New Standard Increases Flexibility for Agreed-Upon Procedures

January 9, 2020

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Auditing Standards Board (ASB) recently issued a new standard that gives practitioners more flexibility to perform agreed-upon procedures (AUP) engagement. This new standard aims to enhance the value and relevance of the report for intended users. By increasing flexibility, clients will receive greater insight and expertise on rapidly evolving-subject matters. 

An agreed-upon procedures (AUP) engagements are attestation engagements in which a practitioner performs specific procedures on subject matter and reports the findings without providing an opinion or conclusion. Because the engaging party understands its own needs the best, it is required to agree to the procedures and acknowledge that those performed are relevant and appropriate for intended users.

The new standard provides practitioners with greater flexibility by:

  • No longer requiring the practitioner to request an assertion from the responsible party
  • Permitting the practitioner to issue a general-use report
  • Removing the requirement for intended users to take responsibility for the sufficiency of the procedures
  • Allowing the development of procedures over the course of the engagement, as well as allowing the practitioner to develop or assist in developing the procedures, while requiring the engaging party to acknowledge the appropriateness of the procedures prior to the issuance of the practitioner’s report

The new Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 19 will be effective on or after July 15, 2021. However, early implementation is permitted. For more information about this matter and other assurance issues, please contact Mark Robins at 301.231.6200.