SSAE 18 is effective on May 1, 2017, and changes the Attestation Standards.
Do you issue any attestation reports such as agreed upon procedures? If yes, then be aware of the recent changes from the Auditing Standards Board (ASB). The ASB has clarified the Attestation Standards. The ASB did the same with the audit standards a few years ago; that change resulted in the AU-C (clarity) designations for audit standards.
The re-write of the Attestation Standards culminated in the April 2016 issuance of SSAE 18.
SSAE 18 supersedes all Attestation Standards other than:
Also be aware that AT section 501 An Examination of an Entity’s Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That is Integrated With An Audit of Financial Statements was moved to the auditing standards as Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 130, as An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That is Integrated With An Audit of Financial Statements.
Just as the ASB did with the audit clarity standards, a “-C” is added to the clarified Attestation Standards. So the clarified attestation standards are identified as AT-C. The clarified standards are written using ASB’s clarity conventions, including:
The clarified standards provide for the following types of attestation services:
Service AT-C Section Report Type
Examination 205 Opinion
Review 210 Conclusion
Agreed Upon Procedures 215 Findings
Sample report excerpts follow:
In our opinion, the schedule of investment returns of ABC Company for the year ended December 31, 2020, is presented in accordance with the ABC criteria set forth in Note 1 in all material respects.
Based on our review, we are not aware of any material modifications that should be made to the accompanying schedule of investment returns of ABC Company for the year ended December 31, 2020, in order for it to be in accordance with XYZ criteria set forth in Note 1.
We obtained the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger as of June 30, 2017, from Topaz, Inc. We compared all customer account balances in the aged trial balance (exhibit B) as of June 30, 2017, to the balances shown in the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger.
We found no exceptions as a result of the procedure.
In addition to clarifying (restructuring) the attestation standards, SSAE 18 also:
The guidance in SSAE No. 18 is effective for practitioners’ reports dated on or after May 1, 2017.
For a full copy of SSAE No. 18, click here.
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Charles Hall is a practicing CPA and Certified Fraud Examiner. For the last thirty years, he has primarily audited governments, nonprofits, and small businesses. He is the author of The Little Book of Local Government Fraud Prevention and Preparation of Financial Statements & Compilation Engagements. He frequently speaks at continuing education events. Charles is the quality control partner for McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks & Co. where he provides daily audit and accounting assistance to over 65 CPAs. In addition, he consults with other CPA firms, assisting them with auditing and accounting issues.
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