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Attestation standards provide guidance and establish a broad framework of reference for a variety of professional services that are increasingly being requested from the accounting profession. The standards are professional guidelines, aimed at promoting both consistency and quality in the provision of these services.

Accordingly, the primary objective for issuing these attesting standards is to provide a general framework of reference and to establish reasonable boundaries around the attesting function. As such, these standards:

Standards for attesting have been developed seeking to provide a response to the demands for new services, and are applicable to an increasingly long list of these including, for example, reports on pro forma financial information reports on the effectiveness of the internal control system related to the preparation of financial information; compliance with specific provisions (statutory or contractual requirements), as well as laws and regulations; statistics relating to investment behavior; supplementary information relating to financial statements; review of budgets and financial projections, among others.

Intosai meaning

In some cases, legislation refers to standards as a privileged means, or even a mandatory requirement, to comply with specific provisions (e.g. safety or interoperability).

Standards help to protect the environment and the health of consumers. For example, they provide measurement methods that contribute to the monitoring and control of air pollution. Food hygiene standards provide classification and testing methods for food contact materials.

At the national level, standardization is managed by national standards bodies, which adopt and publish standards in each country, incorporate all European standards through identical national standards and withdraw any conflicting national standards.

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Harmonized standards are a specific type of European standards developed by a European standardization body following a request, called a “mandate”, from the European Commission. About 20% of European standards are developed under this procedure.

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International labor standards are primarily concerned with the development of people as human beings. In the ILO Declaration of Philadelphia (1944), the international community recognized that “labor is not a commodity”. Labor is not an inanimate product like an apple or a television set that can be bargained for the best profit or the lowest price. It is part of every person’s daily life and is the basis of his or her dignity, well-being and development as a human being. Economic development must include the creation of jobs and working conditions in which workers can work in complete freedom, security and dignity. In short, economic development is not an end in itself, but serves to improve human life. International labor standards ensure that economic development remains focused on improving the lives of men and women and preserving their dignity.

Decent work encapsulates human expectations with regard to work. It implies access to productive and adequately remunerated work, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social inclusion, freedom for individuals to express their claims, organize and participate in decision-making that affects their lives, as well as equal opportunities and equal treatment for all people, both men and women.

Professional ethical standards

Basically, a standard is an established and agreed-upon way of doing something. It can be about making a product, managing a process, providing a service or supplying materials. Standards can cover a broad spectrum of activities performed by organizations and used by their customers.

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They are the wisdom drawn from those who are competent in their field and knowledgeable about the needs of the organizations they represent: people such as manufacturers, vendors, buyers, customers, trade associations, users or regulators.

Standards are knowledge. They are powerful tools that can help foster innovation and increase productivity. They can make organizations more successful and people’s lives easier, safer and healthier.

Standards cover a wide range of topics, from construction to nanotechnology, from Energy Management to Health and Safety, from cricket balls to goalposts. They can be very specific, such as for a particular type of product, or more general, such as management practices.