The New Irish International Standards on Auditing were published by the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) on 31st of January 2017. IAASA has become responsible for the adoption of the auditing framework in Ireland under S.I. 312 of 2016 which came into effect on the 17th of June 2017.

Previously the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) was responsible for setting auditing standards which Ireland adopted. For the first time ever we have our very own Irish ISAs.

The new Irish Auditing Standards are now in use and are compulsory for all audits ending 30th of June 2017.


This is part 1 of our 4 Part Auditing in Ireland 2017 Training Series.  Access Part 2 here

Your Irish ISA Quick Guide

In order to assist you to get up to speed with the new International Standards on Auditing for use in Ireland we have developed an Irish ISA Quick Guide which provides you with a summary of each standard and compares, standard-by-standard, the old with the new. This is an essential document for all Irish Auditors which will significantly ease the transition burden. You can request your copy below.

 

 

Irish ISA Key Differences Summary

Below is a snap-shot summary of the key differences of the new ISA's. Our quick guide goes into substantially more detail incorporating the new changes into a summarisation of each Standard. Make sure you request your copy of our Quick Guide as your key ISA desktop reference document.

ISA 200

There have been no significant changes to ISA 200, there have been some small additions to reiterate and further clarify on some key aspects of Audit in practice which enforces that the auditor should be aware of in their work.

  • An audit of financial statements is not an audit of management’s ability to run the company or the company’s future viability or sustainability; and
  • Professional scepticism in identifying irregularities or material misstatements should always be applied throughout the audit process.


ISA 210

There are no changes to the core standard only additional points to the Application and Other Explanatory Material section of the standard.

  • After the Opinion is signed, if it is outlined in the engagement letter that it is expected information is to be available and received after the signing date the auditor may acknowledge their responsibilities in relation to this information
  • In the Letter of Engagement
    • Acknowledging the auditor is required to communicate key audit matters and if not required to do so that the auditor make reference to the possibility of communicating the key matters.
    • That management will provide access to all information relevant to the preparation of the financial statements.


ISA 220

The changes to this standard are predominately only relevant to audits of PIE’s, with the exception of 24D-1 documentation of all significant threats of independence to the firm and safeguards and those matters it is required to assess before accepting or continuing an engagement.

In preparing audit files for PIE’s a quality review partner must be appointed, the quality review partner is required to consider:

  • Independence of the firm from the entity;
  • The significant risks which are relevant and identified to the audit the measures to adequately manage those risks;
  • The reasoning of the level of materiality and the significant risks; 
  • Any request for advice to external experts and the implementation of such advice;
  • The nature and scope of the corrected and uncorrected misstatements; 
  • The subjects discussed with the audit committee and management and/or supervisory bodies of the entity;
  • The subjects discussed with competent authorities and other third parties; and
  • Whether the documents and information selected from the file by the engagement quality control reviewer support the opinion of the audit partner

Any discussions with the audit partner either orally or in writing should be documented and the full review and any documentation and conclusions reached by the quality review partner must be included as part of the audit file in completing prior to the signing of the audit opinion.


ISA 230

There have been no significant changes to this standard with focus just on enforcing the retention of key supporting documentation to the audit file in concluding on the auditor’s report for monitoring compliance and legal requirements during the statutory period of retention.

In preparing audit files

  • Retain any and all data and documents that support the planning, work, findings and conclusions of the file, even if not directly attached to the file. i.e. In the event that there are technical papers or supporting data prepared by management or experts that under pin key assumptions and judgements that management have used in determining numbers presented in the financials which in turn form a key basis of your audit findings/conclusion and the basis for your audit opinion then these documents should be included on the audit file. (an example could be an actuarial valuation report on a pension)
  • Retain the audit files for the required statutory period (i.e. 6 years from the date of signing of the audit opinion)


ISA 240 

There have been no significant changes to this standard other than adding specific responsibilities for Public Interest Entities following recent regulation updates so that more stringent compulsory reporting around non-compliance and fraud is in place for PIE’s. Upon identification of the issue it is reported to those in Governance of the PIE and if not addressed adequately than escalation of compulsory reporting to the relevant authority is to be determined by the Auditor.

For identified fraud in PIE’s

  • Inform entity management/governance by way of the audit findings report
  • Ensure the entity management/governance investigate and take appropriate action
    • If the entity management/governance does not address then report to authority
    • If the entity management/governance insufficiently addresses the issues then reporting to authorities is to be determined by the Auditor
  • If reported to the Authorities in good faith, it shall not be construed as a breach of contract or legal restrictions under the audit regulations 


 ISA 250A – those points just discussed for ISA 240 can be repeated since they are the main updates to ISA 250A


ISA 250B

There have been no significant changes to this ISA other than adding specific regulatory reporting obligations on the auditor for significant matters when performing the statutory audit of the PIE’s financial statements.

  • When performing audits on PIE’s financial statements:
  • Report to the regulator when:
    • a material breach of law has occurred,
    • a going concern doubt, or
    • not issuing an opinion or when issuing a qualified or adverse opinion.
    • performing the audit of a related entity to the PIE which is material to the PIE and which any of the above situations present themselves.
       

 ISA 260

The new additions and updates to this ISA is to simply apply specific standards to PIE’s there are no changes which effect non-PIE entities.

The main additions added which related to PIE’s are:

  • An audit findings report will be issued to that body which performs the Governance function in the PIE and shall include at a minimum the reporting requirements of P16R-2 and 20R-2
  • The auditor is required annually to discuss and reaffirm the independence of the firm and engagement team.
  • The additional report to the audit committee should be submitted prior to the signing of the opinion
  • The auditor is retain any and all information required to support the report to the audit committee as part of the audit file


 ISA 265

There have been no significant changes to the standard itself, there is only one new change to the supporting section of “Application and Other Explanatory Material” to include deficiencies in control in PIE’s and the communication of those to the audit committee.

For PIE’s in drafting the communication report to the audit committee, the auditors should include details of:

  • The control environment tested
  • The scope of the testing performed
  • If any deficiencies exist in the internal control environment or conclude that none were identified
  • For deficiencies identified, the auditor applies judgement in the detail to provide, explaining the control, the deficiencies found, the suggested correction and managements responses to the deficiencies.


ISA 300

There have been no significant changes to the standard itself, there is only one new change to the supporting section of “Application and Other Explanatory Material” to more clearly explain the effect of timing on the audit planning and risk assessment process.

Focus is on considering the nature, timing and extent of risk assessment in the planning process so attention can be given to:

  • Information from outside the accounting system which may impact on the risk assessment of the entity
  • Consideration of new or revised disclosures or change in financial reporting framework (FRS102)
  • Identification of work that may require the use of an expert
  • Known disclosures or issues to be discussed with management early in the audit process.


 ISA 315

The new key points to the additions of the “Application and Other Explanatory Material” are:

  • Information and disclosures relevant to the financial statements could come from outside of the general accounting system and need to be considered and assessed
  • What is relevant in an information system to the audit of the financial statements is a matter of the auditors professional judgement
  • Controls to address disclosures under new financial reporting frameworks such as FRS102 may be outside the general accounting system and will need to be assessed
  • The auditor may combine or chop and change assertions to meet their needs in addressing risk of misstatement
  • The auditors determination of materiality is a matter of professional judgement based on who the end users will be and for incorrect disclosures in the financial statements qualitative and quantitative considerations.
  • For smaller entities even though smaller in size and complexity, the auditor is still required to understand the entity and its environment.


 ISA 320

There have been no significant changes to the standard itself, there is only one new change to the supporting section of “Application and Other Explanatory Material” to include

consideration to apply the materiality concept to an entities

  • Change in circumstances (merger, acquisition, business combination)
  • Transition to a new financial reporting framework (FRS102 or IFRS) and the new disclosures required
  • Specific disclosures that are relevant to a reader of the financial statements but which may not be directly linked to the primary statements (i.e. pension disclosures, or liquidity risk)


ISA 330

There are some wording revisions to existing paragraphs but they are not significant in nature but which clarify the application process specific to the financial statements.

There is only one addition to the standard which applies to audits of PIE’s which are likely to have financial instruments and other complex items in their financial statements. Auditors are to assess the valuation methods applied, ie for fair value calculations review the inputs and method to ensure the value derived is a true reflection of fair value.


ISA 230

There have been no significant changes to this standard with focus just on enforcing the retention of key supporting documentation to the audit file in concluding on the auditor’s report for monitoring compliance and legal requirements during the statutory period of retention.

In preparing audit files

  • Retain any and all data and documents that support the planning, work, findings and conclusions of the file, even if not directly attached to the file. i.e. In the event that there are technical papers or supporting data prepared by management or experts that under pin key assumptions and judgements that management have used in determining numbers presented in the financials which in turn form a key basis of your audit findings/conclusion and the basis for your audit opinion then these documents should be included on the audit file. (an example could be an actuarial valuation report on a pension)
  • Retain the audit files for the required statutory period (i.e. 6 years from the date of signing of the audit opinion)
     

ISA 402

Generally this only really applies to PIE entities and the funds industry so while minor revisions have taken place as it is a reasonably recent addition to the ISA’s not much has been updated of significance.


 ISA 450

There have been no significant changes to the standard itself in ISA 450 there is only revisions to the Application and Other Explanatory Material section which provides guidance and explanation on:

  • The definition of a misstatement – that they can be an omission of or an inappropriate disclosure or relevant information
  • Clearly trivial misstatements – that they are to be accumulated and assessed both to individual statements and disclosures
  • The evaluation of uncorrected misstatements – the effect on qualitative disclosures, what is material and if not material but fraudulent consider the wider impact and effect on the financial statements.


 ISA 500– No changes or amendments


 ISA 501 – No changes or amendments


ISA 505 – No changes or amendments


 ISA 510

There is only one new addition to this standard to take account of the audit of PIE’s whereby the new auditor in reviewing the work of previous auditor’s work must understand the methodology applied in the previous audit which affect the opening balances and form part of the work done which is to be communicated to those in governance and audit committees as required by ISA 260.


ISA 520 – No changes or amendments
 


ISA 530 – No changes or amendments


ISA 540

There is only one update to the standard with minor updates to the application and other explanatory material section of the standard. The main change is to focus the auditor’s attention to accounting estimates specific to fair value.

While this would affect PIE’s, auditors should be mindful of its application to other forms of entities. The auditor is to use professional scepticism and be aware of possible management bias in deriving accounting estimates. For PIE’s the auditor must consider the work performed and whether this requires reporting to the audit committee of the PIE.


ISA 550 – No changes or amendments


ISA 560

There is no update to the standard with just minor additions to the application and other explanatory material section of the standard. The additions reaffirm that the auditor is not obligated to perform procedures after the signing of the audit report and cross refers to ISA 720 where information obtained after the signing date maybe relevant in the context of that ISA.


ISA 570

 The assessment of Going Concern as part of the audit process to meet the requirements of the fair presentation financial reporting frameworks concept of a True and Fair view remains the same but,

  • The auditor is to obtain sufficient audit evidence to determine if a material uncertainty exists
  • The auditor shall conclude on appropriateness of the use of the going concern principle and if inappropriate issue an adverse opinion (Paragraphs 21-2 to 23)
  • The auditor shall report by exception (provide an opinion) on going concern,
    • In a separately headed paragraph; and
    • State if the going concern basis of accounting is appropriate and if a material uncertainty exists
  • If a material uncertainty exists then include a separately headed section (Material Uncertainty Related to Going Concern) drawing the readers attention to it


ISA 580

There are no updates to the standard itself but just one minor update to the application and other explanatory material section of the standard. Which is to focus for PIE’s that in concluding on the audit to the audit committee they communicate that all requested explanations and documents were provided by the entity in the performance of their work.


ISA 600

The focus of the main changes to this standard are to enforce greater accountability and responsibility of the group auditor (both partner and group engagement team) for the conduct, application and use of work performed by a component auditor.

The following are the main key updates:

  • The Group Engagement partner is fully responsible for the auditors report
  • As part of the terms with the component auditor full provision of documentation relevant to the group audit should be supplied without limitation
  • The component auditors relevant work to the group process should be reviewed and assessed by the group engagement team
  • For PIE audits the Group Partners firm is fully responsible for the report to the audit committee
  • When documenting the work performed by on a group audit
    • Retain the appropriate audit documentation for compliance and authority review including the work performed by a component auditor
    • Ensure the component auditor facilitates any compliance or authority review if needed.
    • For the group auditor ensure the documentation of access or impediments to access are recorded and appropriate procedures applied.


ISA 610 – No changes or amendments


ISA 620

There are no real changes to this standard other than for all audits any interactions with an expert is to be documented and if using an expert on a PIE engagement, that confirmation of the independence of the expert is obtained and documented.


ISA 700

  • With recent changes in the UK and Irish financial reporting framework and Company Law etc the audit report is revised to demonstrate the auditor’s consideration of the form content of the financial statements in compliance with the financial reporting framework;
  • In the basis of opinion, the audit report must now include the form of Ethical Standards being applied i.e. IAASA versus FRC;
  • Where required include an Other Information paragraph in the audit report; We will discuss this further under ISA 720 shortly
  • If required to report by exception the audit report must then include the responsibilities required to be reported under the requirements; and
  • The audit report cannot be dated prior to approval of all information in the financial statements including other information.


ISA 701- This is a completely new Standard

With the revisions to ISA 570 the Going Concern basis is now separately opinionated on and not required under the Other Key Matters section.

 

ISA 701 deals with the auditor’s responsibility to communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report including other audit planning and scoping matters. It is intended to address both the auditor’s judgment as to what to communicate in the auditor’s report and the form and content of such communication. This ISA applies to audits of complete sets of general purpose financial statements of listed entities and circumstances when the auditor otherwise decides to communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report. This ISA also applies when the auditor is required by law or regulation to communicate key audit matters in the auditor’s report. This ISA also applies to audits of complete sets of general purpose financial statements of other public interest entities and entities that are required, and those that choose voluntarily, to report on how they have applied the UK Corporate Governance Code.

 

For key audit matters in addition to the existing reporting requirements, the auditors report must now include a description of the key matter and why it is deemed to be a key matter in the auditors report. The matter in the report should:

 

  • Include a description of the most significant assessed risks of material misstatement;
  • Include a summary as to how the auditor has responded to those risks;
  • Include any key observations in relation to those risks;
  • Include materiality applied overall and the materiality which deemed the key matter to be a material misstatement; and
  • Be written in a way which they are understandable and clearly can be related to the specific circumstances of the entity, not abstract.


ISA 705

If a direct comparison was made between the old standard and the new standard, it would appear that there are a lot of changes however much of this is just relocation of phrases and words within the existing paragraphs and does not mean there is much real direct changes. While the old paragraphs of P19-P21 on the basis of modification have been removed the new additions of P25 P26 and P29 effectively make up for these removals.

The main key new additions are:

  • If modifying the audit report, a description of what caused the modification must be included;
  • If issuing a qualified opinion, the auditor amends the statement about obtaining appropriate and sufficient audit evidence to include the word “qualified” or “adverse” depending on the opinion type being issued; and
  • When an auditor disclaims an opinion:
    • No need to include a statement that evidence obtained was sufficient and appropriate but instead state the auditor was not able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion
    • No need to cross reference the opinion to the auditors responsibility section and in the responsibilities section state that it is the responsibility to conduct an audit in accordance with ISAs and to issue an auditor’s report
    • No need to include a Key audit matters section unless required by law or regulation
    • The auditor is required to include a statement about independence and other ethical requirements


ISA 706

The new changes to ISA 706 which supplement the drafting of the audit opinion under ISA 700 means:

  • As ISA 701 is a new standard, it distinguishes what Key Audit Matter are versus Other Matters and Emphasis of Matters.
  • As ISA 570 now requires a report by exception on Going Concern in the audit opinion specifically, the use of emphasis of matter reporting on going concern is now removed and an Emphasis of Matter is drawing a users attention to something which is important but did not require the auditor to modify their opinion.
  • An Emphasis of matter now is headed as a separate section and need not be immediately after the opinion.
  • The emphasis of matter shall only refer to information already presented or disclosed in the financial statements.
  • An Other Matter paragraph shall be included and headed as a separate section of the audit opinion when the auditor considers it necessary.


ISA 710

There have been no changes to this standard but some minor additions to the Application and Other Explanatory Material section of the ISA.

  • For PIE’s an incoming auditor must understand the methodology applied in carryout the audit in the prior period
  • If an entity was unaudited in the prior year but the incoming auditor cannot support the opening balances a qualified opinion is required to be expressed and if significant difficulty is encountered then it may be a key audit matter to be disclosed. 

ISA 720

The new changes to ISA 720 which supplements the drafting of the audit opinion under ISA 700 means if there is Other Information within the financial statements specific sections of the opinion outlining other information and the auditors responsibilities on the other information must be included.

  1. If required by law or regulation to provide an opinion on the other information in the financial statements it is to be consistent with the information in the rest of the financial statements
  2. If required to prepare statutory other information the auditor understands the legal and regulatory requirements
  3. The auditor’s report
    1. is now required to include an “Other Information” section
    2. the auditor’s responsibilities is now to include a description of the responsibilities for other information contained in the financial statements
    3. In Ireland under Companies Act 2014 an opinion on whether the information given in the directors report is consistent with the financial statements
    4. If a Corporate Governance Statement is included an opinion is to be provided
    5. If the entity applies the UK corporate governance code P22.3 and P22.4 must be adhered to