AICPA Issues SSAE 22 on Review Engagements

The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has issued Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 22, Review Engagements. The new SSAE provides performance and reporting requirements and application guidance for review engagements performed in accordance with the attestation standards.

Objectives of a Review Engagement

The practitioner’s objectives with respect to a review engagement are to:

  • Offer limited assurance about whether material modifications should be made to the subject matter for it to be in accordance with or based on the criteria;
  • Express a conclusion in a written report about whether the practitioner is aware of any material modifications that need to be made to the subject matter for it to be in accordance with the criteria or the responsible party’s assertion so that it is fairly stated; and
  • Communicate further as required by relevant AT-C provisions.

For purposes of SSAE 22 and the review engagement requirements, the term “subject matter” “encompasses the terms underlying subject matter and subject matter information, as defined in AT-C section 105. If only one of these terms is applicable, that term is used.”

SSAE 22 Review Engagements

SSAE 22 supersedes SSAE 18, Attestation Standards: Clarification and Recodification, Section 210 of the same title. The requirements and guidance in SSAE 22 supplement those of AT-C Section 105, Concepts Common to All Attestation Engagements. As noted in the ASB’s accompanying At a Glance document, Revisions to Attestation Review Standard for Clarity on Procedures That May Be Performed, Report Transparency, and Consistency with Other Professional Standards, SSAE 22 “revises AT-C section 210 for consistency with AT-C section 205, Assertion-Based Examination Engagements (pursuant to SSAE No. 21, Direct Examination Engagements)….”

SSAE 22 also:

  • Describes the procedures that may be performed in a review agreement;
  • Specifies requirements that must be met in the practitioner’s report, including an informative summary of the work performed as a basis for the conclusion; and
  • Permits the practitioner to express an adverse conclusion.

The ASB expects the enhancements in SSAE 22 will provide “helpful information to users of the review reports by explaining the nature of the work done in the review.” It also believes that permitting practitioners to provide the user with an adverse conclusion where necessary so that the user is aware of material misstatements as well as the effects of the misstatements is in the public interest.

Effective Dates  

SSAE 22 is effective for practitioners’ review reports dated on or after June 15, 2022. Early implementation is permitted only if the practitioner also implements early the amendments to AT-C Section 105 included in SSAE 21.

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