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Journal cover: Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Online from: 2010

Subject Area: Accounting and Finance

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Assurance of sustainability reports: Revision of ISAE 3000 and associated research opportunities

Document Information:
Title:Assurance of sustainability reports: Revision of ISAE 3000 and associated research opportunities
Author(s):Roger Simnett, (School of Accounting and Centre for Audit and Assurance Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Citation:Roger Simnett, (2012) "Assurance of sustainability reports: Revision of ISAE 3000 and associated research opportunities", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 3 Iss: 1, pp.89 - 98
Keywords:Assurance of sustainability reports, Assurance standards, International Auditing and Assurance Standards Boa, International Standard on Assurance Engagements, International standards, Reports, Sustainability, Sustainability reporting
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/20408021211223570 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The comments of this paper are the views of the author alone, and are not the official views of the IAASB.

Purpose – The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is currently in the process of revising International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. The purpose of this paper is to review the implications of this revision process for providing assurance on sustainability reports, and identify policy-related research opportunities associated with this review.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a conceptual and critical review of standards development, and archival analysis of ISAE 3000 exposure draft responses.

Findings – In the revision of ISAE 3000, concerns have been expressed by a number of parties around the distinction between reasonable and limited assurance, the procedures necessary in properly undertaking a limited assurance engagement and the structure and content of a limited assurance report. These concerns can be addressed by appropriate research initiatives which can inform these policy issues.

Research limitations/implications – Research opportunities are identified, in particular the use of experimental design to examine implications of changing the requirements of the procedures for limited assurance on assurance practitioners and of changing aspects of the assurance report on the level of assurance conveyed by limited assurance reports.

Practical implications – The paper contains a review of the standard-setting process and has implications for assurance providers of sustainability reports, standard setters and regulators.

Originality/value – The paper provides an update of relevant standards for assurers of sustainability reports and review and appraisal of issues raised in the recent revision process of ISAE 3000.

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