Information beyond the financial statements is only going to get more important in the coming years as investors and other stakeholders look to fully analyse an organisation’s long term value creation. As expectations and regulations change, an Assurance Map would drive transparency for these investors and stakeholders, which in turn would build organisational resilience over the longer term.
In his 2019 review of the audit, Sir Donald Brydon introduced the concept of an Audit and Assurance Policy, that would provide details of how auditors are appointed, how fees are set and how materiality is determined. As part of the Policy, companies would also explain the approach taken to obtaining assurance over areas of the business and financial information outside of financial statements.
We’ve been looking at the concept of an Assurance Map as a useful way for companies to explain and illustrate the approach to obtaining assurance envisaged by Sir Donald. This could be a valuable way to get to grips with the type and depth of assurance they have over their reported information and, therefore, how much stakeholders can rely on that information.
In our paper, we provide more detail on the development of an Assurance Map and what we hope are useful ideas for how an Assurance Map might work in practice. One of the illustrative examples from the paper is below