New audit evidence standard recognizes evolving nature of business

By Ken Tysiac

A new standard on audit evidence issued Thursday by the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) modernizes private company auditing standards by recognizing the critical value technology and information bring in today's audit procedures.

Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 142, Audit Evidence, addresses issues that have arisen since AU-C Section 500 was issued almost 10 years ago. SAS No. 142 addresses:

  • Emerging technologies used by both preparers and auditors.
  • 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.

"Our substantially revised standard addresses the evaluation of audit evidence and has been modernized to reflect our current business environment," AICPA Chief Auditor Bob Dohrer, CPA, CGMA, said in a news release. "It recognizes the use of automated tools and techniques such as audit data analytics, AI, and remote observation tools to obtain audit evidence."

The new standard is designed to enhance the auditor's assessment of whether sufficient and appropriate audit evidence has been obtained, and establishes a multifaceted consideration of attributes and factors in evaluating audit evidence.

Dohrer said the new standard is based on the premise that the auditor should evaluate information to be used as audit evidence notwithstanding the source from which it is obtained or the procedures used to obtain the information.

"New attributes of information for the auditor to consider include whether the information is corroborative or contradictory to management assertions, the authenticity of the evidence, and its susceptibility to bias," Dohrer said.

SAS No. 142 takes effect for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2022. The standard primarily will amend AU-C Section 500 in the AICPA Professional Standards.

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

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