The demand for assurance to build up trust and endorse business relationships is global. To achieve this, international standard-setters have issued standards and guidance for non-audit assurance services. The key body being the IAASB – the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.
One of the two most significant standards is the IAASB’s International Standard on Assurance Engagement – ISAE 3000 “Assurance engagements other than audits or reviews of historical financial information”. The other is the IAASB’s ISAE 3402 “Assurance Reports on Controls at a Service Organization”.
ISAE 3000 is often linked to the ICAEW UK technical guidance AAF 02/07 and ISAE 3402 with the ICAEW UK technical guidance AAF 01/06.
ISAE 3000 and ISAE 3402 are very helpful places to start when considering the areas of assurance your business might require.
ISAE 3000 applies to areas of assurance that are not covered by a subject-specific engagement standard. For this reason it was recently used as a framework for reporting on pension trustees for the UK pension regulator, ICAEW AAF 02/07 TECH04/13 Relevant trustee supplement. ISAE 3000 also acts as a general framework for other subject-specific engagements and may also be referred to in subject-specific assurance reporting.
Other examples of using ISAE 3000 are: assurance reporting on information technology, management information flows, compliance with contractual agreements, risk management, ethics and behaviour, and governance.
ISAE 3402 is arguably the most used subject-specific international standard because it is used for assurance reporting for investment managers and for internal controls over financial reporting by third-party providers. It is used by some UK third-party pension administrators with the ICAEW AAF 01/06 to give assurance over financial controls.
To consider what might be the most appropriate type of service you require for assurance how would you answer these questions:
- What issue is management most concerned about and why?
- How can professional involvement add to the credibility of information related to the subject matter?
- What is the subject matter? Does the issue relate to financial or non-financial matters?
- Who are the intended users of the assurance report and what are their expectations?
Questions such as these can be found in the ICAEW’s Assurance Sourcebook, along with other valuable information on how assurance reporting could work best for you. To learn more about what assurance could do for your business book a meeting at no cost to you at firstname.lastname@example.org