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New Auditing Standards Board (ASB) chair Deborah D. Lambert and vice chair James S. Gerson recently met with representatives of the auditing procedures committee of the NYSSCPA to inform the group of the status of its agenda items and learn of concerns of practitioners.

Lambert spoke of four strategic initiatives the board has identified to guide its efforts in the next few years:

* Improve the core audit service to serve the public, the preparers, and the profession.

* Broaden the utility of the attestation standards to facilitate new assurance services that respond to emerging user needs.

* Significantly strengthen the ASB's role in developing international auditing standards and quality control processes that meet the needs of the global marketplace.

* Implement process improvements.

Gerson indicated that the recent surge of activity in producing new SASs had succeeded in "clearing the deck" of many significant practice issues. Current projects according to Gerson include--

* an ED on restricted use of the independent accountant's report. There is a lack of consistency in the standards in this area.

* an interpretation on year 2000 issues and going concern disclosures.

* a project to codify the attestation standards and to modify them to allow direct reporting on items. Present standards use an indirect method of reporting on management's assertions.

* development of best practices in the electronic dissemination of financial information.

The group from the CPA society asked Lambert and Gerson to have the board address practice issues related to statistical sampling, business risk, auditing of segment information, directional risk in auditing understatements and overstatements, and materiality. Julian Jacoby led the group from the society that included Vincent Allocca, Burgman Connolly, Abraham Haspel, Neal Hitzig, Joseph Manfre, William Stocker, and Paul D. Warner. *

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