Official Releases: SOP 03-2 ... Attestation Interpretations ... SSARS Interpretations

Journal of Accountancy, November 2003 | Go to article overview

Official Releases: SOP 03-2 ... Attestation Interpretations ... SSARS Interpretations


Space considerations prevent publishing here the appendices to SOP 03-2. Since the appendices often are important to understanding SOPs, readers are advised to obtain complete copies. To obtain a copy of SOP 03-2 (product no. 014937), contact the AICPA order department at 888-777-7077.

SOP 03-2--Attest Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Information (Issued Under the Authority of the Auditing Standards Board)

NOTE

This Statement of Position (SOP) represents the recommendations of the Joint Task Force of the AICPA and CICA on Sustainability Reporting regarding the application of Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAEs) to attest engagements on greenhouse gas emissions information. The Auditing Standards Board has found the recommendations of this SOP to be consistent with existing standards covered by Rule 202 of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct. If an AICPA member does not apply the attest guidance included in this SOP, he or she should be prepared to explain how he or she complied with the SSAE provisions addressed by such attest guidance.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Background and Introduction
  Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases
  The Kyoto Protocol
  GHGs to Be Regulated by the Kyoto
    Protocol
  Why U.S. Companies Are Considering
    Strategies to Address Their GHG
    Emissions
  GHG Emissions Trading Programs and
    GHG Registries in the United States
  Terms and Definitions Used by Registries
    and Regulatory Frameworks
Scope of SOP
Engagement Acceptance Considerations
Independence
Adequate Knowledge of Subject Matter and
  Use of a Specialist
Criteria
  Attributes to Be Met by GHG Emission
    Reductions
Materiality
Uncertainty in the Measurement of GHG
  Emissions
Consistency
Boundaries
Scopes for Reporting GHG Emissions: Direct
  and Indirect Emissions
Baselines
Examination Engagement: GHG Inventory
  Objective of the Engagement
  Written Assertion by the Responsible Party
Examination Engagement: GHG Emission
  Reduction Information
    Objective of the Engagement
    Written Assertion by the Responsible
      Party
    Examples of GHG Emission Reduction
      Projects
    Prerequisite for an Examination of GHG
      Emission Reduction Information
Engagement Performance
  Planning the Examination Engagement
  Part of Attest Engagement Performed by
    Other Practitioners
  Attestation Risk
  Obtaining Sufficient Evidence
Consideration of Subsequent Events
Adequacy of Disclosure
Representation Letter
Reporting
Attest Documentation
Effective Date
Appendix A: Glossary
Appendix B: Sources for GHG Emission Protocols
  and Calculation Tools
Appendix C: Illustrative Management Representation
  Letter
Appendix D: illustrative Examination Reports
  on GHG Emissions Information
Appendix E: Illustrative Examination Reports
  on GHG Emission Reduction Information

BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION

Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases

1. Many scientists believe that global temperatures are increasing and that the increase is due to a Buildup of so-called greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Certain atmospheric gases (methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and others) are called greenhouse gases because they are believed to help trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are believed to have increased by over 31 percent, 151 percent, and 17 percent, respectively, since the late 19th century. (1) Over the same period, many scientists have noted an increase of approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit in the average global temperature.

2. Fossil fuel use and other human activities have added significant amounts of GHGs to the atmosphere. GHG emissions are also produced by agriculture, animal husbandry, and various industrial processes. …

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