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Audit and Assurance

The audit, assurance and internal audit area has information and guidance on technical and practical matters in relation to these three areas of practice. There are links to events, publications, technical help and audit representations.

In this section

Audit exemption

Guidance on the exemption requirements for reporting periods beginning on and after 1 January 2016.

Appointment and engagement terms

Access practical resources on client acceptance, auditor appointment and agreeing engagement terms to help understand auditors’ responsibilities and the requirements of International Standards on Auditing (ISAs), in particular, ISA 210. These resources include practical support to help auditors deal with the challenges that may arise.

Quality control in the audit environment

Quality Control in the audit environment is an important area of focus for audit practitioners. This section provides guidance to firms on international quality control standards for auditors, including International Standard on Quality Control 1 (ISQC 1) and includes our paper on improving audit quality using root cause analysis (RCA). It also picks up international developments, including the IAASB audit quality project.

What is assurance?

Find out more on: what assurance means, what can trigger the need for assurance, what an assurance engagement is and what assurance mapping is.

What can assurance cover?

Information on the variety of assurance options open to organisations - from those exempt from mandatory audit requirements to those seeking assurance on non-financial business information.

The nine stages of an assurance engagement

Assurance engagements can be typically broken up into nine stages. Not all stages will be clearly separated and identifiable in every engagement. Some stages, such as the engagement letter, may not be required during internal assurance, while others, such as problem-solving phase, may not be necessary in some external engagements.

Standards and guidance

A comprehensive list of standards and guidance covering external assurance engagements. Find out which standards apply for engagements by subject area, as well as information on individual standards and the practical application of guidance to assurance engagements.

How to audit change

Change is a feature of doing business, but managing it successfully can be complex. This guide outlines how internal audit can help project managers implement changes by adopting good practices throughout the project life cycle.

How to audit the cloud

Cloud computing is transforming business IT services, but it also poses significant risks that need to be planned for. This practical guide for internal audits outlines how they should assess risk management.

Regulation and working in audit

Local public audit in England

ICAEW is now responsible for the licensing, registering and monitoring of auditors who wish to carry out audits of local public bodies. This page explains what accountancy firms and individuals need to do to become a registered local auditor under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

The future of audit

User-driven assurance: fresh thinking

With calls for better engagement between auditors and users, we recommend the application of a three ‘pillar’ model of what we call ‘User-Driven Assurance;’ a new way of thinking about assurance, directed in its first phase by the needs of the primary user – the shareholders.

Internal control effectiveness: who needs to know?

Reporting on the effectiveness of controls over financial reporting features prominently in the current reviews of UK audit and regulation. This essay explores the current position in the UK, compares it with what happens in the USA and elsewhere in the world, and sets out the case for change and potential options.

What auditors do: the scope of audit

Recent corporate failures have increased public concern about the value of audit and the role of auditors. To help inform debate on the scope of audit, this second supporting paper to our Future of Audit thought leadership essays explains what auditors do, why audits are necessary, the limitations of audit, and what gets audited and what doesn’t.

Latest audit news from our Insights section

FRC issues COVID-19 guidance

30 March 2020: the Financial Reporting Council has published guidance for companies preparing financial statements and a bulletin for auditors covering factors to be taken into account when carrying out audits during the current COVID-19 crisis.