• Diversity of subject matter information—as the content of integrated reports moves beyond exclusively financial information, the breadth of issues that assurance practitioners must be knowledgeable of, and comfortable with, expands. Auditors, with only financial accounting subject matter expertise, may have a deficiency in other subject matter information assured under an integrated report.
• Stage of development of non-financial indicators—many environmental, social and governance indicators remain less established and accepted than financial indicators, and may suffer from limited availability of data.
• Time-frame and prospective nature of the information—<IR> captures both retrospective and prospective information because of their usefulness to decision-makers. In addition, many social and environmental effects are measured over longer time frames. Forward-looking and long-term information is more difficult to assure.
• Discursive nature of the information—much of the information disclosed will be qualitative in nature. Assurance techniques are less developed for qualitative disclosures. For example, how does an assurance practitioner determine if a qualitative disclosure is material, and on what basis do they determine that such disclosures may contain a material misstatement?
• Intersection of a variety of regulations and guidance—assurance of integrated reporting may require assurance practitioners to be familiar with a range of mandatory and non-mandatory approaches to reporting on financial, environmental, social and governance issues, which may include the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), ISAs, International Organization for Standardization (ISOs), the GRI, the Carbon Disclosure Project and others.