RECENT STATEMENTS ON AUDITING PROCEDURE
by Ronald C. Baldwin Partner, Executive Office
Presented before the Westchester Chapter, New York State Society of CPAs-January 1973
The first Statement on Auditing Procedure was issued in 1939. That was 34 years ago. I first studied accounting in 1951. As a student, you can well imagine how I viewed pronouncements such as Accounting Research Bulletins and Statements on Auditing Procedure. It was obvious that a group of accountants, like statesmen, gathered together in auspicious surroundings and pronounced on the weighty matters.
This view is not much unlike the view that I assume we as students all had of the meetings at which the United States Constitution was framed. Imagine if you will the scene in Philadelphia when all of the delegates gathered to produce the document under which we govern our country. Surely, no one for a minute would expect that there would be pandemonium at times, hilarity, political intrigue, and the wheeling and dealing that often we associate with our contemporary legislatures. Yet, the real student of history knows all too well that it is only in this type of surrounding, with the give and take of many views—some being propounded more strenuously than others—that long lasting documents are produced.
In not quite as dramatic but in many ways similar surroundings, Statements on Auditing Procedure are produced. For more than a year, I had the privilege and the pleasure of attending meetings of the Committee on Auditing Procedures as the observer for our representative on the Committee, Ken Stringer. (Under the rules of the Committee, each of the 21 members is entitled to bring an observer.) As an observer, I witnessed and participated in the development of some of the recent statements issued by the Committee, including those statements from SAP No. 45, Using the Work and Reports of Other Auditors; to SAP No. 54, The Auditor's Study and Evaluation of Internal Control.
I have been asked to discuss these recent statements, and I will try to flavor the discussion with some of the background and difficulties encountered in developing the statements.