Since the auditor’s report was enhanced, there has been divergence in practice in relation to the format and content of interim review reports under ASRE 2410. This resulted in the AUASB issuing the Bulletin; Auditor review reports – the impact of the new auditor reporting requirements. Therefore, in the interest of consistency, we support the proposed alignment of the auditor’s interim review report with the enhanced annual auditor’s report.
Although the AUASB and NZAuASB are working together on this project, they have come up with two different options to describe the auditor’s responsibilities in relation to going concern in the interim review report. The AUASB has taken a ‘procedural requirement’ approach, by replicating a paragraph in the body of the standard, which we do not agree with. It is true that ASRE 2410 is not explicit when it comes to the auditor’s responsibility in relation to going concern. However, if there is a deficiency in the standard, this should be addressed first to avoid differing interpretations.
In our view, the compelling reason test in the AUASB’s principles of harmonisation with the NZAuASB for differences to exist is not met, and therefore a difference is not in the public interest. We strongly encourage the two boards to reach agreement on how to describe the auditor’s responsibility in relation to going concern in the interim review report.