‘Assurance on <IR>: an introduction to the discussion‘ has been released in order to help stakeholders understand the role of assurance and initiate a global discussion on its benefits and challenges.
The paper is expected to help guide and provide impetus to the debate. It was released alongside a more detailed document, ‘Assurance on <IR>: an exploration of issues‘. Together, the papers discuss issues such as: the nature of assurance and how different mechanisms contribute to credibility and trust; methodology issues dealing with, for example, future-oriented information, soft narrative and completeness of a report; and materiality, the reporting boundary and connectivity for assurance purposes.
The IIRC believes these papers will provide a catalyst for those with an interest in assurance, in order to debate the practical and technical challenges in ensuring credibility and trust in <IR>. The IIRC calls on all those with an interest in building this credibility and trust to get involved in the debate.
The IIRC does not aspire to become a standard setter in assurance. It is seen by many that assurance is vitally important in ensuring integrated reports provide ‘investment grade’ information, which is a necessary precondition to the overall aims of <IR> being achieved.
An Assurance Technical Collaboration Group led by The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (South Africa) and made up of experts from across the world prepared the detailed paper and helped ensure it reflects the debate currently underway in the assurance space.
The IIRC received 63 responses to its recent papers on assurance, as part of the IIRC’s work to initiate a global discussion on its benefits and challenges. A summary of responses will be published in 2015.