ICAEW's Audit and Assurance Faculty - 2019 Highlights

2019 has been a busy year for the Faculty. We should like to thank our members for your contributions during the year, and outline some of the highlights of the year below.

Audit reform

During 2019, the Faculty played a major role in developing ICAEW policy positions and thought leadership on audit issues, contributing to the three major audit reviews by Sir John Kingman, the CMA and Sir Donald Brydon, and engaging directly with standard setters and regulators. We also met with the Brydon team and participated in roundtables held at Brydon’s request.

Future of Audit series

We introduced a Future of Audit thought leadership essay series to further inform and influence the debate on audit reform. In 2019 the Faculty published five essays: Reporting: who does what, The scope of audit, Internal control effectiveness, Shared and joint audits, and User-Driven Assurance.

Benefits for members

The Faculty’s inaugural conference featured Sir Donald Brydon and Tom Seidenstein, chair of the IAASB, as keynote speakers, and was a great success.

We delivered 12 webinars including Auditing estimates and related disclosures, What’s new in quality management, Audit-related Brexit issues, Auditing related party transactions, and Effective file review. 31 spring and autumn roadshows took place and provided members with 12 monthly eBulletins, and 10 issues of Audit & Beyond.

Standards and guidance

The Faculty continued to influence international and national standard setting, through close involvement in the development of new audit and assurance standards, including staff participation in IAASB working groups. We responded in particular to IAASB consultations on strategy, quality management and the audits of less complex entities, and to FRC consultations on going concern and on the 2016 ethical and auditing standards.

We updated our audit report guides on Limitation of scope, Adverse opinion, Material uncertainty related to going concern, Basis other than going concern, Non-statutory audits and Qualifying partnerships.

We collaborated with the FRC on a practical guide for audit committees of smaller listed and AIM quoted companies, and also published a quarterly blog on IAASB developments, digital guides on updated ISAs (UK), and developed online hubs on auditing estimates and on risk assessment.

Reporting to third parties

We updated TECH 02/16 AAF Reporting to regulators on regulatory accounts and TECH 02/01 AAF Request for references on clients’ financial status and their ability to service loans.

We met with DHSC and DfT and helped them develop their assurance frameworks. We also met with the regulators including Ofwat, the CAA and the SRA in the process of updating our guidance.

Non-audit assurance

We collaborated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development on A buyer’s guide to assurance of non-financial information, following a workshop run with the WBCSD. We held a webinar with the WBCSD on Demystifying assurance.

We responded to the IAASB EER assurance consultation.

We updated TECH 09/13 AAF Assurance review engagements on historical financial statements.

We developed the climate change hub including a series of videos focused on climate reporting, in collaboration with Deloitte.

Internal audit

We responded to consultations on the Internal Audit Code of Practice and Three Lines of Defence Review. We published two internal audit guides - Setting priorities to establish and expand internal audit and How to audit change. We delivered a webinar on How to audit the cloud.


Innovative events were held to explore ways of improving the attractiveness of the profession to young people, with ongoing initiatives such as Time to Think being pursued under the AuditFutures banner. 

Audit Insights

We published Audit insights: construction, and used it to launch ICAEW’s construction community.

Engagement with stakeholders

We continued to engage with a wide range of stakeholders including Accountancy Europe, the Audit Quality Forum, BEIS, the FRC, the CIIA, firms’ heads of audit, and with academics.


During 2020 our work will encompass activity in relation to the Brydon report, and the expected single package of audit and governance reform. The Faculty will continue to develop Future of Audit thought leadership essays, including on internal controls, and on audit quality.


If you’d like full access to Audit and Beyond articles and other faculty resources, please join our growing community of audit professionals here.