Proposed attestation standard on MD&A.

Position:Management's discussion and analysis - Brief Article
 
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Out for exposure is a proposed Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE), Management's Discussion and Analysis, that would provide guidance for practitioners examining or reviewing management's discussion and analysis prepared according to Securities and Exchange Commission rules and regulations. "This is a voluntary, value-added service auditors can offer their clients," said Richard Dieter, a task force member and partner of Arthur Andersen LLP.

"The scope of attestation engagements is increasing. People are looking for assurance on matters outside of historical financial statements," said Beth Schneider, a director at Deloitte & Touche LLP, who staffed the auditing standards board task force that drew up the exposure draft. Dieter added, "I think this proposed SSAE is important because it shows we are moving into more subjective and softer information, which includes disclosure of future demands and uncertainties that can face a business. The ASB views the MD&A attest service as a forerunner to some of the services CPAs are--and should be-- performing." Emphasizing that such engagements are not required, Dieter said he does not expect the SEC to make it mandatory; he sees the demand for this service coming initially from underwriters in connection with securities offerings.

John Fogarty...

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