Sunday, January 16, 2011

Proposed SAS Alert As To The Intended Use Of The Auditor’s Written Communication

This Proposed SAS was issued December 21, 2010. The comment period ends April 29, 2011. The Proposed SAS supersede SAS No. 87, Restricting the Use of an Auditor’s Report [AICPA, Professional Standards, vol. 1, AU sec. 532]. It would be effective for written communications related to audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2012, and, for all other engagements conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS), for written communications issued on or after December 15, 2012.

The proposed SAS

  • Has been clarified to indicate that it applies to auditor’s reports and other written communications issued in connection with an engagement conducted in accordance GAAS.
  • Eliminates the use of the term restricted use and instead addresses the intended use of such communications.
  • Establishes an umbrella requirement to include an alert as to the intended use of the auditor’s written communication when the subject matter of that communication is based on (a) measurement or disclosure criteria that are determined by the auditor to be suitable only for a limited number of users who can be presumed to have an adequate understanding of the criteria, (b) measurement or disclosure criteria that are available only to the specified parties, or (c) matters identified by the auditor during the course of the engagement that are not the primary objective of the engagement (commonly referred to as a by-product report).
  • Modifies the guidance pertaining to single combined reports covering both (a) communications that are required to include an alert as to intended use and (b) communications that are for general use, which do not ordinarily include such an alert.
  • Indicates that the alert as to intended use pertains only to the communications required to include such an alert. Accordingly, the intended use of the communications that are for general use is not affected by this alert.

A copy of the exposure draft is available from the AICPA website,

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