As the Auditing And Assurance Standards Board (AASB) nears the end of its current strategic plan, it is now appropriate to set its future direction. The AASB has issued an invitation to comment on an ambitious draft strategic plan for 2016-2021. The plan responds to the need for a continued focus on standards that enhance the quality and consistency of practice, which results in a high degree of public confidence in auditing, other assurance and related services.\n\n\nWHY YOU SHOULD READ THE INVITATION TO COMMENT\nThis strategic plan is of interest to more than just auditors. The AASB’s stakeholders include those who prepare financial information, management of entities of all sizes, users of financial information, investors, regulators and academics, as well as practitioners in public practice. Accordingly, the AASB’s proposed future strategies and actions will affect a wide range of stakeholders.\n\nINCREASED FOCUS ON STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT\nThe AASB’s draft strategic plan represents a change in direction and will see the AASB increase stakeholder engagement to support the development of standards and guidance. To achieve this, the AASB will review and assess ways that it currently engages different stakeholder groups and work on expanding dialogues, in particular with those groups for which the current level of engagement is low. The AASB will also make use of social media to both inform and interact with stakeholders.\n\nSETTING AUDITING, OTHER ASSURANCE AND RELATED SERVICES STANDARDS AND GUIDANCE\nThe AASB sets standards and guidance for auditing, other assurance and related services in Canada. As part of this, the AASB intends to continue to adopt International Standards on Auditing as Canadian Auditing Standards (CAS). The AASB acknowledges the issues faced by small and medium-sized practices in applying the CAS to audits of smaller entities and will devote more effort to understanding the specific challenges faced by practitioners. The AASB will also identify needs for standards for evolving areas where there currently are no standards or where existing standards may need to be revised.\n\nAlso, since a number of new or revised standards have been issued in recent years, the AASB will develop and implement a plan to conduct post-implementation reviews of its standards with a view to identifying areas where improvements could be made or where guidance may be necessary for practitioners to successfully execute the standards. The AASB will work with appropriate parties to ensure that such guidance is available to practitioners.\n\nENSURING CANADIAN NEEDS ARE ADDRESSED\nThe AASB will put in place strategies and actions to ensure that its globally respected Canadian standard-setting capability evolves in response to emerging domestic and global developments. This will support the AASB’s objective of continuing to set standards that will meet the needs of Canadian stakeholders and will be in the Canadian public interest. The AASB will also continue meeting the needs of Canadian stakeholders for relevant, timely and appropriate standards for other assurance and related services.\n\nWE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU\nThe strategic plan has not yet been finalized. We need your assistance — please tell us what you think of our proposals in the draft strategic plan. We invite all members to read the plan and provide us with your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.