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2022 audits: Better quality and more consistent risk assessments


A guide to the revised requirements and implications for smaller ISA audits – effective for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2021.


The International Audit and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) approved major changes to ISA 315 in September 2019. The changes will be effective for audits of financial statements for periods beginning on or after 15 December 2021. The effects of the revisions will be far-reaching and will require firms of all sizes to revise their approach to risk assessments. The following are the main areas of the revisions: 


  • The introduction of five new inherent risk factors to aid in risk assessment; subjectivity, complexity, uncertainty, change and susceptibility to misstatement due to management bias or fraud.
  • A new spectrum of risk, at the higher end of which lie significant risks.
  • Requiring “sufficient, appropriate” evidence to be obtained from risk assessment procedures as the basis for the risk assessment.
  • A great deal more on IT, particularly IT general controls.  
  • More on controls relevant to the audit and on the design and implementation work required for these controls.
  • Removal of considerations specific to smaller entities as a separate category of paragraph and inclusion of that material within the main body of the text and the addition of new material.
  • Other changes, including:
  1. requiring inherent and control risk to be assessed separately (the extant standard permits a combined assessment);
  2. distinguishing between direct and indirect control components; and
  3. a new stand-back requiring reconsideration, when material classes of transactions, account balance and disclosure are not assessed as significant.

The revisions aim to drive better quality and more consistent risk assessments, as well as promote the exercise of professional skepticism.​


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Aleksas Jonika

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