Sue Almond, external affairs director at ACCA, says: 'It is clear that there are huge demands on the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s (IAASB) resources and this has limited the vision of the strategic review.
'When we look at the projects in the work programme, we see a need to expand them, further stretching resources: updating the International Standard on Quality Control should address its usability for smaller practitioners; the project on professional scepticism is urgent but should not preclude a further work on related concepts; action on financial institutions must also solve the general issue of how industry-related matters are dealt with in standards.
'Nevertheless a sensible approach has been taken to develop a work programme that focuses on fewer topics. This approach has been successful recently in allowing new auditor reporting standards to be drafted. It should allow future urgent projects to be completed on a timely basis.'
'We regret that time cannot be found for matters identified by the ISA Implementation Monitoring project, particularly in relation to audits of group financial statements and identifying and assessing risks. We think there should be progress on IAASB's other standards and indeed in establishing the fundamental principles of audit and assurance. But, much of this has to be kept ticking along by the side of the urgent projects.
'This is an important period as the recent finalisation of EU audit reforms, the IAASB's Framework for Audit Quality and the impending changes to auditor reporting are changing the landscape. ACCA welcomed the opportunity to respond to this consultation, but the IAASB must now maintain momentum and involve as many other interested parties as possible to increase the resources available to it.'