Where businesses identify a particular need to build confidence in information, external assurance can play a vital role. An independent auditor expressing assurance on information provides a strong signal that reports could be relied upon.
However, there is a lack of understanding of what is meant by assurance and the types of assurance that are or can be made available. This is clear from the expectation gaps that arise even in relation to the audit of financial statements.
In an effort to reduce the expectation gap, the International Auditing and Assurance Board (IAASB) structured its Pronouncements in the form of high-level principles applicable to various types of assurance services. The Auditing Standards Committee after a process of rigorous review of these Pronouncements recommended same for adoption by the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka.
In addition to the audits of historical financial statements dealt with in the Sri Lanka Auditing Standards (SLAuSs), practicing accountants render specialised and related services. Following publications cover the Other Pronouncements issued by CA Sri Lanka in the conduct of such specialised and related services and broadly could be categorized as follows:
Professional accountants should be aware and consider the appropriate practice statement/ standards applicable to the engagement. It is relevant to note that not all engagements performed by practitioners are assurance engagements. Particularly, engagements covered by SLSRSs such as agreed-upon procedures engagements and compilation of financial and other information is outside the Sri Lanka Framework for Assurance Engagements. Hence, there is a need for Members to develop the relevant expertise, skill and competence to render these services effectively.