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IAASB enhances and modernises ISA 315 for more robust risk assessment


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The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 315 (Revised 2019), its revised standard for identifying and assessing risks of material misstatement. 

ISA 315 (Revised 2019) is an important part of the IAASB’s efforts to improve audit quality globally. In finalising the changes, the IAASB focused on the understandability, complexity and length of the standard, and made enhancements and clarifications to encourage a more consistent and robust risk assessment, which forms the foundation of the auditor’s efforts to gather sufficient appropriate audit evidence. The revisions also modernise the standard to keep up with the evolving environment in which businesses operate, in particular in relation to technology, as well as a focus on why procedures are required. 

“This revised standard is the second significant standard to be completed in our efforts to enhance audit quality. ISA 315 (Revised 2019) is foundational to the audit – the core of the audit is undertaking work to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to address the risks of material misstatement, and the changes made to ISA 315 (Revised 2019) recognise the importance of a robust and consistent risk assessment in driving an appropriate and effective response to those risks,” says IAASB Chair Tom Seidenstein. 

ISA 315 (Revised 2019) becomes effective for financial statement audits for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2021. 

Due to the foundational nature of this revised standard, the IAASB will undertake activities to support effective and consistent application of the changes. An implementation plan has been developed which lays out the planned activities and estimated timing. 

The IAASB develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB, and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). 


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