The expectation gap in assurance

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One of the key challenges facing assurance providers, is in understanding and tackling the gap between the expectations of what assurance offers and what it really can provide. ICAEW’s Audit and Assurance Innovation Panel (TAAIP), has devised a simple graphic to explain not only what assurance provides now, but what it could provide in future.

Graphic explaining the gaps in expectation between what those commissioning assurance believe it provides and what is actually possible.1. Stakeholder expectations of:

  • Audit of the financial statements (level of assurance)
  • Audit / assurance outside the financial statements (scope and level)

2. Performance gap:

  • What we’re supposed to do vs what gets done (evidenced by audit quality reviews by regulator)

3. What else we can do:

  • Would it fix the problem?
  • Define the “problem”
  • Define audit quality (value of audit vs compliance with regulations or internal policies)
  • What needs to change to do it?
  • Available data and methodology, regulation, liability, timing, cost