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1. COSO transition getting a close look from auditors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The early stages of implementation are over for many companies using the updated internal control framework of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).In 2013, the framework—which had been in use since 1992—was updated to reflect changes in the business environment. U.S. public companies have been working to implement the new framework to fulfill their internal control over financial reporting requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).COSO will consider the 1992 framework to be superseded following a transition period that ends Dec.

2. Clarified, revised SSARS approved for reviews, compilations, and engagements to prepare financial statements   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The AICPA Accounting and Review Services Committee (ARSC) voted during its meeting this month to approve clarified and revised standards for reviews, compilations, and engagements to prepare financial statements.The clarified and revised standards for compilations and engagements to prepare financial statements create a bright line between accounting (preparation) services and reporting (compilation) services.

3. Five elements of effective judgment process for auditors   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The public relies on auditors to make critical professional judgments in an objective, professionally skeptical manner.Participants in capital markets who are making investment decisions place trust and confidence in the judgments made by auditors during audits of public company financial statements.A new Professional Judgment Resource released Wednesday by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) describes judgment challenges auditors face—and the critical elements of an effective judgment process for auditors.

4. PCAOB requests comments on auditing accounting estimates and fair value measurements   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The PCAOB is seeking input as it weighs possible standard-setting activities related to auditing accounting estimates and fair value measurements.In a staff consultation paper released Tuesday, the PCAOB Office of the Chief Auditor seeks comments on the potential need for changes to PCAOB standards—and a possible approach to a new auditing standard.“Accounting estimates and fair value measurements can be subjective and complex, yet they can be an important part of a company’s financial statements and critical to investors’ decision-making,” PCAOB Chairman James Doty said in a news release.

5. PCAOB calls for improvement in audits of brokers and dealers   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The PCAOB issued a report Monday calling on audit firms to improve the quality of their audits of brokers and dealers to comply with rules and standards.As a result of findings from the PCAOB’s interim inspection program, the board urged firms that audit brokers and dealers to reexamine their audit approaches and take action to prevent deficiencies and independence issues.The board is urging firms to consider ways to prevent deficiencies and to seek ways to better anticipate and address risks that might arise in specific broker and dealer audits.

6. Qualitative considerations for allocating materiality to components in a group audit   WebExclusive

BY Daniel Sanders, CPA
Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series of articles about application of the group audits standard. For the first article in the series, see “The Scoop on Group Audits: You May Have Them, Even Though You Think You Don’t.” There is a lot to consider when evaluating the allocation of materiality to components in a group audit.An auditor may ask: “If I am the only auditor involved, how do I allocate materiality to significant components? After all, I am auditing everything in the group-reporting entity, so why can’t I just use group materiality?”Fortunately, the

7. AICPA seeks feedback on private-entity audit quality initiative   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
In one of the first steps of the new Enhancing Audit Quality (EAQ) initiative, a major effort to improve auditing of private entities, the AICPA has released a discussion paper seeking stakeholder perspectives. Through the two-phased initiative, the AICPA is coordinating resources to improve performance in audits of private entities, defined as non-SEC registrants, including not-for-profits, employee benefit plans, and governmental entities.

8. AICPA advises CPA firms to review state registration and compliance   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
CPA firms are being urged by the AICPA State Regulation and Legislation team to review their registration compliance procedures to ensure that they are complying with out-of-state registration requirements when performing attest engagements.The AICPA advisory was issued after recent activity by some state boards of accountancy to ensure that out-of-state firms operating in their states have met their registration obligations.Several state boards have examined recent information on employee benefit plan audits provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the U.S.

9. ASB issues SAS No. 129 to amend letters for underwriters auditing standard   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) has amended its auditing standard on letters for underwriters and certain other requesting parties.The ASB did not originally intend to significantly change or expand AU Section 634, Letters for Underwriters and Certain Other Requesting Parties, when it was redrafted and issued as AU-C Section 920, Letters for Underwriters and Certain Other Requesting Parties, as part of the clarity project.But the ASB issued Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No.

10. Restatements dropped after initial post-SOX surge, study shows   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
The number of restatements announced per year by SEC-registered companies has fallen significantly since the early era of post-Sarbanes-Oxley implementation, according to research released Thursday by the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ).Restatements, which surged in 2005 and 2006, fell to a 10-year low in 2009 and remained relatively low through 2012, according to the research report authored by Susan Scholz, a professor at the University of Kansas.
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