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The specialised nature of information systems (IS) audit and assurance and the skills necessary to perform such engagements require standards that apply specifically to IS audit and assurance. The development and dissemination of the IS audit and assurance standards are a cornerstone of the ISACA professional contribution to the audit community.
IS audit and assurance standards define mandatory requirements for IS auditing and reporting and inform:
- IS audit and assurance professionals of the minimum level of acceptable performance required to meet the professional responsibilities set out in the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics
- Management and other interested parties of the profession’s expectations concerning the work of practitioners
- Holders of the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation of requirements. Failure to comply with these standards may result in an investigation into the CISA holder’s conduct by the ISACA Board of Directors or appropriate committee and, ultimately, in disciplinary action.
IS audit and assurance professionals should include a statement in their work, where appropriate, that the engagement has been conducted in accordance with ISACA IS audit and assurance standards or other applicable professional standards.
The ITAF™ framework for the IS audit and assurance professional provides multiple levels of guidance:
- Standards, divided into three categories:
- General standards (1000 series)—Are the guiding principles under which the IS audit and assurance profession operates. They apply to the conduct of all assignments, and deal with the IS audit and assurance professional’s ethics, independence, objectivity and due care as well as knowledge, competency and skill. The standards statements (in bold) are mandatory.
- Performance standards (1200 series)—Deal with the conduct of the assignment, such as planning and supervision, scoping, risk and materiality, resource mobilisation, supervision and assignment management, audit and assurance evidence, and the exercising of professional judgement and due care
- Reporting standards (1400 series)—Address the types of reports, means of communication and the information communicated
- Guidelines, supporting the standards and also divided into three categories:
- General guidelines (2000 series)
- Performance guidelines (2200 series)
- Reporting guidelines (2400 series)
- Tools and techniques, providing additional guidance for IS audit and assurance professionals, e.g., white papers, IS audit/assurance programmes, the COBIT 5 family of products
An online glossary of terms used in ITAF is provided at www.isaca.org/glossary.
Disclaimer: ISACA has designed this guidance as the minimum level of acceptable performance required to meet the professional responsibilities set out in the ISACA Code of Professional Ethics. ISACA makes no claim that use of this product will assure a successful outcome. The publication should not be considered inclusive of any proper procedures and tests or exclusive of other procedures and tests that are reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. In determining the propriety of any specific procedure or test, controls professionals should apply their own professional judgement to the specific control circumstances presented by the particular systems or IS environment.
The ISACA Professional Standards and Career Management Committee (PSCMC) is committed to wide consultation in the preparation of standards and guidance. Prior to issuing any document, an exposure draft is issued internationally for general public comment. Comments may also be submitted to the attention of the director of professional standards development via email (email@example.com), fax (+1.847. 253.1443) or postal mail (ISACA International Headquarters, 3701 Algonquin Road, Suite 1010, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-3105, USA).
ISACA 2012-2013 Professional Standards and Career Management Committee
Steven E. Sizemore, CISA, CIA, CGAP, Chairperson
Christopher Nigel Cooper, CISM, CITP, FBCS, M.Inst.ISP
Ronald E. Franke, CISA, CRISC, CFE, CIA, CICA
Murari Kalyanaramani, CISA, CISM, CRISC, CISSP, CBCP
Alisdair McKenzie, CISA, CISSP, ITCP
Katsumi Sakagawa, CISA, CRISC, PMP
Ian Sanderson, CISA, CRISC, FCA
Timothy Smith, CISA, CISSP, CPA
Rodolfo Szuster, CISA, CA, CBA, CIA
Texas Health and Human Services Commission, USA
HP Enterprises Security Services, UK
Myers and Stauffer LC, USA
British American Tobacco IT Services, Malaysia
IS Assurance Services, New Zealand
JIEC Co. Ltd., Japan
LPL Financial, USA
Tarshop S.A., Argentina
IS audit and assurance professionals, collectively with others assisting with the assignment, shall possess adequate skills and proficiency in conducting IS audit and assurance engagements and be professionally competent to perform the work required.
IS audit and assurance professionals, collectively with others assisting with the assignment, shall possess adequate knowledge of the subject matter.
IS audit and assurance professionals shall maintain professional competence through appropriate continuing professional education and training.
IS audit and assurance professionals should:
- Demonstrate that sufficient professional Competences (skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the planned engagement) are available prior to the commencement of the work.
- Assess alternative means of acquiring the skills, including subcontracting, outsourcing a portion of the tasks, delaying the assignment until such skills are available or otherwise ensuring the appropriate skills are available.
- Ensure that team members who neither hold a CISA nor other relevant professional designation and are involved in the IS audit and assurance engagement have sufficient formal education, training and work experience.
- Provide reasonable assurance when leading a team to conduct an IS audit or assurance engagement that all team members have the appropriate level of professional competency for the work they perform.
- Have sufficient knowledge of key areas to enable conduct of the IS audit or assurance engagement effectively and efficiently, along with any specialists used and other team members.
- Meet continuing professional education or development requirements of CISA or other relevant professional designations.
- Update professional knowledge continually through educational courses, seminars, conferences, webcasts and on-the-job training to provide a level of professional service commensurate with the requirements of the IS audit or assurance role.
||The ability to perform a specific task, action or function successfully |
||Possessing skill and experience |
Linkage to Guidelines
This ISACA standard is effective for all IS audit and assurance engagements beginning 1 November 2013.