What is assurance?

An assurance engagement is: ‘An engagement in which a practitioner
expresses a conclusion designed to enhance the degree of confidence of
the intended users other than the responsible party about the outcome of the
evaluation or measurement of a subject matter against criteria.’
(International Audit and Assurance Standards Board Handbook)
Giving assurance means: offering an opinion about specific information so
the users of that information are able to make confident decisions
knowing that the risk of the information being ‘incorrect’ is reduced.
There are five elements of an assurance engagement:
(i) the three parties involved:
– the practitioner (i.e. the reviewer of the subject matter who provides
the assurance)
– the intended users (of the information)
– the responsible party (i.e. those responsible for preparing the
subject matter)
(ii) an appropriate subject matter
(iii) suitable criteria, against which the subject matter is
(iv) sufficient appropriate evidence
(v) a written assurance report in an appropriate form.

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