, and it is expected to state a vision and provide a roadmap for technology standard-setting work. This roadmap is expected to inform the direction of existing projects such as the integrated audit evidence reference/performance project.

The PCAOB also has a project on a technology-assisted analysis standard. A proposal was issued in June 2023, and the board is planning to finalize it this year. (See PCAOB Proposes Audit Standards Update Addressing Technology-Assisted Analysis in the June 28, 2023, edition of ACA.)

In the meantime, Practice Aid—Accounting for and Auditing of Digital Assets will be updated to include additional guidance of the following:

The practice aid will also include the FASB’s Accounting Standards Update No. 2023-08, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other—Crypto Assets (Subtopic 350-60): Accounting for and Disclosure of Crypto Assets, which was published in December 2023. (see FASB Publishes its First Direct Accounting Standard for Reporting Crypto Assets in the December 14, 2023, edition of ACA.)


This article originally appeared in the January 29, 2024, edition of Accounting & Compliance Alert, available on Checkpoint.

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