You may have noticed a change when your accountant completed the final review of your financial statements. For example, that the latter had more demands in some respects and that other aspects may have seemed neglected compared to previous years… This change is explained by the establishment of a new standard for the review missions, NCME 2400, applicable to periods closed on or after December 14, 2017. A review of Standards for Review Engagements was completed to reflect the evolution of the practice and to ensure consistency. Some practices previously recommended by CPA Canada are now an integral part of the new examination accounting standards.
The application of this new standard affects both the practicing practitioner and the extent of review engagement procedures, and the practitioner is required to gain a better understanding of the entity and its environment, which has the effect of increasing the level of demands made on management and those in charge of governing. As a result, new forms have been created by CPA Canada to allow the practitioner to obtain the information necessary for a better understanding of the entity, which is required by the preparator of the financial statement. By increasing the requirements related to the entity’s knowledge (its activities, structure, systems, objectives and strategies), CPA Canada felt that the professional would be better able to identify the areas of the financial statements that are likely to contain significant anomalies and to implement the necessary procedures in order to address them appropriately.
Additional procedures to be applied in the specific sectors identified will sometimes go beyond the requests for information and analytical journals, which represent the basic procedures to be implemented when carrying out a review mission. When a potential material misstatement is identified, the practitioner must design and implement the specific procedures that the practitioner considers necessary to make a finding on the financial statements.
The conclusion is expressed in the practitioner’s review of engagement report. The latter has also been modified with the NCME 2400. However, the level of assurance provided remains the same as with the old standards of examination, that is to say a limited level of assurance. The changes in the report are aimed more at reformulating the information it contains and adding the description of the professional’s liability and that of management. Additional information may occasionally be added to draw users’ attention to certain points.
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