International conformance and harmonisation of auditing & assurance standards

This sets out the principles of convergence to international standards and harmonisation with Australian auditing and assurance standards. The framework will be used for the standard-setting process in New Zealand to enhance convergence with international practice, harmonisation with Australian audit and assurance standards, as well as reduce New Zealand standard-setting costs.

Convergence to international standards

Over the years, New Zealand has adopted the international auditing and assurance standards (the “clarified standards”) by way of New Zealand equivalents to those standards, expressed, for example, as ISA (NZ).

The New Zealand equivalents are in most cases substantively identical to the international standards they are based on. This approach is consistent with our strategy of adopting international standards.

Our assurance standards strategy is to continue to adopt international auditing and assurance standards to apply in New Zealand, unless there are very strong reasons why we should not.

Implementing this strategy will mean, over time, adopting New Zealand equivalents to international standards when a domestic standard currently exists.

We recognise that in adopting international standards we are committing to using that set of standards as a whole. For example, this means that not adopting one particular ISA (NZ) would mean assurance practitioners in New Zealand could not assert compliance with ISAs (NZ).

Trans-Tasman Harmonisation 

The XRB Trans-Tasman harmonisation principles allow assurance practitioners to operate in both jurisdictions within a single set of requirements and ensure a substantively common set of auditing and assurance standards that apply in both countries.

The NZAuASB and the AUASB have agreed on a common set of principles relating to the standards that each Board issues.

This co-operation contributes to the outcome framework for creating a Single Economic Market, announced by the New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers in 2009.

The NZAuASB and AUASB are working together towards the establishment, over time, of a harmonised set of assurance standards based on international standards.

Part of this process is considering the most appropriate way to deal with country-specific requirements, including the possible use of domestic standards.

Policy document

Read the international convergence and harmonisation of standards policy, combined in a single document:

The document below is an overview of the additional requirements in the Australian Auditing Standards (ASAs), not added to the New Zealand Auditing standards. 

Note: this document will be subject to review in the near future and updated in accordance with any changes.