Purpose: – The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate the internationalisation of Australian auditing standards by analysing the submissions to the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's (AUASB) strategic directions paper (SDP) and comparing the proposed and approved strategic directions frameworks of the AUASB. Design/methodology/approach: – A content analysis of the submissions to the SDP is conducted to identify the extent of support, and arguments for and against the proposed strategic directions. This study attempts to find a link, if any, between the proposed strategic directions, the views expressed by the stakeholders, and the final set of strategic directions issued by Australia's Financial Reporting Council.
Findings: – Overall, the final set of strategic directions released in April 2005 are consistent with the views expressed in the submissions, which support minimal divergence from International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and using the ISAs as the base for developing Australian auditing standards. Major changes from the SDP include a requirement for the AUASB to undertake research and monitor auditing standards issued by national standard setters. However, the AUASB is no longer obliged to contribute to the international standard arena and need only have regard to any program initiated by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.
Research limitations/implications: – The findings of this study provide an insight into the future of Australia's role in the international arena and increase awareness of stakeholders' views on the international harmonisation of auditing standards.
Originality/value: – While there have been several studies examining the international harmonisation of accounting standards, there is comparatively little research on the international harmonisation of auditing standards. This paper attempts to address this void, in part, and contribute to the literature on the convergence of auditing standards with ISAs.
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