Fall is typically a busy time for everyone. It is when we get back into the swing of things after summer and begin planning for upcoming engagements; it is also when many firms and practitioners obtain their verifiable CPD hours. This year is extra busy as there are new standards that we need to get ready for – some are imminent like the new compilation standard CSRS 4200, and others in the future like the new suite of quality management standards. However in all cases, the more we know the more we can prepare. This will help you save time. Read on…
A new auditing standard to make things easier!?!?!?!?
Such an exciting time in our profession. How many times have you thought about the audit of your smaller, less complex, clients and thought… there has be a better way for us to be more efficient?
There may be!! The profession is working hard to address this.
Based on feedback from our Advisory Working Group, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) issued a Discussion Paper to obtain stakeholder input on options that might be explored in Canada to address the challenge of applying the Canadian Auditing Standards (CASs) to audits of less complex entities.
I will be hosting information session in the coming month on this topic, stay tuned for details. In the meantime, what do you think? What do you want to see? What are your biggest barriers to auditing your less complex clients?
Quality management standards implementation tools
In late 2020, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) issued three new and revised quality management standards. The standards strengthen and modernize how a firm of any size or level of complexity approaches quality management.
These were consistent with the standards issued by the IAASB, in fact there were no Canadian amendments to the International Standards. Why is the important? That is because Canadian practitioners can refer to international support tools and take comfort in knowing they are applicable to them.
In support of the new suite of quality management standards, IFAC has created a dedicated Knowledge Gateway page which includes a number of very good tools to help you along your path to implementation.
You may also want to check out the ASK KSA PD session on this topic. It is a free 30-minute CSQM verifiable CPD course (see sign up details below in the PD section of this update).
How to overcome the challenge of motivating staff
One of the biggest challenges I hear these days relate to staff. It is hard to find them so when you do, you want to keep them, especially the good ones. This article from Harvard Business Review is about motivating staff and embraces the key concept that motivation is less about employees doing great work and more about employees feeling great about their work. That is a powerful concept. When people feel great about what they do, they want to keep doing it.
“That’s a Good One. Write It Down.” The benefits of documentation
Back in March of this year, I published an article on LinkedIn related to the power of writing something down to remember it later. Documentation is an important aspect in performing all engagements and from start to finish, writing things down is beneficial every step of the way. It helps you get going, provides focus, allows for reflection and helps you remember after the fact. And, in our profession, documentation is your friend, especially when it comes to professional judgement.
Evaluating the reliability of data
How do you consider information reliability when using automated tools and techniques (ATT)? What about the information produced by the entity? Find answers on designing and performing audit procedures to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence here. On their audit blog, CPA Canada posted information for auditors who use ATT including:
- The attributes that are relevant in considering or evaluating whether the information you are using in your ATT is reliable
- The factors that may assist you in assessing the importance of these attributes
While you may not use ATT today in your engagements, this is a hot topic and as we continue to look for efficiencies in our engagements, using ATT may be one idea. Even if you don’t use ATT this blog is food for thought.
Want to learn more about the new quality management standards?
As discussed above, the AASB issued three new and revised quality management standards. This new suite of quality management standards will have a significant impact on your firm and will take some time to implement. It is more than a simple exercise of updating your QAM. The starting point in being prepared is to understand the new requirements.
ASK ASK PD has a free 30-minute verifiable CPD online on demand session which provides an overview of the new standards. This session provides a good overview of CSQM 1 to help you to understand the requirements.
The effective dates of the new standards are to design and implement a system of quality management by December 15, 2022 for assurance engagements (December 15, 2023 for related services engagements) with monitoring to be performed in the year following for each respective date.
Have you met the ethics CPD requirements?
The ethics CPD requirement was added to our professional CPD requirements three years ago. The requirement is to complete 4 verifiable CPD hours within a three-year cycle. What does that mean to you? The impact of this is that December 31, 2021 is the end of the first three-year cycle. If you have not completed the required ethics hours, start thinking about how you are going to do so.
ASK KSA PD has a solution for you. There are a number of online on demand CPD courses specifically focused on ethics for those in public practice. These course are informative, practical and engaging.
As we continue through these next few months, I will continue to keep you updated on what you need to know right now. Please feel free to pass on this email to others in your firm. In the meantime, if you have any questions on any of the topics included in this update, reach out at any time. I am here to save you time and help you achieve peace of mind.
Kirsten S. Albo, FCPA, FCA