Editor's note: This is a Web-exclusive sidebar to "A Fresh Approach for Compilation and Review."
At the time that the AICPA Reliability Task Force communicated its recommendations to ARSC, ARSC was undergoing a major project to recodify the standards for compilation and review engagements. ARSC had determined that, if the standards for compilation and review engagements were separated into distinct chapters by engagement type, practitioners would be better able to understand and apply the professional literature.
By making the literature easier to use, ARSC’s aim is to enhance the quality of compilation and review engagements. Also, as part of the AICPA’s commitment to harmonize its professional standards with international standards, ARSC adopted a strategy to converge its standards with those of the International Accounting and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). Because the IAASB is considering revising International Standard on Review Engagements (ISRE) no. 2400, Engagements to Review Financial Statements, ARSC concluded that converging with that standard is not appropriate. Instead, ARSC set out to harmonize with ISRE no. 2400 by including certain of the basic concepts and terms in the international standard in the SSARSs.
To ease the transition from existing SSARSs to new standards that would result from any of the aforementioned major projects, ARSC determined to make all of the changes simultaneously. Therefore, the proposed SSARSs include the recommendations from the AICPA Reliability Task Force, the changes deemed necessary to recodify the SSARSs into separate chapters for compilation and review engagements, and the changes as a result of harmonizing the SSARSs with certain of the basic concepts and terms from the international standards.