Resources > Audit and Assurance > Assurance > The nine stages of an assurance engagement > Scoping


The scoping phase of an assurance engagement is commonly divided into several stages, covering an analysis of the problem and then identifying potential solutions. It will then cover an examination of what is feasible and then a decision on the final approach.

Define the problem

Often the second stage of an assurance engagement is a discussion on diagnosing the nature of the problem, and identifying exactly where increased credibility could add value.

Management of risk and liability

Guidance to assist accountants in managing their risk and liability when undertaking assurance engagements.

Possible solutions

During this stage of an assurance engagement possible solutions are reviewed that would lead to increased credibility, both in the form of internal and external assurance services and of other ways to gain comfort over information.

Assurance decision

The problem has been defined and (a) solution(s) suggested. At this stage the person responsible for the information should have all the information they need to make a good assurance decision.

What is feasible?

Once a problem has been identified and diagnosed, and external assurance has been identified as the solution, the next step is to plan an appropriate engagement. This guidance outlines the practical questions that need to be answered in that process.

ICAEW's assurance resource

This page is part of ICAEW’s online assurance resource, which replaces the Assurance Sourcebook.

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Further support

The nine stages of an assurance engagement

What can assurance cover?

The nine stages of an assurance engagement

Standards and guidance

Best practice

Assurance glossary

ICAEW training films

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