Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements

Statements on Standards
for Attestation
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Commonly known as attestation standards
Apply to engagements that address subject matter
other than historical financial statements, e.g:
• an entity’s compliance with laws or regulations
• the effectiveness of an entity’s controls over the privacy of
• a financial forecast
Address examination, review and agreed-upon
procedures (AUP) engagements
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
4 “general” AT sections that provide a framework for
developing an attestation engagement
• AT 20, Defining Professional Requirements in Statements on
Standards for Attestation Engagements
• AT 50, SSAE Hierarchy
• AT 101, Attest Engagements (which addresses examination and
review engagements)
• AT 201, Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Currently: 6 “topic-specific” AT sections for
reporting on
• prospective financial information (AT 301)
• pro forma financial information (AT 401)
• internal control over financial reporting (AT 501)
• compliance with laws and regulations (AT 601)
• management’s discussion and analysis (AT 701)
• controls at service organizations (AT 801)
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Objective: to make AT sections easier to read,
understand and apply
Redraft in clarity format
New structure (objective is to eliminate repetition)
• Chapter 1: Concepts common to all attestation engagements
• Chapters 2-4: Levels of service (examination, review, agreedupon procedures).
- Each chapter addresses a specific level of service and
builds on the common concepts chapter
• Subject-matter specific chapters
- Each chapter builds on common concepts and level of
service chapters
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Example – Reporting on an examination of
prospective financial information
• Currently, the following AT sections apply:
- AT 20
- AT 50
- AT 401
• Proposed structure, the following sections would apply:
- Chapter 1, Common Concepts
- Chapter 2, Examinations
- Chapter X, Forecasts
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Convergence with standards of the International
Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)
• Foundation for the common concepts, examination, and review
sections of the proposed attestation standards:
- AICPA’s existing attestation standards
- IAASB International Standards on Assurance Engagements
(ISAE) 3000, “Assurance Engagements Other than Audits or
Reviews of Historical Financial Information” (Dec 2013)
- ISAE 3000 is IAASB’s framework standard for assurance
engagements (equivalent of attestation engagements)
- ISAE 3410, Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Convergence with standards of the International
Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)
• AT 801 was converged with ISAE 3402, Assurance Reports on
Controls at a Service Organization, when SSAE No. 16,
Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization, was issued in
April 2010
• Proposed “Reporting on Pro Forma Financial Information,”
includes elements of ISAE 3420, Assurance Engagements to
Report on the Compilation of Pro Forma Financial Information
Included in a Prospectus
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
July 2013, the ASB issued an exposure draft of the
first four “chapters”
Common Concepts
Agreed-upon Procedures
January 2014, the ASB issued an exposure draft of
the following subject-specific chapters:
• Financial Forecasts and Projections
• Reporting on Pro Forma Financial Information
• Compliance Attestation
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
AT 801 exposure vote on July 2014 ASB agenda
• Reporting on Controls at Service Organization
• Delayed to include guidance from AAG
One section not being clarified:
• Management’s Discussion and Analysis (AT 701)
- Will remain unclarified
One section moving and being replaced
• An Examination of an Entity’s Internal Control Over Financial
Reporting That Is Integrated With an Audit of Its Financial
Statements (AT 501)
- Will be moved to auditing standards
• Will be replaced by generic AT 501 examination standard on
internal control
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Final clarified SSAE will contain all attestation
• One SSAE (SSAE No. 18) even though more than one
exposure draft
- Expected issuance in second half of 2015 (estimate)
- Proposed effective date (estimate):
- No earlier than for reports dated December 15, 2015
Clarifying the Attestation Standards
Exposure drafts
More information
Dedicated ASB Attest Clarity page on AICPA Website at

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