Phil. Framework For Assurance Engagements Revised

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FrameworkAuditing Standards and Practices CouncilPHILIPPINE FRAMEWORKFOR ASSURANCE ENGAGEMENTS

FrameworkPHILIPPINE FRAMEWORK FOR ASSURANCE ion and Objective of an Assurance Engagement7-11Scope of the Framework12-16Engagement Acceptance17-19Elements of an Assurance Engagement20-60Inappropriate Use of the Practitioner’s Name61Effective Date62Acknowledgment63-64Appendix:Differences Between Reasonable AssuranceEngagements and Limited Assurance Engagements

FrameworkFRAMEWORKPHILIPPINE FRAMEWORK FOR ASSURANCE ENGAGEMENTSIntroduction1.This Framework defines and describes the elements and objectives of anassurance engagement, and identifies engagements to which Philippine Standardson Auditing (PSAs), Philippine Standards on Review Engagements (PSREs) andPhilippine Standards on Assurance Engagements (PSAEs) apply. It provides aframe of reference for:(a) Professional accountants in public practice (“practitioners”) when performingassurance engagements. Professional accountants in the public sector refer tothe Public Sector Perspective at the end of the Framework. Professionalaccountants who are neither in public practice nor in the public sector areencouraged to consider the Framework when performing assuranceengagements;1(b) Others involved with assurance engagements, including the intended users ofan assurance report and the responsible party; and(c) The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) in itsdevelopment of ISAs, ISREs and ISAEs and, consequently, the AuditingStandards and Practices Council (ASPC) in its adoption of said standards forapplication in the Philippines.2.1This Framework does not itself establish standards or provide proceduralrequirements for the performance of assurance engagements. ISAs, ISREs andISAEs and, therefore, their counterpart PSAs, PSREs, and PSAEs, contain basicprinciples, essential procedures and related guidance, consistent with the conceptsin this Framework, for the performance of assurance engagements. Therelationship between the Framework and the ISAs, ISREs and ISAEs is illustratedin the “Structure of Pronouncements Issued by the IAASB” section of theHandbook of International Auditing, Assurance, and Ethics Pronouncements. Acounterpart document, entitled “Structure of Pronouncements Issued by theIAASB and the ASPC” is presented as Appendix to the “Preface to InternationalStandards on Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance and RelatedServices and Preface to Philippine Standards on Quality Control, Auditing,Review, Other Assurance and Related Services.”If a professional accountant not in public practice, for example an internal auditor, applies this Framework, and (a) this Framework,the PSAs, PSREs or PSAEs are referred to in the professional accountant’s report; and (b) the professional accountant or othermembers of the assurance team and, when applicable, the professional accountant’s employer, are not independent of the entity inrespect of which the assurance engagement is being performed, the lack of independence and the nature of the relationship(s) with theentity are prominently disclosed in the professional accountant’s report. Also, that report does not include the word “independent” inits title, and the purpose and users of the report are restricted.

-23.FrameworkThe following is an overview of this Framework: Introduction: This Framework deals with assurance engagements performedby practitioners. It provides a frame of reference for practitioners and othersinvolved with assurance engagements, such as those engaging a practitioner(the “engaging party”). Definition and objective of an assurance engagement: This section definesassurance engagements and identifies the objectives of the two types ofassurance engagement a practitioner is permitted to perform. This Frameworkcalls these two types reasonable assurance engagements and limited assuranceengagements.2 Scope of the Framework: This section distinguishes assuranceengagements from other engagements, such as consultingengagements. Engagement acceptance: This section sets out characteristics that mustbe exhibited before a practitioner can accept an assurance engagement. Elements of an assurance engagement: This section identifies anddiscusses five elements assurance engagements performed bypractitioners exhibit: a three party relationship, a subject matter,criteria, evidence and an assurance report. It explains importantdistinctions between reasonable assurance engagements and limitedassurance engagements (also outlined in the Appendix). This sectionalso discusses, for example, the significant variation in the subjectmatters of assurance engagements, the required characteristics ofsuitable criteria, the role of risk and materiality in assuranceengagements, and how conclusions are expressed in each of the twotypes of assurance engagement. Inappropriate use of the practitioner’s name: This section discussesimplications of a practitioner’s association with a subject matter.Ethical Principles and Quality Control Standards4.In addition to this Framework and PSAs, PSREs and PSAEs, practitioners whoperform assurance engagements are governed by:(a)2The Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants in the Philippines (thePhilippine Code), which is adopted from the IFAC Code of Ethics forFor assurance engagements regarding historical financial information in particular, reasonable assurance engagements are calledaudits, and limited assurance engagements are called reviews.

-3-FrameworkProfessional Accountants, which establishes fundamental ethical principlesfor professional accountants; and(b)5.6.Philippine Standards on Quality Control (PSQCs), which are adopted fromthe International Standards on Quality Control, which establish standardsand provide guidance on a firm’s system of quality control.3Part A of the Code sets out the fundamental ethical principles that all professionalaccountants are required to observe, nal competence and due care;RAMEWORK(d)Confidentiality; and(e)Professional behavior.Part B of the Code, which applies only to professional accountants in publicpractice (“practitioners”), includes a conceptual approach to independence thattakes into account, for each assurance engagement, threats to independence,accepted safeguards and the public interest. It requires firms and members ofassurance teams to identify and evaluate circumstances and relationships thatcreate threats to independence and to take appropriate action to eliminate thesethreats or to reduce them to an acceptable level by the application of safeguards.Definition and Objective of an Assurance Engagement7.“Assurance engagement” means an engagement in which a practitioner expressesa conclusion designed to enhance the degree of confidence of the intended usersother than the responsible party about the outcome of the evaluation ormeasurement of a subject matter against criteria.8.The outcome of the evaluation or measurement of a subject matter is theinformation that results from applying the criteria to the subject matter. Forexample: The recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure represented in thefinancial statements (outcome) result from applying a financial reportingframework for recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure, such as3PSQC 1 had not been issued when this Framework was approved, but is expected to be issued before the effective date of PSAE3000, “Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.” Additional standards andguidance on quality control procedures for specific types of assurance engagement are set out in PSAs, PSREs and PSAEs.Formatted: Font: Times NewRoman, 8 pt, Italic

-4-FrameworkPhilippine Financial Reporting Standards, (criteria) to an entity’s financialposition, financial performance and cash flows (subject matter). An assertion about the effectiveness of internal control (outcome) results fromapplying a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of internal control, suchas COSO4 or CoCo5 (criteria) to internal control, a process (subject matter). Inthe remainder of this Framework, the term “subject matter information” willbe used to mean the outcome of the evaluation or measurement of a subjectmatter. It is the subject matter information about which the practitionergathers sufficient appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis forexpressing a conclusion in an assurance report.9.Subject matter information can fail to be properly expressed in the context of thesubject matter and the criteria, and can therefore be misstated, potentially to amaterial extent. This occurs when the subject matter information does notproperly reflect the application of the criteria to the subject matter, for example,when an entity’s financial statements do not present fairly, in all material respectsits financial position, financial performance and cash flows in accordance withPhilippine Financial Reporting Standards, or when an entity’s assertion that itsinternal control is effective is not fairly stated, in all material respects, based onCOSO or CoCo.10.In some assurance engagements, the evaluation or measurement of the subjectmatter is performed by the responsible party, and the subject matter information isin the form of an assertion by the responsible party that is made available to theintended users. These engagements are called “assertion-based engagements.” Inother assurance engagements, the practitioner either directly performs theevaluation or measurement of the subject matter, or obtains a representation fromthe responsible party that has performed the evaluation or measurement that is notavailable to the intended users. The subject matter information is provided to theintended users in the assurance report. These engagements are called “directreporting engagements.”11.Under this Framework, there are two types of assurance engagement a practitioneris permitted to perform: a reasonable assurance engagement and a limitedassurance engagement. The objective of a reasonable assurance engagement is areduction in assurance engagement risk to an acceptably low level in thecircumstances of the engagement6 as the basis for a positive form of expression ofthe practitioner’s conclusion. The objective of a limited assurance engagement is4“Internal Control – Integrated Framework” The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.5“Guidance on Assessing Control – The CoCo Principles” Criteria of Control Board, The Canadian Institute of CharteredAccountants.6Engagement circumstances include the terms of the engagement, including whether it is a reasonable assurance engagement or alimited assurance engagement, the characteristics of the subject matter, the criteria to be used, the needs of the intended users, relevantcharacteristics of the responsible party and its environment, and other matters, for example events, transactions, conditions andpractices, that may have a significant effect on the engagement.

-5-Frameworka reduction in assurance engagement risk to a level that is acceptable in thecircumstances of the engagement, but where that risk is greater than for areasonable assurance engagement, as the basis for a negative form of expressionof the practitioner’s conclusion.Scope of the Framework12.Not all engagements performed by practitioners are assurance engagements.Other frequently performed engagements that do not meet the above definition(and therefore are not covered by this Framework) include:FRAMEWORK Engagements covered by Philippine Standards for Related Services, such asagreed-upon procedures engagements and compilations of financial or otherinformation. The preparation of tax returns where no conclusion conveying assurance isexpressed. Consulting (or advisory) engagements,7 such as management and taxconsulting.13.An assurance engagement may be part of a larger engagement, for example, whena business acquisition consulting engagement includes a requirement to conveyassurance regarding historical or prospective financial information. In suchcircumstances, this Framework is relevant only to the assurance portion of theengagement.14.The following engagements, which may meet the definition in paragraph 7, neednot be performed in accordance with this Framework:(a)Engagements to testify in legal proceedings regarding accounting, auditing,taxation or other matters; and(b)Engagements that include professional opinions, views or wording fromwhich a user may derive some assurance, if all of the following apply:(i)Those opinions, views or wording are merely incidental to the overallengagement;7Consulting engagements employ a professional accountant’s technical skills, education, observations, experiences, and knowledge ofthe consulting process. The consulting process is an analytical process that typically involves some combination of activities relatingto: objective-setting, fact-finding, definition of problems or opportunities, evaluation of alternatives, development of recommendationsincluding actions, communication of results, and sometimes implementation and follow-up. Reports (if issued) are generally written ina narrative (or “long form”) style. Generally the work performed is only for the use and benefit of the client. The nature and scope ofwork is determined by agreement between the professional accountant and the client. Any service that meets the definition of anassurance engagement is not a consulting engagement but an assurance engagement.

-6(ii)FrameworkAny written report issued is expressly restricted for use by only theintended users specified in the report;(iii) Under a written understanding with the specified intended users, theengagement is not intended to be an assurance engagement; and(iv) The engagement is not represented as an assurance engagement in theprofessional accountant’s report.Reports on Non-assurance Engagements15.16.A practitioner reporting on an engagement that is not an assurance engagementwithin the scope of this Framework, clearly distinguishes that report from anassurance report. So as not to confuse users, a report that is not an assurancereport avoids, for example: Implying compliance with this Framework, PSAs, PSREs or PSAEs. Inappropriately using the words “assurance,” “audit” or “review.” Including a statement that could reasonably be mistaken for a conclusiondesigned to enhance the degree of confidence of intended users about theoutcome of the evaluation or measurement of a subject matter againstcriteria.The practitioner and the responsible party may agree to apply the principles ofthis Framework to an engagement when there are no intended users other than theresponsible party but where all other requirements of the PSAs, PSREs or PSAEsare met. In such cases, the practitioner’s report includes a statement restricting theuse of the report to the responsible party.Engagement Acceptance17.A practitioner accepts an assurance engagement only where the practitioner’spreliminary knowledge of the engagement circumstances indicates that:(a)Relevant ethical requirements, such as independence and professionalcompetence will be satisfied, and(b)The engagement exhibits all of the following characteristics:(i)The subject matter is appropriate;(ii)The criteria to be used are suitable and are available to the intendedusers;

-7-Framework(iii) The practitioner has access to sufficient appropriate evidence tosupport the practitioner’s conclusion;(iv) The practitioner’s conclusion, in the form appropriate to either areasonable assurance engagement or a limited assurance engagement,is to be contained in a written report; and(v)18.When a potential engagement cannot be accepted as an assurance engagementbecause it does not exhibit all the characteristics in the previous paragraph, theengaging party may be able to identify a different engagement that will meet theneeds of intended users. For example:(a)(b)19.The practitioner is satisfied that there is a rational purpose for theengagement. If there is a significant limitation on the scope of thepractitioner’s work (see paragraph 55), it may be unlikely that theengagement has a rational purpose. Also, a practitioner may believethe engaging party intends to associate the practitioner’s name with thesubject matter in an inappropriate manner (see paragraph 61). SpecificPSAs, PSREs or PSAEs may include additional requirements that needto be satisfied prior to accepting an engagement.If the original criteria were not suitable, an assurance engagement may stillbe performed if:(i)The engaging party can identify an aspect of the original subjectmatter for which those criteria are suitable, and the practitioner couldperform an assurance engagement with respect to that aspect as asubject matter in its own right. In such cases, the assurance reportmakes it clear that it does not relate to the original subject matter in itsentirety; or(ii)Alternative criteria suitable for the original subject matter can beselected or developed.The engaging party may request an engagement that is not an assuranceengagement, such as a consulting or an agreed-upon proceduresengagement.Having accepted an assurance engagement, a practitioner may not change thatengagement to a non-assurance engagement, or from a reasonable assuranceengagement to a limited assurance engagement without reasonable justification.A change in circumstances that affects the intended users’ requirements, or amisunderstanding concerning the nature of the engagement, ordinarily will justifya request for a change in the engagement. If such a change is made, thepractitioner does not disregard evidence that was obtained prior to the change.

-8-FrameworkElements of an Assurance Engagement20.The following elements of an assurance engagement are discussed in this section:(a)A three party relationship involving a practitioner, a responsible party, andintended users;(b)An appropriate subject matter;(c)Suitable criteria;(d)Sufficient appropriate evidence; and(e)A written assurance report in the form appropriate to a reasonable assuranceengagement or a limited assurance engagement.Three Party Relationship21.Assurance engagements involve three separate parties: a practitioner, aresponsible party and intended users.22.The responsible party and the intended users may be from different entities or thesame entity. As an example of the latter case, in a two-tier board structure, thesupervisory board may seek assurance about information provided by themanagement board of that entity. The relationship between the responsible partyand the intended users needs to be viewed within the context of a specificengagement and may differ from more traditionally defined lines ofresponsibility. For example, an entity’s senior management (an intended user)may engage a practitioner to perform an assurance engagement on a particularaspect of the entity’s activities that is the immediate responsibility of a lower levelof management (the responsible party), but for which senior management isultimately responsible.Practitioner23.The term “practitioner” as used in this Framework is broader than the term“auditor” as used in PSAs and PSREs, which relates only to practitionersperforming audit or review engagements with respect to historical financialinformation.24.A practitioner may be requested to perform assurance engagements on a widerange of subject matters. Some subject matters may require specialized skills andknowledge beyond those ordinarily possessed by an individual practitioner. Asnoted in paragraph 17 (a), a practitioner does not accept an engagement ifpreliminary knowledge of the engagement circumstances indicates that ethicalrequirements regarding professional competence will not be satisfied. In some

-9-Frameworkcases this requirement can be satisfied by the practitioner using the work ofpersons from other

PHILIPPINE FRAMEWORK FOR ASSURANCE ENGAGEMENTS Introduction 1. This Framework defines and describes the elements and objectives of an assurance engagement, and identifies engagements to which Philippine Standards on Auditing (PSAs), Philippine Standards on Review Engagements (PSREs) and Philippine Standards

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