- Assurance over integrated reporting is emerging
- There are unique challenges and opportunities to assurance over <IR>
- Assurance over <IR> is critical to the public interest and will continue to evolve
Early assurance on integrated reports has been achieved on an incremental basis, with numerous instances of limited assurance on selected metrics, such as under GRI standards, in integrated reports. Financial report auditors have responsibilities under Statement of Assurance Standards ASA 720, The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Other Information. These responsibilities including reviewing for the appearance of material inconsistency or material error, ‘other information’ (e.g. operating and financial reviews in directors’ reports) in reports containing the financial report that they have audited (e.g. annual reports). In South Africa, ‘combined assurance’ has proved a popular assurance model.
In this article, Michael Bray, FCA, provides insights into the continuing evolution of integrated reporting assurance and where it is headed.
The ‘audit of the future’ is critical to the public interest, the future of the accounting profession and the careers of accountants. At a macro level, assurance can be an important contribution to business productivity, capital markets, society and international competitiveness, and to the credibility of and trust in corporate reports, the corporate reporting system and business.