IIA Response to IFAC Draft Standards 610 and 315

The IIA is seeking the collaboration of all IIA Institutes in the development of a single response to standards currently exposed for public comment by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), a standard-setting body of IFAC, recently issued exposure drafts proposing revisions to the International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 610: Using the Work of Internal Auditors and ISA 315: Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and its Environment. The revisions are intended to enhance external auditors’ effectiveness by enabling them to consider and leverage the knowledge and findings of the internal audit function. Furthermore, the proposed standards recommend a requirement for the external auditor to ask the internal audit function about information that would be relevant to assessing the risks of material misstatement due to fraud or error. Copies of the exposure draft for both standards can be downloaded from the IAASB website

As part of our ongoing advocacy initiatives to IFAC, a key global stakeholder, The IIA has worked diligently for two years with the IAASB to revise ISAs 610 and 315. IIA representatives Carman Lapointe Young, former IIA Chairman of the Board, and Susan Lione, former IIA Vice-President of Professional Practices, were members of an ISA 610/315 taskforce. Through their work with this international taskforce, ISAs 610 and 315 were revised to more accurately reflect the modern practice of internal auditing and highlight, among other things, the breadth of activities performed by internal auditors in relation to governance, risk management and internal control, as well as the importance of considering both objectivity and competence when determining whether or not to use the work of internal audit. As one would expect, however, The IIA did not get everything it asked for in the revision of these ISAs. The proposed standards do not specifically point to The IIA Standards. Because ISAs are law in many countries, the IAASB was unwilling to make reference to the Standards at this time.

As you can understand, it is very important that The IIA projects a global voice in responding to these exposure drafts on behalf of all Institutes instead of submitting multiple responses. While it is understood that any individual member who would like to respond directly to the IAASB should feel free to do so, we hope you agree that separate responses from IIA Institutes to the IAASB would not be in the best interest of our global profession.

One of The IIA’s international committees, the Professional Issues Committee (PIC), will collect all input from IIA Institutes and take the lead in drafting the global response. Be assured that in its response PIC will ask for those items, including reference to The IIA Standards, which will ultimately benefit the global profession of internal auditing. We are asking all Institutes to provide any comments they may have on either ISA 610 or ISA 315 to the director of IIA Netherlands, Hans Nieuwlands, no later than Augusts 31, 2010. All of your comments will be considered when drafting the global response, a draft of which will be sent to you before its submission to the IAASB.

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