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Members' handbook volume III – "Auditing and assurance standards"
To access the members' handbook, please click here.

Auditing and assurance standards
Auditing and assurance standards in Hong Kong are known as Hong Kong standards on quality management, auditing, assurance and related services.
The preface to Hong Kong standards on quality management, auditing, assurance and related services sets out the objectives and due process of the Institute council in respect to Hong Kong standards on quality management, auditing, assurance and related services.
The term "Hong Kong standards on quality management, auditing, assurance and related services" includes:

  • Hong Kong standards on quality management (HKSQMs)
  • Hong Kong framework for assurance engagements
  • Hong Kong standards on auditing (HKSAs)
  • Hong Kong standards on review engagements (HKSREs)
  • Hong Kong standards on assurance engagements (HKSAEs)
  • Hong Kong standards on investment circular reporting engagements (HKSIRs)
  • Hong Kong standards on related services (HKSRSs)


HKSQMs establish basic principles and essential procedures and provide guidance regarding a firm's responsibilities for its quality management for Hong Kong engagement standards.
HKSAs, HKSREs, HKSAEs, HKSIRs and HKSRSs are collectively referred to as Hong Kong engagement standards.


HKSAs are applied in the audit of historical financial information.
HKSREs are applied in the review of historical financial information.
HKSAEs are to be applied in assurance engagements dealing with subject matters other than historical financial information.
HKSIRs are applied in investment circular reporting engagements.
HKSRSs are applied to compilation engagements, engagements to apply agreed-upon procedures to information and other related services engagements.
Practice notes/guidelines
Practice notes/guidelines are issued to assist auditors in applying Hong Kong Engagement Standards of general application to particular circumstances and industries.


Due process and comparison with International Standards on Auditing
This page links to the full text of the following documents (available in Adobe Acrobat format).



Criteria for adding projects onto the Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee (AASC) work plan


The Institute receives frequent requests from stakeholders to develop local auditing and assurance pronouncements, in particular, Practice Notes or Circulars for particular assurance engagements. 


The AASC has a set of criteria for assessing projects for inclusion on the committee’s work plan. The assessment will be carried out in Q4 every year for potential inclusion on the following year’s work plan. AASC will be updated regularly of requests received.  


The project assessment criteria are as follows:


(a) Public interest benefits

  • The level of public interest in undertaking the project or initiative.
  • The extent to which the action will enhance public trust in the auditing and assurance standards and the auditing profession.


(b) Relevance

  • Pervasiveness of the matter or issue to the auditing profession in Hong Kong.


(c) Urgency

  • The degree of urgency in addressing the issue(s) identified. This is to be assessed on a standalone basis as well as other projects on the AASC’s work plan. 
  • The extent of the impact on the public interest and the auditing profession if action is not taken or is delayed.
  • Interaction of the proposed project with the projects on the IAASB work plan, including whether the IAASB plans to address the issues identified in the foreseeable future.


(d) Achievability


  • Feasibility of achieving an effective outcome within a reasonable timeframe, taking into account the resources required. 
  • Whether the issue can be addressed by the committee, i.e. whether it is within the remit of the committee to develop any potential guidance as there may be cases where, for example, it may be more suitable and effective for regulators or other parties to deal with the issue, e.g. poor compliance.


Any interested party can submit a Request Form to the Institute at setting out the detailed background information for the request and the rationale for developing local auditing and assurance pronouncements with reference to the criteria set out above. Requests received will be batched and assessed in Q4 every year. The Standard Setting Department will contact the submitter whose request has been added onto the AASC work plan in Q1 the following year for follow-up actions.