ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Research into auditing issues of global importance has been commissioned by the ACCA working in collaboration with the International Association for Accounting Education and Research (IAAER).

The research is to comprise of four separate projects that are intended to support the work of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). Specifically, these will focus on:

  • whether there is consistency in the application of auditing standards
  • the implications of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) for the financial statement audit
  • the audit methodology for smaller audit firms, and the nature of professional judgement in auditing.

Research teams from Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and US will present research designs at the International Symposium on Audit Research in Singapore in June, with interim research findings to be presented in the US early next year, followed by delivery of the final results at a conference taking place in Europe in October 2011.

'This research is welcome, as we expect it to make a contribution to the implementation and application of international standards and our future standards setting decisions,' said Professor Arnold Schilder, IAASB chair. 'This initiative aligns with the IAASB's ongoing agenda for innovation within the field of auditing and assurance and our efforts to further our understanding of international developments, including the needs of those using our standards.' 

Explaining the reasons behind ACCA's decision to commission the research, Dr Steve Priddy, ACCA director of technical policy and research, said: 'Audit has a key role to play as a source of public confidence in financial reporting and benefits business, the economy and society. This is why ACCA believes it is important to fund this research as it will help to inform debate within the audit profession on a range of important subjects that will have a direct impact on the working lives of thousands of finance professionals around the world.' 

Professor Donna Street, IAAER president, added: 'The IAAER is pleased to support ACCA's work in commissioning academic research in these four areas because we recognised them as issues that will not only be increasingly significant to the audit community, but will also be of paramount importance to those who rely on audit reports.

'We wanted to contribute to the ongoing development of audit skills intrinsic to the training of finance professionals, which enable them to provide the best possible advice to businesses.'