Nature of Engagements

Assurance engagements on controls may include, but are not limited to:compliance with contractual requirements agreed with customers, investors, financiers, purchasers or governmentfor controlsto achieveidentified control objectivesat an entity, such as controls over health and safety, ethics, privacy and security of data and information technology accessibility;compliance with regulatory requirements, such as Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) reporting requirements for limited assurance on controls over compliance, data reliability and other specified matters forgeneral insurers,5authorised deposit-taking institutions, life companies,7superannuation entities8and APRA–regulated group level heads; legislativerequirements for assurance reportson controls at certain government entities;concluding on operational or compliance controls at a service organisation to meet the needs of user auditors, except for financial reporting controls orvoluntary engagements initiated by the entity on its own controls over services, activities undertakenor functions which it provides.

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The control framework applied in designing the controls isrelevant when identifying the components of control and overall control objectives to be addressed in the scope of the engagement and as a basis for the development of specific control objectives.The control framework may be derived from: legislation or regulation;a publicly availableframework,such as the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission’s Internal Control Integrated Framework2013 industry standard, developed specifically to meet the relevant industry;or(d)in-house development to meet the entity’s needs.

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The assurance practitioner is required to comply with ASAE 3000 and this ASAE when performing assurance engagementson controls, other than engagementsrequired to be conducted under ASAE 3402. This ASAE supplements, but does not replace, ASAE3000, and expands on how ASAE3000 is to be applied to limited and reasonable assurance engagementson controls. This ASAE applies the requirements in ASAE3000to attestation engagements and adapts those requirements, as necessary, to direct engagements on controls. ASAE3000includes requirements in relation to such topics as engagement acceptance, planning, obtaining evidence and documentation that apply to all assurance engagements, including engagements conducted in accordance with thisASAE. The AssuranceFramework, which defines and describes the elements and objectives of an assurance engagement.

Compliance with requires, among other things, that the assurance practitioner complieswith relevantethical requirements related to assurance engagements.It also requires the lead assurance practitioner12to bea member of a firm that applies.An assurance engagement performed under this ASAEmay be part of a larger engagement. In such circumstances, this ASAE isrelevant only to the portion of the engagement relating to assuranceon controls.12.If multiple standards are applicable to an assurance engagement on controls, the assurance practitioner applies, in addition to ASAE3000, either:(a)if the engagement can be separated into parts, thestandardrelevant to each partof the engagement; or(b)if the engagement cannot be separated into parts, the standard which is most directly relevantto the subject matter.13.Assurance conclusions on controls are often required by regulators or users in conjunction with assurance conclusions on financial reports, other historical financial information, compliance and/or other subject matters. In addition, service auditors may be engaged to report under ASAE 3402, on controls at a service organisation that are likely to be relevant to user entities’ internal control as it relates to financial reporting, as well as to report under this ASAE, on controls overoperational or compliance requirements.

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In conducting the assurance engagement, the objectives of theassurance practitionerunder ASAE300015include: “to obtain either reasonable or limited assurance, as appropriate,about whether the subject matter information is free from material misstatement”. The subject matter information in a controls engagement is the outcome of the evaluation of the design, and/or the description, implementation or operating effectiveness of controls against the criteria. The evaluation is conducted:

(a)in an attestation engagement, by the responsible party or evaluator,and presented in aStatement, which addresseswhether the controls aresuitably designedto achieve identified control objectives,and if applicable,the description is fairly presented, the controls are implemented as designed and/or operatedeffectively.The objective of the assurance practitioner is to obtain reasonable or limited assurance about whether the Statement is free from material misstatement, although the assurance practitioner’s conclusion may be expressed in terms of the subject matter; or

(b)in a direct engagement, by the assurance practitioner and presented in the assurance report, therefore,no Statementis prepared by the responsible partyor evaluator.The objectivesof the assurance practitionerareto obtain reasonable or limited assurance about whether the controls are suitably designed to achieve identified control objectives,and,if included inthe scope of the engagement, the description is fairly presented,the controls were implemented as designed and/or operated effectively.

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