Audit evidence standard would be updated under proposal

By Ken Tysiac

Issues such as the use of emerging technologies and the application of professional skepticism are addressed in a new audit evidence standard proposed Thursday by the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB).

Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS), Audit Evidence, addresses the evolving nature of business and audit services as well as other issues that have arisen since the existing audit evidence standard, AU-C Section 500, was issued.

The proposal addresses:

  • The use of information obtained as audit evidence when emerging technologies are used by preparers and auditors, including audit data analytics and blockchain.
  • The application of professional skepticism.
  • The expanding sources of information to be used as audit evidence.
  • The accuracy, completeness, relevance, and reliability of audit evidence.

Existing AU-C Section 500 focuses on audit procedures performed as a basis for assessing whether audit evidence is sufficient and appropriate. A key proposal of the proposed SAS is to establish a multidimensional consideration of attributes and factors in evaluating whether sufficient appropriate audit evidence has been obtained.

"Given the rapid evolution in the sources of information to be used as audit evidence available to auditors today, it is critically important that a robust, durable set of attributes be provided that allow auditors to make consistent assessments regarding the sufficiency and appropriateness of audit evidence obtained," AICPA Chief Auditor Bob Dohrer, CPA, CGMA, said in a news release. "This proposed SAS modernizes our standards to recognize both the sources of information and the technologies used to access and synthesize that information that were not available to auditors when the standard was last substantively updated."

Comments on the proposal can be made through Sept. 18 by emailing Sherry Hazel at  Sherry.Hazel@aicpa-cima.com.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA's editorial director.

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