Assurance engagement is normally involved three parties and consists of five important elements.
Those five elements include criteria, report, evidence, subject matter, and three-party relationship. Here is the detail:
What are the criteria for the engagement?
For example, if the engagement is the audit of financial statements, then the criteria would be the standards or principle that management use to prepare the financial statements.
Let say, IFRS is the standard that management uses to prepare financial statements.
In this case, the auditor will perform their audit by using the international standard on auditing to review if the financial statements being audited are prepared based on IFRS or not.
The result of the work performed by the practitioner should be reported to the predetermine users of the reports. For example, in the audit engagement, auditors are issued to report by expressing their opinion based on the result of their works.
The opinion that they express should be based predetermined set of objectives. Their work should also perform independently from management who is responsible for preparing the subject matter.
For example, the auditor should be independent of management or entity. That means the conflict of interest should be minimized to the level that could not impair the quality of the audit opinion.
Strong support from entity management is required to help auditors perform their works and obtain the evidence.
Evident is very important to the quality of the report. The practitioner has to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence to support its opinion in the reports.
The auditor should follow the auditing standards if the evidence could not obtain or if there is intervenes from management that let them could not obtain the evidence.
Assurance engagement should have a clear subject matter.
For example, if the entity engaging the audit firm to perform their assurance services like an audit of financial statements, review financial statements as well as due diligence, then the engagement should have a very clear subject matter.
Like, that is the engagement objective, in which period that the services will cover (scope from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017).
Three parties relationship:
Normally, in the engagement, there are three parties involved. The first one is the intended users, as the users of audit reports.
These groups of people are the management of the entity, shareholders, the board of directors, and the government body.
The second is the responsible party of the subject matter that is being examined by the practitioner. For example, an entity that is an engaging practitioner as well as management of the entity. Management is responsible for preparing financial statements.
The third party in the engagement is the practitioner. This practitioner is normally the professional audit firm that audits the financial statements or provides others limited assurance services.