United States

Amendments to AU-C Sections 800, 805 and 810

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In May 2019, the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) issued Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 134, Auditor Reporting and Amendments, Including Amendments Addressing Disclosures in the Audit of Financial Statements, which included many changes related to auditor reporting.

Recently, the ASB issued SAS 139, Amendments to AU-C Sections 800, 805, and 810 to Incorporate Auditor Reporting Changes From SAS No. 134, to align the AU-C 800 series with the relevant SAS 134 provisions, addressing the following, among other, matters:

  • In AU-C 800, Special Considerations — Audits of Financial Statements Prepared in Accordance With Special Purpose Frameworks:
    • Guidance was added to clarify that the auditor is required to (a) conclude whether substantial doubt exists about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time and (b) when such substantial doubt exists, evaluate the adequacy of the financial statement disclosures.
    • When financial statements are prepared in accordance with (a) a regulatory or contractual basis of accounting or (b) an other basis of accounting and the auditor is required to restrict use of the auditor’s report, the emphasis-of-matter paragraph in the auditor’s report is now required to state that the financial statements may not be suitable for another purpose.
  • In AU-C 805, Special Considerations — Audits of Single Financial Statements and Specific Elements, Accounts, or Items of a Financial Statement:
    • Guidance was added to clarify that, when the applicable financial reporting framework does not specifically address whether management is required to make a going concern assessment for a single financial statement or a specific element, account or item of a financial statement, the description in the auditor’s report regarding management’s and the auditor’s responsibilities relating to going concern may need to be adapted.
    • A requirement was added, stating that if the auditor’s report on an entity’s complete set of financial statements includes a modified opinion, an emphasis-of-matter or other-matter paragraph, a going concern section, a communication of key audit matters or a statement describing an uncorrected material misstatement of other information, the auditor should consider the implications these matters may have for the audit of the single financial statement or for the specific element of a financial statement and for the auditor’s report thereon.
  • In AU-C 810, Engagements to Report on Summary Financial Statements, the requirements for the auditor’s report on the summary financial statements were revised for situations when the auditor’s report on the audited financial statements contains a qualified opinion, an emphasis-of-matter or other-matter paragraph, a going concern section or communication of key audit matters.

SAS 139 is effective for audits of financial statements as of or for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020 and for engagements to report on summary financial statements for periods ending on or after December 15, 2020. 

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