Magazine article The CPA Journal

The Future of Assurance Services Starts to Take Shape

Magazine article The CPA Journal

The Future of Assurance Services Starts to Take Shape

Article excerpt

Robert K. Elliott, CPA, chair of the AICPA Special Committee on Assurance Services, at a recent state society annual conference, spoke of the works of the committee to date and the direction the project seems to be heading. The committee is presently in the research phase where it is attempting to identify the needs of assurance services users. In this early phase, the committee has looked at the reasons for the apparent decline in perceived value of the audit of historical financial statements in today's information age. The committee feels there are two choices: * Allow the value of assurance services to continue to decline by not modifying the services to reflect the changing nature of information and its sources. The final blow would be the absorption of accountancy into other industries.

* Turn assurance services into a growth industry, building on the needs of users of the expanded world of information.

The second choice, as seen by Elliott, involves broadening assurance services to cover nonfinancial information as well as financial, rendering opinions on relevance as well as reliability, and reporting on systems as well as documents. …

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