Webcast will highlight areas for focus in transition to new auditing

Public accounting firms need to be proactive and consider the implications now

TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - The biggest change to auditing financial statements in Canada in recent times takes place this year and public accounting firms should view it as an opportunity to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their audits and improve audit quality, say the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) and the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB).

Canada is adopting the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) as the new Canadian Auditing Standards (CASs). The new CASs take effect for audits of financial statements with periods ending on or after December 14, 2010.

To help public accounting firms prepare for the transition, CPAB and AASB will co-host a webcast on May 6, 2010 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. The webcast will highlight examples of key changes in standards and the impact on auditors. Standards discussed will include group audits, auditing accounting estimates and communications with audit committees.

"Adoption of the international auditing standards as the CASs offers a unique opportunity," said CPAB Chief Executive Officer Brian Hunt. "The adoption of the CASs will allow auditors to reconsider their overall audit approach, allowing them to both improve audit quality and reduce audit risk. The extension and enhancement of the risk model under the CASs focuses the auditor's attention on effective risk identification and development of responses to address key audit risks."

Canada is among more than 100 countries adopting the clarified ISAs. The conversion to the new standards will enhance global audit quality by supporting high quality, consistent and comparable audits around the world.

"The adoption of the first set of clarified International Standards on Auditing as Canadian Auditing Standards represents a milestone for standard setting in Canada" said Bruce Winter, Chair of the AASB. "The new standards are easier to understand and use. They also have much in common with existing Canadian standards, so changes to audit processes should not be overwhelming. But there are some significant differences as well. It is vital that auditors become aware of those changes and take steps to incorporate them into their audit methodologies."

The hour-long webcast will identify some of the key considerations that auditors should address in their transition to the CASs, including how they can use the transition as an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the audit process. CPAB will also outline its expectations of audit firms as they prepare for the implementation of the CASs.

In addition to assisting public accounting firms, the webcast will be of interest to CEOs, CFOs, audit committees and board directors. Participants will be able to ask questions.

"Time is of the essence, given that the CASs take effect for the audit of 2010 calendar year-end financial statements," said Hunt. "Auditors must act now to identify the impact of the CASs and dedicate adequate resources to address them."

The webcast, which is open to the media, will run from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 6, 2010. To register, visit event registration (http://www.meetview.com/cas20100506/).

The Canadian Public Accountability Board is the audit regulator that oversees the auditors of Canadian public companies. CPAB's mission is to contribute to public confidence in the integrity of financial reporting of public companies by promoting high quality, independent auditing. www.cpab-ccrc.ca

The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) is an independent body that sets high-quality standards and guidance for auditing, assurance and related services engagements that enable the public accounting profession to serve the public interest. www.aasb.ca

SOURCE Canadian Public Accountability Board

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Malcolm Gilmour, Director of Auditing Standards, CPAB, (416) 913-8260 ext. 4168, Malcolm.gilmour@cpab-ccrc.ca; Lisa Pretty, Communications Manager, AASB, (416) 204-3482, Lisa.Pretty@cica.ca; Stephanie Sayer, Devon Group, (416) 500-1656, Ssayer@devongroup.ca

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