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1. U.K. regulator considering mandatory audit firm rotation   WebExclusive

BY Ken Tysiac
A much awaited summary of provisional findings of the U.K. Competition Commission (CC) stated that companies are reluctant to change auditors because they have difficulty comparing alternatives with their existing auditor, prefer continuity, and face significant costs in switching auditors. In addition, the provisional findings, released Friday, stated that instead of protecting investors’ interests, auditors often focus on meeting the needs of senior management who are the key decision-makers on whether to retain their services.

2. European Commission Proposes Regulatory Changes for Audits   WebExclusive

The European Commission today proposed sweeping regulations that would, if approved, trigger major changes in the relationships between European public companies and their auditors. The changes include: Limiting to six years the period that an outside auditing firm can perform audits for a company. A cooling-off period of four years would be imposed before a firm could audit again for the same client.

3. PCAOB Round Table to Address Auditor’s Reporting Model   WebExclusive

The PCAOB said it will host a public round table on Thursday, Sept. 15, to discuss its concept release on possible changes to the auditor’s reporting model. The board issued a discussion paper for the meeting. The board said in a press release that the purpose of the meeting is to obtain insight from investors and other financial statement users, preparers of financial statements, audit committee members and auditors on the alternatives presented in the concept release for changing the auditor’s report.

4. Auditing  

The PCAOB postponed the effective date for registered public accounting firms required to report under its new rules to Dec. 31, 2009, from the previous date of Oct. 12, in order to resolve technical issues related to deploying the board’s new Web-based system for processing and publishing filings on the new forms, according to a news release.

5. Auditing at the Speed of Change  

Henry Keizer is the global head of audit for KPMG International and U.S. vice chair of audit for KPMG LLP. He also is a member of the AICPA board of directors. He spoke with JofA Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Joanne Fiore following the AICPA’s board of directors meeting in August and in a follow-up e-mail interview.

6. Assessing the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts   CPEDirect

Calculating estimates of the collectibility of accounts receivable and auditing those estimates is difficult. This article describes three techniques for assessing allowance for doubtful accounts estimates and complying with Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) no. 57 and AU section 342, Auditing Accounting Estimates, which suggest auditors compare prior accounting estimates with subsequent results to evaluate the reliability of the process used to develop estimates.

7. ASB Seeks Comments on Exposure Drafts   WebExclusive

The AICPA Auditing Standards Board issued two exposure drafts resulting from its clarity project: Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS), Quality Control for an Audit of Financial Statements. The proposed SAS specifies quality control procedures at the engagement level that assist the auditor in achieving the objectives of the quality control standards.

8. Clarified Risk Standard Proposals Available   WebExclusive

The AICPA released for exposure certain risk assessment standards rewritten as part of its clarity project. The proposed risk assessment standards have been redrafted into a format that clearly identifies objectives, relevant definitions, requirements, and application and other explanatory material. Comments on the exposure drafts are due April 30.

9. Guidance for Dealing With Electronic Confirmations   WebExclusive

The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board has revised Auditing Interpretation no. 1, Use of Electronic Confirmations, of SAS no. 67, The Confirmation Process (AU section 330). The interpretation has been revised to provide guidance on the use of electronic confirmations and their reliability in the confirmation process. Auditors are likely to work more with electronic confirmations as the financial sector shifts away from accepting paper confirmation requests.

10. Better Brainstorming   CPEDirect

BY Mark Landis, Scott I. Jerris and and Mike Braswell
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The PCAOB in 2007 raised concerns about accounting firms meeting the brainstorming mandates of SAS no. 99, which requires auditors to brainstorm to determine possible fraud risks, and SAS no. 109, which requires auditors to brainstorm to identify additional causes of potential material misstatements in financial statements.
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