Assurance Engagements on General Purpose Water Accounting Reports
The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (AUASB) and the Water Accounting Standards Board (WASB) have released the Proposed Standard on Assurance Engagements ASAE 3xxx/Australian Water Accounting Standard AWAS 2: Assurance Engagements on General Purpose Water Accounting Reports after receiving feedback from a range of stakeholders on the consultation paper on assurance engagements.
The AUASB and WASB invites comments on any aspect of the Exposure Draft by 15 March 2013. Respondents are asked to submit their comments in both a PDF and Word file, where possible. Comments received will be considered a matter of public record and will be published on the AUASB and Bureau of Meteorology websites, unless requested otherwise.
Download >ED AWAS 2 (2.8Mb)
Information Sheet: For an overview of assurance of water accounting, download the Bureau's Information Sheet 14: Assurance of Water Accounting (219Kb)
Consultation Paper: Assurance Engagements on General Purpose Water Accounting Reports (1.5MB)
Consultation paper feedback received: Feedback
Background to water accounting and assurance
There is both national and international interest in making water accounting a key part of water resources reporting.
In 2004, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) established the intergovernmental National Water Initiative. COAG identified the need for consistent water resources accounting that could be standardised, compared, reconciled and aggregated.
The Commonwealth Water Act 2007 reaffirmed the national importance of water information and identified new functions for the Bureau of Meteorology in water accounting, including issuing national water information standards. The WASB was established in April 2009 as an independent advisory board to the Bureau of Meteorology to oversee and coordinate water accounting standards development.
The WASB has issued the Water Accounting Conceptual Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of General Purpose Water Accounting Reports (WACF) and Australian Water Accounting Standard 1, Preparation and Presentation of General Purpose Water Accounting Reports (AWAS 1).
The WACF requires that General Purpose Water Accounting Reports must be audited or reviewed, but does not establish the framework for assurance engagements on these Reports. Accordingly, the AUASB and the WASB agreed to work together to develop an assurance standard for such engagements.