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SSAE 3000 (Revised) and conforming amendments

The Singapore Standard on Assurance Engagements (SSAE) 3000 (Revised), adopted from the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised) issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), covers assurance engagements other than audits and reviews of historical financial information. SSAE 3000 (Revised) Assurance Engagements Other Than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information is effective for assurance reports dated on or after 15 December 2015.

Key revisions made to the extant SSAE 3000 include:

  • SSAE 3000 (Revised) aligns the structure of the standard to that of the clarified Singapore Standards on Auditing (SSAs) – it has a section on the Application and Other Explanatory Material.

  • SSAE 3000 (Revised) provides more guidance (e.g. includes definition of terms used) compared to extant SSAE 3000.

  • Extant SSAE 3000 provided a brief description on the differences between reasonable assurance and limited assurance in terms of engagement risk levels whereas the SSAE 3000 (Revised) went a step further to define limited assurance with reference to material misstatement in the subject matter information and procedures performed (ref: SSAE 3000 (Revised), paragraph 12(a)(i)(b) which would add greater clarity.

  • Extant SSAE 3000 does not show a distinction between attestation engagements and direct engagements. SSAE 3000 (Revised) provide an explanation that assurance engagement is classified on two dimensions – (a) either a reasonable assurance engagement or limited assurance engagement; or (b) either an attestation engagement or a direct engagement. (See paragraph 2 of SSAE 3000 (Revised).)

  • SSAE 3000 (Revised) is written in the context of attestation engagements only, rather than both attestation engagements and direct engagements. Nonetheless, SSAE 3000 (Revised) may also be applied to reasonable and limited assurance direct engagements, adapted and supplemented as necessary in the engagement circumstances.

  • SSAE 3000 (Revised) provided additional guidance illustrating how aspects of its reporting requirements may be applied.

Examples include:

  • Illustrative examples of statements regarding quality control and ethical standards (para A171 and A172 respectively);
  • Illustrative examples of different forms the practitioner’s conclusion may take for reasonable assurance and limited assurance engagements (para A178 and A180 respectively);
  • Illustrative examples of other forms of expression that may be useful for different underlying subject matters, such as “in compliance with” for compliance engagements and “fairly presents” for criteria that is aimed at achieving fair presentation (para A181); and
  • Illustrative examples of qualified and adverse conclusions and a disclaimer of conclusion (para A190).

The relevant conforming amendments to the above revisions were also made to the Singapore Assurance Framework.

ISCA requires all comments to be submitted to technical@isca.org.sg by Monday, 2 March 2015.

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