Skip To Main Content
Background of beautiful abstract Business transformation innovation. Change from to high technology like butterfly life cycle. to imply with success future business growth concept or other transform

UW CISA symposium: The evolution of assurance services

In a data- and technology-driven economy, the evolving expectations of stakeholders will dramatically reshape the services CPA auditors are expected to provide. Read on to explore further and learn about upcoming discussions at the symposium.

We are seeing exponential shifts in technology, globalization, business models, geopolitics and societal values. The assets driving economic growth and competitive advantage look very different than they did in the past – they are increasingly intangible in the form of innovation, data, intellectual property, brand identity and talent.

In this blog, you will learn about:

  • how the accounting profession is preparing for change
  • how value will be measured beyond financials
  • the evolution of assurance services
  • additional topics to be covered at the University of Waterloo Centre for Information Integrity and Information Systems Assurance (UW CISA) Symposium
  • how to attend the UW CISA Symposium

How is the profession preparing for change?

The Canadian accounting profession launched Foresight: Reimagining the Profession - an ambitious multi-stakeholder consultation that challenged the status quo and looked at what the future could hold in a rapidly changing business environment. Foresight inspired a renewed energy and eagerness to help the profession move away from dealing in hindsight to a “permanently proactive” mode. In this new world, accounting will need to pivot to completely new ways of doing things, including:

  • measuring value beyond financial to capture societal expectations
  • harnessing the power of vast quantities of data to make decisions
  • establishing new models of governance and decision-making
  • continuously equipping accountants with new technical and enabling skills

How will value beyond financials be measured?

Value creation can be defined as the process by which an organization creates financial and non-financial value streams and outcomes for the organization and its stakeholders. Value creation is about looking forward, embracing innovation, and addressing expectations related to sustainability and social impact. This perspective requires a rethink of the information used in organizational decision-making and different approaches to managing, measuring and communicating value creation performance, taking into account a longer-term, multi-stakeholder perspective.

We are committed to helping CPAs:

  • strengthen their ability to play a leadership role in helping organizations make strategic decisions about the value creation challenges of the future
  • make appropriate adaptations to measurement and reporting functions to meet stakeholder expectations and support internal decision-making about value creation

The three-hour workshop at the upcoming symposium will explore value creation solutions in the marketplace, approaches to measuring and reporting on the value of data in the marketplace, and approaches to measuring and reporting on the value of data.

How are assurance services evolving?

We are working with UW CISA to conduct a study to examine the preparedness of the CPA profession to remain as a leading provider of trust in the digital world. The study includes research of the marketplace of assurance services and solutions currently being offered, and interviews and roundtables with practitioners, consultants and technologists to:

  • provide insights into the evolution of assurance-related services
  • identify potential opportunities for the assurance profession that need to be explored if it is to continue to thrive and provide value to key stakeholders and wider society
  • highlight the skills and qualifications of the providers of such services

The first discussion of the findings from this research will be discussed at the upcoming UW CISA symposium.

What else is being covered at the UW CISA Symposium?

Many other interesting topics impacting the future of the profession will be discussed, including a hands-on workshop on robotic process automation and panels on blockchain, crypto-assets, and data and information integrity. The preliminary program with detailed presentation and speaker information is posted at UW CISA’s 12th Biennial Symposium on Information Integrity and Information Systems Assurance.

How can you attend the UW CISA Symposium?

The symposium will be a virtual event running October 14 – 16, 2021. The standard registration is $500 but a 25 per cent discount is available to CPA members. Please contact Ann Bisch with your CPA membership details and you’ll be provided with a code for discounted registration. Full attendance will earn you 20 CPD credits.

Keep the conversation going

Have you had a chance to join the CPA Canada Foresight events or check out the resources developed so far? What questions come to mind? Do you have suggestions on future developments? We are interested in hearing your questions and comments. Post a comment below or email us directly.

Haven't signed up yet? Subscribe now to join our growing audience of over 10,000 professionals who receive updates on the latest audit quality blogs as well as resources and professional development opportunities.SIGN ME UP

Conversations about Audit Quality is designed to create an exchange of ideas on global audit quality developments and issues, and their impact in Canada.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of CPA Canada.