Firms are required to comply with the fundamental principles, be independent and apply the conceptual framework set out in Section 120 to identify, evaluate and address threats to independence.
This section sets out certain modifications to Part 4B which are permitted in certain circumstances involving assurance engagements where the report includes a restriction on use and distribution. In this section, an engagement to issue a restricted use and distribution assurance report in the circumstances set out in paragraph R990.3 is referred to as an "eligible assurance engagement."
Requirements and Application Material
When a firm intends to issue a report on an assurance engagement which includes a restriction on use and distribution, the independence requirements set out in Part 4B shall be eligible for the modifications that are permitted by this section, but only if:
The firm communicates with the intended users of the report regarding the modified independence requirements that are to be applied in providing the service; and
The intended users of the report understand the purpose, subject matter information and limitations of the report and explicitly agree to the application of the modifications.
The intended users of the report might obtain an understanding of the purpose, subject matter information, and limitations of the report by participating, either directly, or indirectly through a representative who has authority to act for the intended users, in establishing the nature and scope of the engagement. In either case, this participation helps the firm to communicate with intended users about independence matters, including the circumstances that are relevant to applying the conceptual framework. It also allows the firm to obtain the agreement of the intended users to the modified independence requirements.
Where the intended users are a class of users who are not specifically identifiable by name at the time the engagement terms are established, the firm shall subsequently make such users aware of the modified independence requirements agreed to by their representative.
For example, where the intended users are a class of users such as lenders in a syndicated loan arrangement, the firm might describe the modified independence requirements in an engagement letter to the representative of the lenders. The representative might then make the firm's engagement letter available to the members of the group of lenders to meet the requirement for the firm to make such users aware of the modified independence requirements agreed to by the representative.
If the firm also issues an assurance report that does not include a restriction on use and distribution for the same client, the firm shall apply Part 4B to that assurance engagement.
When the firm performs an eligible assurance engagement:
The firm shall identify, evaluate and address any threats to independence created by interests and relationships, as set out in Sections 910, 911, 920, 921, 922 and 924, between the assurance client and the following assurance team members;
Those who provide consultation regarding technical or industry specific issues, transactions or events; and
Those who provide quality control for the engagement, including those who perform the engagement quality control review; and
The firm shall evaluate and address any threats that the engagement team has reason to believe are created by interests and relationships between the assurance client and others within the firm who can directly influence the outcome of the assurance engagement, as set out in Sections 910, 911, 920, 921, 922 and 924.
Others within the firm who can directly influence the outcome of the assurance engagement include those who recommend the compensation, or who provide direct supervisory, management or other oversight, of the assurance engagement partner in connection with the performance of the assurance engagement.