The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has published its strategy for 2020–2023 and work plan for 2020–2021, with a focus on emerging issues.

The Work Plan describes, at the time of the December 2019 approval, how the IAASB intends to increase its focus on emerging issues, while completing the existing work already committed to and underway. In the Work Plan, the IAASB anticipates standard-setting projects on going concern, fraud, and audit evidence, and work to address the needs of auditors of Less Complex Entities, as well as other topics.

The strategy, which was developed though external consultation over the course of two years, aims to build on sustained trust in financial and other reporting through high-quality audits, assurance, and related service engagements.

Some key components to the strategy and work plan include:

  • Increase the emphasis on emerging issues to ensure that the IAASB International Standards provide a foundation for high-quality audit, assurance and related services engagements
  • Innovate the IAASB’s ways of working to strengthen and broaden our agility, capabilities, and capacity to do the right work at the right time
  • Maintain and deepen relationships with stakeholders to achieve globally relevant, progressive and operable standards


IAASB chair Tom Seidenstein said: “The IAASB recognises the significant challenges facing the audit profession and the standards that govern it. This Strategy and Work Plan provides an important compass for our organisation to address these challenges in a highly responsive and innovative manner. We will inevitably need to adapt over the strategy’s four-year period, but the emphasis on the public interest, innovation and agility, and collaboration should remain relevant.”

While the IAASB approved its strategy before the pandemic, it believes that the strategic objectives remain relevant. However, IAASB recognised it may have to adapt its work plan as new priorities emerge and the pandemic impacts the ability to carry out work.