Concern has always existed as to who should set auditing standards for the independent auditor. Prior to the establishment of the SEC, Congress debated having audits conducted by governmental auditors; however, the auditing standard-setting process remained in the private sector. SASs were created by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) as the AICPA's senior technical committee on auditing standards.
Auditing interpretations on the application of SASs are created by the staff of the Auditing Standards Division of the AICPA. The interpretations are not considered as authoritative as SASs. However, auditors must justify any departure from an auditing interpretation issued by the Auditing Standards Division of the AICPA. Other publications of the Auditing Standards Division include a number of Industry Audit Guides (Exhibit 6-6) and Statements of Position. These guidelines are recommendations of various AICPA committees and task forces when applying generally accepted auditing standards to industry-specific audit engagements. The auditor needs to be aware of these interpretative guidelines and should be prepared to explain any departures from such audit guidance.
Source: AICPA Online Professional Library.