November 22, 2013, letter commenting on the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board July 2013 Exposure Draft "Reporting on Audited Financial Statements: Proposed New and Revised International Standards on Auditing (ISAs)"

Published: Nov 22, 2013. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2013.

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This letter provides the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) comments on the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's (IAASB) exposure draft.

GAO supports efforts to improve the quality of financial reporting and increase the confidence users have in the audit of financial statements. However, GAO does not believe that certain of the proposed enhancements to the auditor's report, such as key audit matters and the disclosure of the name of the engagement partner are critical to the perceived value of the financial statement audit or add value to the user of the financial statements. GAO also do not believe that it is appropriate to include statements in the auditor's report for all audits related to the determination of going concern. Further, GAO encourages the IAASB to work closely with other standard setters, such as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and the Auditing Standards Board, to ensure a consistency of practice by harmonizing their standards on reporting key audit matters, absent any compelling reasons that would require different practice. For example, the standard setters should determine thresholds or other guidance that facilitates the consistent reporting of key audit matters.

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