Keeping up with changes to audit standards

Do you find keeping up with changes to audit standards in the audit space challenging, confusing, time consuming or all three? Knowing when standards are getting updated and what you might need to do to prepare your practice and change your workflow can be crucial for a successful audit practice. Head of Product for CaseWare Australia & New Zealand, Sarah Butler has written some tips about key industry indicators.

In 2010, the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) issued 41 clarity standards.  It was a particularly challenging time for the audit industry, as there were 500+ individual requirements across the standards that had to be considered on every engagement. 

This saw the emergence of ‘checklist auditing’. This type of auditing was seen as a way of getting comfort that all necessary and relevant requirements had been addressed.  

Thankfully, a bulk update like this has not happened since.  Instead, individual standards have been progressively revised.  But does this make it any easier to stay up to date?  Although less significant, revisions made to only one standard still mean there may be changes to consider to workpapers, audit approaches and what’s documented in files.  

You don’t have to wait until a standard is revised to understand and account for its impact.  Getting involved early in the consultation phase gives you early access to the planned changes. It means you may also help change how the standard is revised. 

How can you learn more about proposed changes to Australian Auditing Standards?

There are plenty of opportunities for auditors to both understand, and contribute to, the development and revisions of standards well before they become requirements.

We recommend you do the following:

  • Subscribe to newsletters. The following organisations send out regular communications. They always highlight events and resources relating to proposed standards:
  • Regularly review your professional member body’s online resources: 
  • Follow regulatory bodies on LinkedIn and other social media. AUASB often share links to their recently released publications and roundtable consultation events.
  • Review AUASB Consultation Papers and Exposure Drafts:
    • These can provide helpful introductions to proposed changes and elaborate on the reasons behind them
    • Firms can elect to submit feedback on these. Alternatively, contribute to a combined submission that is normally done on behalf of members from both the CA ANZ and/or the CPA.
  • Get involved in AUASB outreach activities:
    • Respond to AUASB surveys to share your opinions on proposed changes
    • Attend AUASB roundtables to hear how others in the industry interpret and respond to proposed changes and contribute to the conversation yourself.

What is required to update your audit workpapers?

This is where the true benefit of using a purpose-built audit solution comes into play – you need to do very little to update your workpapers! 

At CaseWare, we recognise the important role we play in this.  As a solution provider to the industry, we ensure that all our audit and financial statements product content complies with all relevant standards and legislation. Our customers receive content updates before new standards and requirements are applicable, in plenty of time to implement them,. We also regularly hold webinars and have our subject matter experts present on impending changes and what you need to do to prepare.

What are you waiting for?

Changes to standards are ultimately designed to enhance audit quality and consistency across the board, for all sizes of entities. If you’re having issues keeping up to date with your knowledge of the standards, changes to legislation and overall general requirements in this space, now may be the time to consider a specific, easy to use and comprehensive audit software solution. 

Give us a ring or type a query in the chat box below. Or, you can check out our website information to see whether CaseWare’s audit solution might be worth investigating.