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New assurance compliance reporting requirements

The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board’s new compliance reporting standards provide more clarity, consistency and transparency in reporting assurance engagements.

Public accountants are often asked to provide assurance on an entity’s compliance with statutes, regulations and agreements. The existing standards dealing with special reporting in the CPA Canada Handbook – Assurance were not applied consistently in practice. They also did not align with overarching standards for assurance engagements issued in 2015.

As a result, the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AASB) issued two new compliance reporting standards in the March 2018 Handbook update. The new standards establish requirements around engagement acceptance, planning and performance, and reporting for both limited assurance and reasonable assurance engagements.

The compliance reporting standards align with and complement the overarching standards for assurance engagements. Accordingly, practitioners are required to apply the requirements in both the overarching standard and the new compliance reporting standard specific to the nature of the engagement. The nature of the engagement will either be:

  • an attestation engagement, where management prepares an explicit, written statement of the entity’s compliance
  • a direct engagement, where the practitioner reports directly on the entity’s compliance

Reports issued under these new standards will be more detailed and transparent than reports issued in accordance with existing standards. The new standards are effective for reports dated on or after April 1, 2019.

To learn more, visit AASB’s page Assurance on Compliance with Agreements, Statutes and Regulations


Jacqui Kuypers, CPA, CA
Principal, Auditing and Assurance Accounting Board
Tel: (416) 204-3445